I Can’t Cope With My Dog Anymore: What Can I Do?

I cant cope with my dog anymore

Many people feel cruel when they utter the words and they often think they’re the only ones around that ever said it. ‘I don’t really want my dog anymore’. In truth, I’ve heard this more often than you think.

Is this you? Did you recently say ‘I can’t cope with my dog anymore: what can I do?’ Firstly, stop feeling guilty. Then, take courage that there are many options available to you both to improve your current situation or find an alternative owner solution for that dog going forward.

And yes, it’s very possible to solve this situation in a humane way, that’s beneficial to both you and your canine.  

But, please do exhaust your options first and see if you can make changes that will make you and your dog happier.

Common reasons for not coping with your dog—and possible solutions

Let’s first look at common scenarios that present themselves. Some of these situations are beyond your control while others have remedies.

Your dog affects the family’s health

Many dogs spark allergic reactions in owners and sometimes you may only discover the problem after you adopt a dog. Don’t give up immediately because there is effective medication these days that can prevent sneezing, itching and other issues forever.

not coping with my dog anymore
(Image via https://pixabay.com/photos/sad-dog-animal-pet-brown-puppy-3700421/)

The dog doesn’t fit in with your current lifestyle

Lifestyle changes can make it impractical to have a dog. Perhaps you have a new baby in the house or you were forced to move house and there’s no garden to exercise the dog anymore.

Don’t immediately give up though. There are many ways to properly stimulate a dog and they can learn new habits. Also, the dog can help you cope with transitions in life by providing emotional support, so what you think is too much now may be a blessing in future.

You realize you can’t handle the responsibility

Some people actually suffer from depression after getting a pet, simply because the responsibility is too much for them. Training your dog and keeping it stimulated does require time and effort after all. Know that it won’t always be so overwhelming and perhaps you simply need the help of a proper dog trainer.

The dog’s behavior is getting the better of you

A dog trainer should always be your first option if behavior is the issue. You’ll be surprised how many bad habits can go away once an expert shows you how to train, stimulate and discipline it correctly. An animal behaviorist can also give insight into the reasons for your dogs’ actions. Then, small adjustments in your actions can transform your relationship with your pet.

Financial reasons

Did your income change and now you don’t have the money to look after a dog anymore? There are ways to lower expenses, such as low-cost clinics and DIY food treats. So, first see how you can spend less while keeping your dog.

Also remember the presence of your dog may be good for you if you’re going through a stressful financial season.

Options for re-homing your dog

If you’ve tried all you could think of and the situation is simply not improving, you may need to re-home your dog. This is the very last option for people who can’t cope with their dog anymore and don’t know what to do.

Please never consider dumping your dog or consulting animal control or shelters that may euthanize the pup. There are multiple other—better—options you can pick from.

Your goal is to find another home where both the canine and the owners will benefit from the adoption. With some effort you can ensue it will be safe and well treated, giving you peace of mind that you’ve done all you could.

Talk to a breeder

If you have a purebred animal and especially if you own a popular breed, you may be successful when you contact a breeder. Whether it’s the breeder you purchased the dog from or not, if you have the correct paperwork they may be able to find another home for it.

With breeders caring for the species in general, they may not mind being middle man between you and a buyer. They can also help you vet the new owners, so you know the dog is going to a good home.

Contact breed specific rescue organizations

A quick search online will help you find organizations that are passionate about certain types of breeds. They don’t necessarily have to be purebred, so this is a helpful option for many dog owners.

These organizations may have sanctuaries where you can surrender the dog until it’s adopted. They also have networks communicating to a wide audience about available dogs in a specific category. So, using them to find a new home will increase your dog’s chances of having a happy future home.

Ask for help from rescue or dog re-homing organizations

Whether you have a purebred or mixed breed, ask rescue organizations in your local community to assist. Find a reputable one known for looking after animals well. You may be able to surrender the animal to them if you really can’t cope with it at home anymore.

These are popular places where people in your town go to find family pets. Part of the attraction is the wide variety as well the affordability compared to purchasing from a breeder.

Once again, these organizations often have a large network. A photo of your dog on their social media page may prompt someone to come and have a look and adopt your pooch.

Sell it privately—but with extreme care

Perhaps you don’t find a willing organization to help? Or, you simply can’t imagine surrendering the dog to a clinical place like a shelter. In this case you may consider finding it a home yourself.

While selling it privately can work, you need to proceed with extreme caution:

  • Never use the term ‘free to a good home’ because this can attract people who abuse dogs, use them in dog fights or even resell them. Since they don’t have to pay for the dog, it’s an easy solution for their own supply chain.
  • Try not to use platforms like social media to advertize your dog, because dog abusers frequent these sites. They can put up a front and seem like caring animal lovers.
  • Always do thorough home checks so you have proof the dog will be in a safe environment. There should be gates and fences so the dog won’t escape and get lost. Remember, it will feel confused at first. You don’t want it to get hit by traffic because it escapes just to come looking for you.

Use your network

Perhaps the safest place to start when you plan on selling your dog yourself is to ask family and friends. You know them, so you’ll know whether your dog will suit their lifestyles and be treated kindly.

Experts in your area

Don’t underestimate the many animal lovers in your area. From pet shop owners to vets, many of them will be happy to help you re-home pets. Even putting up a flyer in a vet’s waiting room can be a way to locate a new owner. Or, someone they know may be looking for a dog just like yours.

Tips for fast rehoming of your dog

See, there are many solutions to the situation you currently face. You can even improve the chances of finding that perfect next home for your pet by doing some homework.

Whether you’re sending it to a shelter or talking to a breeder, compile proper information, such as temperament and behavior traits, as well as medical history. This will give new owners clarity on what they’re buying and help these organizations match the dog with the right owners much easier.


If you can’t cope with your dog anymore, please do try everything you can to resolve the situation – for example, make sure you are at least meeting the dog’s basic needs. Being re-homed could be very stressful to the dog.

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Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/endearing-twilight-mourn-mourning-2599332/

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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