Understanding Dog Abandonment: Preventing Heartbreak During Quebec's Moving Season

By Gaby Dufresne-Cyr, CBT-FLE

Why Do People Abandon Their Dogs on Moving Day?

Boxer dog next to moving box

As the seasons change and moving plans are underway in Quebec, it's crucial to address a concerning issue: dog abandonment. Every year, countless dogs are left behind or surrendered due to various reasons, leaving them vulnerable and in need of care. Understanding the reasons behind this heart breaking phenomenon and implementing preventive measures can make a significant difference in the lives of these loyal companions.

Overwhelmed by Responsibility

One of the primary reasons for dog abandonment is feeling overwhelmed by responsibility on the part of the owners. Some people underestimate the time, effort, and resources required to care for a dog, especially during major life transitions like moving. Some individuals may not fully understand the commitment required to care for a dog before bringing one into their home. They may realize they are not prepared for the responsibilities of dog ownership only after facing challenges like moving.

Financial Constraints

Moving can be financially straining, and some individuals may abandon their pets due to the additional expenses involved in relocating with them. This could include pet deposits, transportation costs, or finding pet-friendly accommodations. Long-distance travel by airplane or train can exacerbate the financial strain and prompt the owner to abandon their pet.

Behavioural Issues 

Dogs may develop behavioural problems due to stress or changes in their environment during moving. Instead of addressing these issues, some owners abandon their pets, believing they are too difficult to manage. Certainly! Behavioural issues can significantly affect dog abandonment during the moving process. Dogs, like humans, can experience stress and anxiety when faced with changes in their environment or routine. 

Dogs are creatures of habit, and disruptions to their routine, such as moving to a new home, can be incredibly stressful. This stress can manifest in various behavioural issues, including excessive barking, destructive chewing, aggression, or withdrawal.

Preventing Abandonment During Moving Season

Increasing public awareness about dog ownership's responsibilities and the consequences of abandonment is crucial for a successful move. Providing information about training resources, behavioural support, and the importance of planning ahead can help potential dog owners make informed decisions. Before moving, pet owners should consider their dog's needs and plan accordingly. This includes finding pet-friendly accommodations, arranging transportation, updating identification tags, and ensuring the dog's vaccinations are current.

Seeking Support

Moving can be stressful for both humans and pets. Seeking support from friends, family, or professional pet behaviourists can help mitigate stress and address any behavioural issues that may arise during the transition. Suppose circumstances make it difficult to keep a dog during a move. In that case, exploring alternative solutions such as temporary foster care, dog boarding facilities, or rehoming options with reputable organizations can provide a safer and more compassionate alternative to abandonment.

As Quebec's moving season approaches, it's essential to address the issue of dog abandonment with compassion and proactive measures. By understanding the reasons behind abandonment and taking preventive steps, we can ensure that dogs are not left behind or surrendered due to logistical challenges or lack of awareness. Through education, support, and responsible pet ownership, we can create a community where dogs receive the care and love they deserve, even during times of change.

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