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Is co-parenting dogs a good or bad idea?

New study shows what people think of increasingly popular concept

Photo by Getty Images

There is an increasing debate in the world of dog ownership these days, one that is bringing passion on both sides of an issue.

Is co-parenting a dog ever a good idea?

No matter what people think of it, the concept has become more popular for those who love dogs, but can’t necessarily commit to having one as a full-time pet.

Here’s a synopsis of what exactly co-parenting is, what the pluses and minuses are, and a new study that shows what some think about the idea.

What is co-parenting a dog?

Essentially, co-parenting means multiple people sharing ownership of a dog and having it split time living in different households. Usually it’s something done by two people, but it can be practiced by more people as well. 

Why do some love the idea of co-parenting a dog?

There are three big reasons why people choose to co-parent a dog:

  • They don’t have time with work schedules to be a full-time dog owner but still want to have some dog companionship. 
  • They save money by splitting costs such as pet food or veterinarian bills.
  • They believe the dog will get more attention and care. 

Why do some believe co-parenting a dog is bad?

Those against the idea believe it has a negative effect on the dog, and can even be confusing for the animal because different people can have different routines or schedules.

For example, one owner might like going for walks, while the other doesn’t. One owner might like to give treats frequently, while the other won’t at all. One owner might like the dog to sleep in the bed, while the other wants nothing to do with that. 

The list can go on.

What did a recent survey say about co-parenting a dog?

A new survey done by Legal & General, a financial services company in Britain, polled 1,000 people in the United Kingdom for their thoughts on co-parenting dogs. 

  • On reasons for co-parenting a dog, 68% said they would do it because it is cheaper, 65% said they are too busy for their own dog and 64% feel the dog would get more attention. In addition, 62% said they wouldn’t require day care for their dog, while 49% said the dog’s well-being wouldn’t depend on their health. 
  • Of those non-dog owners polled, 57% said they wouldn’t consider co-parenting a dog if they got one, while 23% would. The other 20% of responders weren’t sure. 
  • In terms of the dog’s welfare, 35% said co-parenting would have a negative effect on the animal. 
  • For those giving various reasons why they wouldn’t co-parent a dog, 59% said that multiple homes would unsettle a dog, 50% said different owner styles might be confusing, 36% said the dog would suffer if co-parents had a falling out, 25% said the dog might miss a specific owner more, another 25% said co-parent relations could be strained and 16% said one owner might feel jealous.

How do you feel about the idea of co-parenting a dog? Let us know in the comments below. 


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