Pet Brand Creates 'PrePup' Agreement to Help Pet Owners Co-Parent 'In Healthy Ways' During a Breakup

Romantic relationships aren't always forever, but your commitment to your pet should be

Published Time: 10.06.2024 - 23:31:18 Modified Time: 10.06.2024 - 23:31:18

Romantic relationships aren't always forever, but your commitment to your pet should be.

To help couples planning to get a pet together prepare for the future, Rover.com created a "Prepup Checklist."

A prenuptial agreement requires couples to consider what they want to happen to their assets if their marriage ends in death or divorce. Rover's "PrePup Checklist" encourages couples to consider how they would handle the responsibilities of pet ownership if they were to split while caring for an animal.

Unlike prenuptial agreements, the "Prepup Checklist" is not a legally binding contract. For those looking to protect their pets legally, Kristina Bergsten of The Animal Law Firm advises adding "some paragraphs about who any pets belong to or what you're going to do if you adopt a pet during the marriage" to a prenuptial agreement.

Bergsten told PEOPLE in August 2023 that if pets aren't mentioned in a prenup, "the property settlement agreement will determine who gets the pet" in a divorce.

The "Prepup Checklist" wants to avoid making couples rely on property agreements to determine what happens to their pets during divorce.

Rover decided to create the checklist after one of its surveys revealed that 56% of pet-owning respondents had never discussed who their pet would live with if they broke up with their partner.

The checklist starts with prompts that ask owners to assign responsibilities for each pet parent, such as who will be in charge of the feeding and walking schedule.

The second part of the -

document—available to download on Rover's website—asks couples to "have difficult conversations about the future," including splitting the financial responsibilities of pet ownership and deciding who the pet will live with in the event of a breakup.

""It's important for couples to elevate animal well-being and commit to co-parenting in healthy ways for the health and well-being of their dogs. It is widely recognized in animal welfare science that dogs and other animals can self-regulate and find innate strategies for coping with stress and anxiety when they are feeling safe, secure, and familiar with their social relationships," Philip Tedeschi, a professor, and researcher on the human-animal bond who works with Rovers, said in a statement to PEOPLE.

"One of the most prominent indicators of their sense of security comes from their proximity to other members of the family. Having conversations about the future and what may happen if there is a disruption to a pet's life would benefit them, offer predictability, and keep them close to the ones they connect with," he added.

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The checklist also includes a place for the couple's new pet to "cosign" on anything discussed. Rover hopes that the "Prepup Checklist" helps strengthen the bond between people and their pets and people and their partners.

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