Divorce Affects Your Dogs, Too!

Guest Post by Sarah Jones

When the relationship starts to break down, all the abuse at home – verbal and physical, tension, and negative emotions are felt by the whole household, including your dogs! Divorce is a stressful and painful process. All the changes at home resulting in the absence of one parent can be unsettling and negatively affects your dogs.


Remember that time both of you were giddy to get a dog as a “practice baby”? You both decided to take the responsibility of raising the dog to be part of the family. When the relationship ends up in divorce, some irresponsible pet parents abandon the dog because no one wants to take custody of it.

Canine Depression and Separation Anxiety

Long-term absence of one or both pet parents can lead to separation anxiety and canine depression. Because of this, your dog may exhibit unusual behaviors such as loss of appetite due to anxiety, lethargy, anxiety, and even aggression.

Physical and Mental Well-being

Even if both of you decide to share custody of your dog, the changes in the house and the habits your dog is used to still have an effect on the physical and mental well being of your dog.


Divorce disrupts the life of both your kids and dogs. Huge adjustments in the routine or schedule should be made. It would take some time for your beloved pet to get used to the new schedule of feeding, playing, and walking. Your dog’s schedule changes weekly because of transferring homes to be with the other parent.

The Stress of Moving Homes

Divorce will either drive one of you to move to a new home or both of you to move to a different state. The strange environment may confuse your dog and cause anxiety.

How to Help Your Dog Cope with Divorce

Your relationship may be hopeless, but you can still improve your dog’s condition and help it cope with divorce. If you notice a loss of appetite, try to change your dog’s diet by feeding them healthy, nutritious dog food. Coordinate schedules with your ex and retrain your dog if you must to establish consistency.  This guide explains how to fix ten common dog behavior problems.

According to experts, separation anxiety can actually be avoided. If you and your partner trained your dog to get used to being alone without panicking or showing aggression while you are gone, chances are, your dog will be fine with your absence. Do not worry. Things will eventually get better. If it doesn’t get better; you can always seek the help of your veterinary doctor or a behaviorist.

If you need help to cope with your divorce, your dog needs help, too. You can both get through this rough patch in your life together, and be stronger. Your love for your spouse may have changed, but hopefully, your love for the rest of the family, including your dogs, never stops.