Who Keeps The Dog? The Rise of the Pet Pre-Nup


When did people start keeping dogs as pets?

There is archaeological evidence dogs were the first animals domesticated by humans more than 30,000 years ago (more than 10,000 years before the domestication of horses and ruminants).

Who Keeps The Dog? The Rise of the Pet Pre-Nup

When it comes to relationships, the issue of who will get custody of the pet is an increasingly common problem. To help settle this issue, an increasing number of couples are signing pet pre-nuptial agreements.

What is a Pet Pre-Nup?

A pet pre-nup is a contractual agreement between two people who share a pet. It provides legal clarity regarding the ownership of the pet, should the couple choose to separate or divorce. It can cover a variety of topics, such as who will have primary possession of the pet, what will happen to the pet if one of the couple dies, and how the costs of the pet will be split.

Why Are Pet Pre-Nups Becoming Popular?

Pet pre-nuptial agreements have become increasingly popular as pet ownership increases. More and more people are treating their pet as a true family member and want to ensure that their “child” has a secure future, even if the couple decides to part ways. Pet pre-nuptial agreements protect both parties by ensuring that the pet has a clearly defined guardian, should the couple separate or divorce.

What Should Be In A Pet Pre-Nup?

The contents of a pet pre-nup will vary depending on the individual couple, but some common considerations include:

  • Who will have primary ownership of the pet.
  • How the pet’s expenses will be split.
  • Who will be responsible for veterinary bills.
  • Who will be responsible for day-to-day care of the pet.
  • In the case of the pet’s death, who will get the ashes.

It is important for couples to seek the advice of a qualified attorney to ensure that their pet pre-nup meets the legal requirements of their state.


Pet pre-nuptial agreements provide an important measure of legal protection for individuals in relationships who share a pet. Couples should seek the advice of a qualified attorney to ensure that their pre-nup is legally binding and meets the requirements of their state.

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