Free Pet Agreement

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Pet Agreement

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THIS PET AGREEMENT (the "Agreement"), dated this ________ day of ________________, ________.


of __________, __________ County, the Commonwealth of Virginia



of __________, __________ County, the Commonwealth of Virginia



IN CONSIDERATION OF the mutual promises and covenants contained in this Agreement and other valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, the parties to this Agreement agree as follows:

__________ and __________ (collectively the "Parties" and individually the "Party") desire to live separate and apart from one another. __________ and __________ wish to divide up their shared property interest in the following animals:







The remainder of this document will be available when you have purchased a license.

Last Updated February 21, 2024

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What is a Pet Agreement?

A Pet Agreement outlines how two people wish to divide their shared ownership of their pet(s). It’s also known as a Pet Custody Agreement. Often, couples use Pet Agreements to settle pet disputes when they end their relationship.

You can use this template to establish custody and care for any type of household pet, such as a dog, cat, snake, rodent, lizard, or a larger animal like a horse.

Take our 2024 Prenuptial Agreement Survey for a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards!

The importance of Pet Agreements

Breaking up is hard enough on its own. When pets are involved, it can be even tougher. After all, pets are family members for most people. That’s why using a Pet Agreement is a helpful step in protecting each owner and establishing what’s best for a pet.

In short, a Pet Agreement helps pet owners who are splitting up achieve the following:

  • Establish the primary owner of the pet, with the other party transferring all ownership interest to the designated primary owner.
  • Decide on visitation rights for the non-primary owner or specify if a visitation schedule will be in place.
  • Clarify financial responsibility by establishing the primary owner as responsible for any costs associated with the pet's care.
  • Be reassured that the pet will always be cared for properly and receive all necessary life essentials, including food, water, shelter, and adequate exercise.
  • Ensure the other owner will gain sole possession if the primary owner must give up the pet.

How to use our Pet Agreement Template

Let's break down how you can use our Pet Agreement template to create an enforceable contract:

  1. Complete our easy questionnaire in under five minutes, and we’ll provide you with your document.
  2. Customize and edit the exact wording of your document with our Editor tool.
  3. Download and print your Pet Agreement.
  4. Carefully review the terms with the other party to ensure mutual understanding and agreement.
  5. Sign the Pet Agreement with the other party and formalize your commitment to the terms.

When to use a Pet Agreement

Most often, couples use Pet Agreements when they’ve broken up. For example, an unmarried couple who co-owns a pet may use this contract if they break up. 

Likewise, a married couple may use a Pet Agreement during the process of separating and divorcing. Alternatively, spouses could arrange pet custody directly within their Separation Agreement instead.

Note: A Pet Agreement is unsuitable as a preventative document where you establish ownership in case of divorce. Instead, you can outline potential pet custody arrangements in a Prenup, should you and your fiancé ever split up.

Besides romantic partners, roommates may also co-own pets. For example, roommates may adopt a dog together. But what happens when one of the roommates moves to a new property? In this case, the roommates could use a Pet Agreement to establish one of them as the primary owner.

Negotiating a Pet Agreement

When negotiating a Pet Agreement, it's essential to consider each party's living and financial situation before making decisions relating to the pet's well-being. Here are some things both parties can consider when negotiating:

  1. Each party’s living situation: Consider how the safety and welfare of the pet would be affected by living with each party. For example, housing large dogs in small apartments may not be ideal.
  2. Each party’s financial situation: Consider each party’s ability to afford pet care costs.
  3. Each party’s bond with the pet: Animals often form a stronger bond with one owner over the other. In this case, the pet may be better off living with the owner that it has spent more time with.

If negotiating the terms of the Pet Agreement proves to be difficult, it is recommended that you consult a mediator or other professional to help you through the process.

Can a Pet Agreement be modified?

Yes, a Pet Agreement can be modified after you sign it using an Amending Agreement. This legal document allows both parties to make mutually agreed-upon changes to the original contract, whether adjusting visitation schedules or sharing financial responsibilities.

What if one party violates the Pet Agreement?

One or both parties may agree to specific terms initially but then break the Pet Agreement eventually. A wronged party can attempt to resolve the issue amicably through an alternative dispute resolution method before they hire a lawyer or pursue litigation.

The wronged party can try communicating and negotiating with the other party, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the agreement. If this proves ineffective, they may consider mediation to facilitate discussions with a neutral third party. 

Legal action may be necessary in more serious cases, and the wronged party may need to talk to a lawyer. The wronged party can file a petition in court to enforce the terms of the existing Pet Agreement.

After you create a Pet Agreement

If you create a Pet Agreement during a breakup, separation, or divorce, consider updating other estate planning and health documents that may involve your ex-partner. For example, updating your Last Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Will may be a good idea. By updating these documents, you’ll better ensure your wishes are fulfilled in the future.

Related Documents:

  • Separation Agreement: A Separation Agreement is a contract that is used by married spouses to determine terms and conditions for living apart.
  • Prenuptial Agreement: A Prenuptial Agreement allows a couple to sort out their current financial and property affairs prior to getting married.
  • Cohabitation Agreement: A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract that specifies ownership of assets between an intimate couple who want to live together, but remain unmarried.
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