Having to give my dogs away due to health and feeling guilty

Hi all

Just wanted to know if anyone else has had to adopt their pets due to having arthritis and how did they cope with it?

I have got 3 shar pei and feeling proper down about having to take them the dogs home next week

Deep down I know it's probably the best for them as I'm unable to walk them like they need anymore

I know it's not the usual topics but it's going to be hard for me to take them knowing il never see them an it's all down to having arthritis.

21 Replies

  • I had to give my young dog up last year as my hands couldn't clean up after him taking him out became a struggle a young dog needs the walking I did this on my mobility scooter until I could not manage he has gone to a family home with other dogs as there old dog had just died that's when it really hit my how I'll I am

  • I to have arthritis and a GSD my husband walks her but I would die if we had to give her up for health reasons, she is such a comfort to me especially

    at night whenI can't sleep, I really feel for U. Could U not get a dog walker to

    take your dogs out , or maybe a friend, know that three dogs are not as easy

    as one but worth a try as I'm sure they are a big part of your family. This disease is a real s--t at times. PS I'm not young and hubby is nearly 80 but

    loves walking. Hope things work out for you. Ladyinred

  • jaymc - just to add to what the others have said there is an organisation (in the UK - are you in the UK?) called the Cinnamon Trust. They help people (free of charge, I think) who have health problems with dog walking and things like that. Would that help you at all? Might be worth looking them up to see if there is some way you can keep your dogs.

    It's an awful decision to have to make. So sorry. I'd be heartbroken if I couldn't keep my cats. :-(

  • Yes I've done some dog walking for the Cinnamon Trust when I didn't have a dog. Also ask your local charities like help the aged as they might know of volunteers who would help out.

    I know I would be devastated to give up my dog, so I feel for you.

  • Hello Jaymc,

    I second contacting the Cinnamon Trust. Also, have you seen the website borrowmydoggy.com ? For a small fee, you advertise you dog and those who like dogs but, for whatever reason cannot own one, "borrow" yours for exercise and playing or similar. Do explore these options before making a final decision. You may have options.

    I had my precious pup for less than a year when I was diagnosed with RA. It was heartbreaking to go from walking in the fields for 2 hours to not being able to walk down the road. My mum does the main caring for the dog which is hard on me because I wish I could do more. I am lucky that I still get to live with him, so get all the snuggles and can do the basics; feeding, grooming and playing. We do have dog walker 3 times a week for the long days we are both out of the house and at work. It's not cheap and not really affordable but I'm prepared to make that sacrifice.

    I hope you're able to look into other options.

    All the best.

  • The devotion you get from your dogs is unconditional - they would rather be with you and have less walks than end up as unwanted dogs in a soulless kennel. I can't imagine life without a dog lying at my feet or resting a head on my leg when I'm feeling flat or in pain. They also give you a reason to keep moving - even when you don't want to. It's really tough - perhaps you could give yourself a little more time?

  • Ps. If you really do have to give them up, there is a Shar Pei Rescue group in the UK. Perhaps they could help you avoid the stress of kennels for your dogs?

  • Why not try


    They have volunteer dog walkers that do not charge

  • Why don't you ask the rescue centre if when they get new homes you can keep in touch with them so you can still see them.xxxxx

  • Hi, My daughter had to give up her two dogs, not because of health, but due to other issues. One of them was epileptic, and we were worried that no one would take him and what kind of home he'd get. Well 6 months on, the new owners (went to separate homes), write gratefully to my daughter, and post images and videos of them, and they are so happy. The one with epilepsy has regular therapy of swimming and has an old dog for companion. My husband and I are cat people, but was ready to take them if no home was found. I saw how difficult and painful it was for my daughter to give up her dogs, but it was a very happy outcome. I sincerely wish you the same result and just wanted to let you know that out of something so difficult, there can be a happy ending. Be kind to yourself. Candy

  • Hi Jaymc, So Sorry about your pets. I've struggled too not being able to be the 'perfect' companion for my 'babies'; because of RA. Decided they had to stay with me and we would do the best we can. Do I feel guilty sometimes: yes, absolutely. But I love them, beyond reason, and (like children), they know that. So we struggle together. Whatever your decision it will be the right one - only you know all the circumstances. Good luck with everything.

  • Have you had the Allergy test because I didn't think shar pai's lost their hair . But I'm very sorry because it must feel like hell I hope you can cope with the loss x

  • I've had R.A. since 1986 we have a 3 year old Border collie there is always a way through don't let it beat you find a way to adapt and keep your pets and yes it hurts but it doesn't rule. Best of luck to you cheers Dave

  • Not long after I was diagnosed and inbetween waiting for the go ahead to go on Bio's I was so, so bad, never knew pain like it. My beautiful rescued Barney, that his foto you see, just lay at my feet and never demanded anything of me. I felt sooooo guilty that he really had no quality of life with me. I could feed him and let him out to the back garden. When the weather permitted I left the back door open for him to go in and out.

    However he wasn't getting the attention he need, I loved him to bits but I began to think he would be better off with people around him and getting the walks he loved so much than laying on the floor beside me. So I arranged, through my Rainbow Rehoming group, to send Barney to a lovely family. I have to tell you that at the time I was mentally in a terrible place too so on top of terrible pain I was in the depth of depression as well. My partner of seven years left me within months of my diagnosis. Anyhow, off Barney went and I lay on the sofa crying my eyes out.

    The next day the family who took Barney foned me to tell me that that the poor thing cried the entire night and that they were bring him back to me. They told me that no matter who bad things were Barney would rather have me, even without the walks..... wait for it there is a twist to the story.....

    Anyhow, fast forward about 6 months. I was in my friends house and she brought up the time I had to give Barney away......I was amazed at the story and couldn't believe that I would do such a thing. I had no memory of it, none at all. My friend had to tell me the full story as I just had no memory of having giving my very much loved Barney away.

    I told my lovely Rheumatoligist, Dr Armstrong, about it and asked him what had happened to me. He said that sometimes the brain shuts down, to protect you, when there is so much pain, physical as well as mental, for a human to cope with. He said he has heard about this before.

    To this day I have no recollection of the people coming to the house to take my Barney or to bring him home again. I also have to say that at the time I had a lovely neighbour who did walk my Barney for me once or twice a week. However this most gentle of men is now unable to do this due to age but I just wanted to mention him as he was so lovely to me and my Barney.

    So I do know how you are feeling and remember my Barney who loved me as much as I loved him no matter how difficult the circumstances. I wish you and you companions all the very best.

  • Do you have to have them adopted, all that guilt and despair wont help your arthritis. Could you not get a teenager student to walk them and give them a few pounds? Or maybe Age UK could help, If they need grooming there are mobile groomers

    who will collect them and bring them back. Try to think of ways to keep them as you don't want unhappiness as well it will make you feel down.

  • We are in a similar position for different reasons and my husband and I are both heartbroken. I don't expect to ever get over it or forgive myself but hoping that time heals. I truly feel for you but I don't think there is any way of coping with it. It is a bereavement by any other name.

  • I cannot imagine how awful this decision is for you but think very hard and long before you really make your mind up and explore all avenues first. We lost our ten year old rottie last October and in February if this year we rehomed an eleven month old girl. It's been the making of me I am able to walk up two hours a day with her and feel so much more positive because of her. I am so grateful that my Ra is not as debilitating as many others have to insure. Have you thought of asking a friend to play physically with the dogs for an hour a day and wear them out? Dogs that are loved do adapt to a change in lifestyle you only have to see the elderly with their pets sometimes it's the only thing they have to talk to. Do try and contact breed rescue dog friendly sites for a bit of help. I wish you well and a successful outcome.

  • Bless you. I really feel for you because I know how I would feel if I had to give my dogs up. Consider all options and don't be afraid to ask for help because j think you would miss them. I think they are such a comfort x

  • Hi I have 3 Dalmatians , I did think of finding new homes for them when I was told 5 yrs ago I had RA , but they were only babies and couldn't bear the thought of losing them , they have just turned 5 and seem happy about not going on long walks, I'm lucky I've a friend who manages to take them twice a week , for short walks, I've a big garden and they're always chasing each other round and get exercise that way thankfully, I hope you can get some help to enable you to keep your lovely dogs , I wouldn't be without mine just stroking them helps, good luck

  • I had to give up my Pomeranian. It was heart breaking but he is in a very good home. They love him to bits. As difficult as it was I do not regret it. He is happy and well cared for. My heart goes out to you. It seems we loose so much but it will become easier, in time. I wish I could hug you but know I am sending it none the less.

  • NO NO NO !!!! Please don't give up the dogs. You have some great ideas from various people. Take time to think about it. What area do you live in ? If you were close enough i would walk them for you. Find the volunteer dog walkers. You'll never forgive yourself letting them go. Hopefully a happy solution will be found. Keep us all posted please. Take care xxxx

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