Alternatives to giving up a pet - BC SPCA
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Alternatives to giving up a pet

If you don’t see advice on your specific situation below, please contact your local BC SPCA to discuss your situation.

Reach out to family or friends

They may be willing to temporarily care for your pet if you need short-term help. Discuss with them your situation and your pet’s personality and needs. Make up a contract with an agreed upon timeframe that works for everyone, including your pet.

Moving and can’t find pet-friendly housing

Finding pet-friendly housing can be difficult, but not impossible. Use our pet-friendly housing guides to help you as you search.

You can also reach out to family and friends about temporarily taking care of your pet, or look into pet boarding while you search.

Fleeing Interpersonal Violence

Pet owners who need care for their pets while they find safe and pet-friendly housing, may be eligible for the Safekeepers Program. Learn how the BC SPCA Safekeepers Program offers pet foster care for individuals fleeing interpersonal violence.

Pet allergies

Pet allergies can be managed depending on how much they affect you or your family. First, talk with your doctor to make sure it’s your pet that’s causing the allergies. Allergies can also occur from pollen or dust depending on the time of year.

Some tips to reduce pet allergens in your home:

  • Place washable covers on fabric furniture and change them often
  • Invest in a HEPA air cleaner
  • Clean, vacuum and dust regularly
  • Limit your pet’s access to certain rooms, while still allowing them to interact daily with your family
  • Speak to your doctor about treatments that can reduce allergy symptoms

Pet behaviour issues

Behaviour issues can be due to several factors such as:

  • Your pet’s emotional needs aren’t being met
  • Lack of physical exercise, socialization or mental stimulation
  • Use of inhumane training techniques
  • A change in your pet’s environment
  • A medical condition affecting your pet

Is your pet getting what they want and need? Is there something you can do or change to help resolve their behaviour issue? Learn how to work on different types of behaviour issues in our pet care section or consider looking for a dog trainer. You can also contact a BC SPCA animal centre for advice on common behaviour issues.

Read about humane training techniques in our animal training position statement.

Can’t afford a pet or their medical care

There are options and resources if you find yourself in need of short-term financial assistance or affordable veterinary care. Contact your local BC SPCA animal centre for information on initiatives in your area or short-term resources for food and supplies.

Concerned about pregnancy and pets

There are extra precautions to take if you are pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your pet.

  • Learn more about toxoplasmosis, a parasite that can infect animals and people. By taking precautions and practicing proper hygiene, you can help prevent toxoplasmosis infection.
  • If you are worried about your health or your new baby’s health with a pet, talk to your doctor about your concerns.

Concerned about pets and new babies

Some tips and precautions to take if you have a new baby and a pet:

  • Help your pet get used to your new baby slowly. Introduce a piece of your baby’s clothing to your pet before bringing your baby home.
  • Set up your home with gates and a safe place (such as a crate, bed or room) for your pet, or keep them separated as they get used to the sounds and smells of the baby.
  • Let your pet get used to the baby gradually and at their own pace. Never force them to interact.
  • Never leave your pet and baby alone together, even if your pet is small.
  • Pay attention to what your pet is telling you. If your pet is afraid or acts aggressively, seek help from a professional.

baby and a dog

Contact us

Please contact your local BC SPCA if you need advice or have more questions. If you still want to give up your pet after seeking advice and looking into alternatives, find out how you can re-home your pet on your own or bring your pet to a BC SPCA animal centre.