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Pet Co-Parenting: When Happens To Your Pet If There’s A Breakup?

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Today is Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate love and romance, but there are many times when happily ever after goes out the window. What happens to your pet when you and your significant other break up?

A book written by two men who worked through pet co-parenting issues after a break-up offers good advice. The book,  What About Wally? CO-PARENTING A PET WITH YOUR EX. by Steven May and David T. Pisarra, provides useful suggestions on coming up with a plan that’s best for the humans and pet involved.

The book offers many good tips on how to work out issues of care with your ex.  One essential element of successful pet co-parenting, they write, is developing a parenting plan.  Here are a few things Steven and David suggest should be included in the plan:

  • What will be your dog’s regular schedule?  This will be the “normal” 7 day a week schedule for your dog.  It includes walking and feeding times, amount of food per meal and length of walk.  This should also define how many days with each partner, or whether it will be one week on, one week off for each partner
  • Vacation schedules-Scheduled vacations should be shared with pet co-parent as far in advance as possible.  If one partner plans to travel with the pet, both partners should agree on any preparation needed
  • Veterinary Treatment-Determine who will pay for treatments, how far to go with treatment, any medication schedule that may apply and changes to visitation schedule that may result from treatment
  • Care when neither co-parent is available-both partners should agree on care for their pet when neither one of them is available.  Determine whether doggie day care, boarding facility or in home pet sitting is going to be the best option.  Both partners should also agree that the care option chosen is satisfactory and the best option for the pet
  • Moving away-partners need to determine what will happen to the pet’s care if one of them moves away.  Things to consider in making the decision include: Who has room for the pet?  Who has more time for the pet?  If there are new partners involved, how do they get along with the pet?

Breaking up is rough for us and our pets.  Talking things out with your ex and coming to agreement on your pet’s care can help make the change less stressful for all of you.

 

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