Tips To Follow When Rehoming A Dog

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
You may be faced with a decision that breaks your heart – you need to find another family to care of your dog. It’s not a task to take lightly, so be sure to follow these tips for rehoming a dog.

Nothing is more heartbreaking than coming to terms with the fact that you can no longer care for your beloved dog. Whether you are moving into a home that doesn’t allow pets or you physically cannot provide for your dog any more, finding a new home for your dog is your responsibility. Pet shelters all over the country are positively packed with homeless animals and there is no guarantee that your dog would ever be adopted – for your pup’s well-being you need take on the responsibility of finding your dog a new happy home. Keep these things in mind when rehoming a dog.

Think About Your Motivation

When you become a dog owner it becomes your responsibility to care for your dog. Not only do you need to feed him and house him but you need to make sure he gets the exercise and attention he needs – your dog should become more than just a pet, he should be part of the family. If you truly love and care for your dog, making the decision to rehome him will not be an easy one. Before you do anything, think about your true motivations for rehoming your dog and decide whether or not it is truly in your dog’s best interest. Many people adopt puppies and love them while they are still cute and wiggly but, when the dog grows up, they quickly lose interest. In other cases, people do not put in the time and effort to properly train and socialize their dogs so they end up with a high-strung dog that destroys the house every time it is left alone. Behavior problems like this are among the top reasons people surrender their dogs to animal shelters – they just aren’t willing to do the work. In many cases, these same people do not realize that it is possible to manage and modify their dog’s behavior – all the dog might need is a little training and direction.

Related: How To Help Dog Shelters When You Can’t Adopt

If your reasons for rehoming a dog are selfish and do not have anything to do with the dog’s well-being, you probably aren’t cut out for being a pet owner anyway. There are some situations, however, in which rehoming a dog is understandable and necessary. If you are suddenly hit with financial hardship and cannot provide for your dog’s medical or basic needs, he might be better off with someone who can give him the care he requires. If you get in an accident or otherwise become physically unable to care for the dog, this might also be a situation where rehoming becomes necessary. If you are moving to another state or switching homes in the same area, you need to select a dog-friendly housing option so do not use moving as an excuse to get rid of your dog.

How to Safely Rehome a Dog

If you absolutely must rehome your dog, there are right and wrong ways to go about it. Do not take the easy way out and just abandon your dog at the local shelter. The shelter life can be extremely stressful for dogs and even if your pup is the friendliest, most well-trained dog on the planet he might become sullen and depressed, even frightened of people, after spending a few weeks cooped up in a shelter. If you want to make sure that your dog goes to a good home, you need to find one yourself. Before you start the rehoming process, make sure your dog is spayed or neutered and that he is up to date on vaccinations. Take a few high-quality photos of the dog and create a detailed ad that covers your dog’s positive and negative characteristics. Provide details about why you need to rehome the dog and information about what kind of home would be best for him.

Related: Things To Consider Before Surrendering Your Dog To A Shelter

After creating your ad, email it to everyone you know and ask them to forward it to people they know who might be looking for a dog. Post copies of the ad in local pet stores and veterinary clinics as well as boarding facilities and grooming salons. You can even post the ad online, but proceed with caution – you need to be careful when screening people who show interest to be sure that they will actually provide your dog with a good home. When you start to receive responses, ask the people questions about how they will care for the dog, how much time they have to devote to it, whether they can cover medical costs, and if they have other pets. The answers to these questions will help you to determine whether the person will be a good fit for your dog. Once you’ve narrowed down the options, arrange a meeting with the person and your dog and see how they interact. Make visits to the new family’s home mandatory, ask for references and do some online sleuthing. It’s fairly easy to get a basic overview of a person’s background with a Google search.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to local shelters and foster groups to get their advice about rehoming a dog – they’ve been through this before and may be able to offer resources, information and contacts that can help you.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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