How to Rehome Your Dog

White dog

Rehoming a dog, in the first place, is not abandonment; as a matter of fact, it’s humane, mature, and responsible. Secondly, while there are various problems that can potentially cause pet parents to consider giving away their dog, comparatively there are also solutions.

Dog Rehoming Issue and Solution Board

Issue Possible Solution
I got a new job and there’s no time for my dog! + Have you specifically considered a doggy day-care or a dog walker?
I can’t afford my dog because of extenuating circumstances!  I.e., job loss. + Have you asked someone you already know if they can take care of the dog until you resituate yourself?
My new apartment doesn’t allow dogs! + In contrast, have you investigated apartments that do allow dogs?
We had a baby, and moreover, we no longer have time for our dog! + In spite of, have you considered how having a dog teaches kids about responsibility and compassion?
A sickness/injury is significantly preventing me from taking care of my dog! + First thing to remember, if your situation is temporary, consider asking family or friends to help and take care of your dog while you’re able to recover.
My dog is showing signs of aggression! + To clarify, fear and aggression in dogs can be complex. Nevertheless, in short, consult with an animal behaviorist.
My dog does not get along with other dogs! + In this case, and on the positive side, consider enrolling the dog in training school.
My dog has separation anxiety, or his energy is a mismatch for us! Plus, he has destruction issues! + If possible, research online resources on how to help an energetic dog. To be noted, a bored dog can also become a destructive dog, when left alone. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of mental and physical stimulation. If that doesn’t help, try consulting a reputable dog trainer.
My dog has health issues that I can’t afford to manage. + On the positive side, talk to your veterinarian about payment options. Also, for instance, consider programs like Care Credit.
My dog is making our allergies surprisingly uncomfortable! +Under those circumstances, opt to frequently clean in an effort to help decrease allergies. As a result, consider allergen air purifiers and allergy pills.

How do I Rehome a Dog FAQ’s

1. Is it wrong to be selective when rehoming a dog?
No, and Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a Veterinary Behavior Specialist from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University says, “Choosing a canine companion based on individual behavior and lifestyle compatibility is crucial to the success of the relationships between people and their dogs.”

2. I’ve exhausted all my options trying to keep my dog, what do I do?

  • Contact breed rescue groups: Discover numerous rescue groups that, by and large, specifically help your dog’s breed.
  • Rehome the dog yourself: Speak with friends and family and in brief, advertise your intentions.
  • Post Dog Rehoming Ads:  Hang posters on local bulletin boards and on balance, post on social media.
  • Make an internet profile: Ultimately, highlight your dog’s best features and behavioral qualities accordingly online.

3. How do I work with my local animal shelter or rescue group?
Generally speaking, surrender your dog to an animal shelter or a rescue organization.

4. How would you describe your dog’s optimal environment and home? 
To summarize, what kind of situation is best in its next home? In any event, is he okay with kids and other pets? On the whole, consider what type of people would suit his personality and energy. All things considered, create an idea of what your pet needs in its next home.

5. What would it take to get your dog to put his best foot forward towards a forever home?
Generally speaking, make sure the pet has recently had a wellness exam. Are his vaccinations are up-to-date? Now, create a pet profile online and describe the dog’s more exceptional qualities and its history. Doing so has more of a likelihood that the pet will make an impact online. All this ultimately helps adopters best understand your pet’s needs.

6. Are you able to be patient through the process?  
Straightaway, pet rehoming takes patience. Although, you may be in a rush in rehoming your dog. On the whole, finding a good fit for your dog does take time, love, and patience.

Rehoming Dog Tips

Avoid Stress: In a word, advise the new family to avoid anything stressful as long as the dog settles.
The Dog May Not Eat: Tell them not to worry if the dog won’t eat on the first day. Nonetheless, he’ll eat when he’s ready.
Assure New Owners: Acclimating takes patience, during which, there may be an accident.
Keep in touch: Tell the new owners to call you from time to time with any questions or problems.

Pet Rehoming – Adoptive Family Questions

Make a great match for both your dog and his future adoptive family. With this in mind, share any health concerns, without delays, such as medications, allergies, and diet. Also, discuss his energy, unique behaviors, and personal tendencies so there are no surprises.

  • Have you ever had another pet? What happened to it?
    The best answer is “Yes; It died at age 17.” What you really don’t want to hear is that their last pet was hit by a car, died of preventable disease, ran away, or worse… was turned into a shelter.
  • Do you have a pet now?
    • Already having a pet is good. It demonstrates that they already know what is involved in pet ownership.
      • If yes, then how long have you had it? In general… the longer, the better.
      • What size is your current pet? The best answer is a size that is close to the one they are trying to adopt.
      • If a cat, has your cat been tested for FIV (feline AIDS) or FILV (feline Leukemia)? If either cat is positive for one of these diseases placing them together is disastrous. If a rescued cat is FIV or FILV positive, place it with another known cat with the same disease.
  • If you have another dog/cat, is it altered? Will you be altering (spaying/neutering) the cat/dog when it reaches sexual maturity?
    • The good answer is yes: spay/neuter prevents unwanted pet births, decreasing the euthanasia happening in shelters because of too many companion animals and not enough companion homes. Also, spay/neuter prevents cancer and decreases the likelihood that a pet will run away from home or get into fights.
  • Do you own your home or rent? Do you have a fenced yard?
    • Ask to see a copy of their lease allowing pets if they rent. Or ask to use their landlord as a reference. Fenced yards are best, but aren’t always possible. In some parts of the country, they aren’t always necessary (very rural farmland). Make sure the potential adopter is interested in exercising their new pet. Some dogs should get up to three or four miles of exercise a day. “My apartment doesn’t allow pets” is one of the top three reasons that pets are taken to shelters.
  • Will you provide references?
    • Many organizations require three, one being a veterinarian. Sometimes they find the person had no record at the vet, a family member remarks about how much the potential adopter loves to travel abroad each month, or perhaps what really happened to their last pet. Although these situations are not the norm–with the time, money, and energy you are investing in this pet–be sure! You aren’t interested in an adopter who will not provide veterinary care for this pet.
  • Will the pet be a member of your family or a gift for someone else?
    • It is important that everyone who will be living with the pet meet it first. This minimizes the chances of the pet being returned to you, winding up at a shelter, or being abused or neglected.
  • Are you willing to allow a home check?
    • Some rescue groups always do a home check. This verifies the individual has given you a real address. You might consider taking your pet, to see his/her reaction to the home and the people. If one of the family members never gets off the couch or turns the TV down to meet you and your pet, it is probably not going to be the best home. Some organizations also go back to the home one week after adoption. This gives them an opportunity to see that the pet is happy. It also gives the adopter a chance to return the pet if there is a problem. NEVER DO A HOME CHECK ALONE! REMEMBER THE BUDDY SYSTEM!
  • Do you plan on crating the dog? For how long each day?
    • Some people feel that crating is a good way to introduce a pet to its new routine and to avoid accidents due to confusion and perhaps depression. On the other hand, 12 hours a day alone in a crate would signal a neglectful situation. Use your judgment here.
  • If the pet has an accident in the house, what type of correction do you plan to use?
    • Rubbing their nose in it and screaming “bad pet” is no longer accepted as an effective correction. Many training methods exist. An answer you’d like to hear is one that suggests patience, consistency, and perhaps even a hint that they’ve read a book (or would like to) about training. It is NEVER EVER appropriate to hit, spank, slap, poke, kick, or humiliate a pet that has had an accident. Many dogs in shelters exhibit urination shyness (they roll over and act submissive every time they urinate). This psychological damage is a result of stupidity on the part of an abusive owner who didn’t know how to housebreak a pet.
  • How many hours per day will the pet be alone?
    • Think twice before you adopt a young puppy or kitten to a home where they will be alone for more than four hours a day. New owners should be willing to adopt on a weekend or on vacation time to allow the youngster to adjust to new conditions. Older dogs and cats can withstand being alone for a normal working day. Eight to 10 hours is possible but should be followed by good exercise/playtime, which is difficult for people that have themselves worked a 10 hour day.
  • Do you have children? How old are they? Have they ever been around pets?
    • Children should not be expected to be responsible for the pet. If that is suggested, think red alert! Very young kids may be hurt by or may hurt the new pet. This is a personal issue, based mostly on the type of family you are talking to. Tread carefully, here. Some organizations have a strict policy regarding adoptions to families with children under five. Others judge on a one-on-one basis. This is where your people skills come in. Make sure you meet the kids!
  • Will the pet be going outside at all?
    • Cats that go outside have a significantly reduced expected life-span, get hit by cars, poisoned intentionally, poisoned unintentionally, get feline aids for which there is no vaccine, get feline leukemia for which the vaccine is only 70% effective, get into fights, get fleas, get lost, etc. You want to hear that this will be an indoor cat (unless you are placing a vaccinated wild cat on a farm or in a rural area). Outdoor/indoor is okay for dogs, but remember, dogs are pack animals and want to be where you are. Leaving a dog outside when the rest of his family is inside may be a lonely experience for the dog.
  • Will you be declawing the cat?
    • Declawed cats are more likely to become biters and/or forget litter box training. Many people are very opposed to declawing (or see it as a last resort) because of the gruesome nature of the surgery. At best, it should be done at the same time as altering.
  • Do you realize that cats can live for more than 20 years? Do you realize that dogs can live for more than 15 years? This is a lifetime commitment.

Discuss a rehoming fee and determine whether they want to consider a trial period with your dog. At this time, discuss the worst-case scenario. For instance, if the arrangement doesn’t work out. For this reason, discuss the expectations for post-adoption communication.

In conclusion, there are a lot of resources when it comes to helping a pet parent keep a dog as well as when you’re ready to explore rehoming a dog. When you cannot keep your dog, then take steps to safely and responsibly rehome a pet. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about adjusting to life with your new dog to make your adoption last, review Home Forever Home on Petfinder for helpful tips and information.