Cats and dogs can be remarkable companions, but when a relationship ends in divorce, it can be just as stressful for them as it is for you. It is important to know that pets can be impacted by new environments, and it could end up causing irreparable harm. In some cases, the divorce attorney can help you make the best decision possible for you and your pet.
The first issue that you will most likely see is a change in behavior. Some pets will become moody or anxious, while others might even become aggressive or defensive. You need to pay attention to their physical cues and not let them get away with bad behavior.
Some pets will have health issues in the midst of a divorce. A few will even refuse to eat or change their eating habits entirely. If you suspect any health or dietary issues in your pet, make sure to bring them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for an exam.
Some pets can fall into a deep depression. If you notice your pet acting more lethargic than usual, sleeping longer than normal, or not being interested in toys, treats, walks, or other things that used to get them excited, you may have a depressed pet on your hands.
Cats are more attached to places and will often have the biggest problems after a move. On the other hand, dogs are more attached to people, and will often have a hard time adjusting if one or more of their family members is suddenly gone. If possible, the person keeping the cat should get the first option on remaining in the current apartment or home to make the transition a little easier.
Change in Hierarchy
One issue that is more common in dogs is a change in hierarchy. If you have a “pack” of dogs with one obvious “alpha” or leader dog and the group gets split up, the dogs may begin to size each other up and possibly fight to determine who is now in charge.
Having pets is a lot like having kids, especially when it comes to a divorce. If you both want the pets, but have their best interest in mind, work it out with your divorce attorneys. Residence, custody, and visiting rights all need to be considered. If possible, work with a trainer or your trusted veterinarian to help make the transition go smoothly.