It’s hard to imagine a dog owner who would adopt a pet without wanting to keep him or her. Most people get a dog and want it around for as long as possible, spending time and money to ensure that their dogs have happy and healthy lives. Unfortunately, though, this can’t always be the case.
In some situations, it does make sense for a family and their dog to part ways. Though it’s tough to admit, rehoming may be the option that works best for all involved. We’re here to make sure that you have the information you need to determine if you’ve reached that point and what to do once you get there.
How To Know if it is Time To Rehome Your Pet
Before you start to seriously think about dog rehoming, you’ll need to figure out if you are in a position where doing so actually makes sense. The unfortunate truth is that this is one of those personal choices that no one can make for you and it’s one that you’ll need to think about deeply before you really look into dog rehoming.
The truth is that rehoming any dog is tough and that even thinking about doing so can provoke quite a bit of guilt. Rehoming isn’t something that the dog training books prepare you for, after all, and it’s normal to feel like you’re a bad person for thinking about removing the dog from your home. In truth, though, this is a situation in which you may very well be making the best choice for all involved if pet rehoming is actually a necessity.
Why Do People Rehome Dogs?
There are almost as many reasons for giving up a dog as there are dogs that are given up. If you look at the most common reasons, though, you’ll find that most people tend to rehome their dogs because there are some kinds of behavioral issues involved.
Difficulty with training aggressive dogs is a big reason, of course, but so too is being too nervous or timid. Some dogs might be given up because they are hard to housebreak or they tend to get too rambunctious for the people living in the house.
Of course, it’s not always the dog that’s responsible for the need to rehome. Some people have to give up their dogs because their housing situations have changed or because they are no longer healthy enough to take care of a dog. Some people even rehome their dogs because they can no longer afford the cost of giving their dogs the care they need.
In short, giving up a dog is a decision that’s often based as much on personal need as dog behavior, and there’s never a definitive answer about when you have to give up a dog.
What to Ask Yourself About Dog Rehoming
There are a number of questions that you should ask yourself about rehoming your dog, some of which are more important than others. The big question, though, is why. Why do you think your dog needs to be rehomed? What issues are making it difficult for you to live with your dog?
Once you can answer those questions, you should take a closer look at your relationship with your dog. Have you actually tried to fix the problem? Is there anything else you can do? If so, are you able and willing to take those steps?
The answers to each of these questions will help you to figure out if it’s really time to rehome your dog or if there’s still work you can do to keep him or her at home.
Options for Rehoming a Dog
If you’ve made the decision to rehome your dog, it’s a good idea to figure out what to do next. You might have packed away all of your dog’s toys, but you may not know where to go next. Fortunately, there are some options that will allow you to figure out a way to find a new home for your dog while maximizing his or her chances to find a new family.
Breeders, Shelters, and Rescues
If you adopted your dog from a shelter or breeder, you might want to check your contract closely. Many shelters and rescues actually require that you bring the animal back to them if you can’t take care of them yourself, giving you an easier option when it comes to pet rehoming. This won’t work for dogs who didn’t come from a reputable dog breeder, of course, but it is the first option that you should check.
Talk to Friends and Family
The next step might be to look at the people around you. You may have friends or family members who are just a better match for your pet than you, and you’ll already know that your pet is going to a good place if you can bring them to the home of someone you trust.
This particular option does include wider network circles as well, though you’ll never quite get the level of safety that you’ll get when you are able to vet where your pet is going. If you take your dog to a trainer or a vet, for example, you might want to ask these professionals if they know anyone who is looking for a dog with a temperament like your pet’s. You may also want to ask around at work or in other community organizations, but try to do at least a little bit of work to ensure that your pet is going somewhere where he or she will be kept safe and happy.
Surrender Your Dog
This one hurts, if only because this is the type of rehoming that will make you feel like you really have abandoned your pet. You can and should consider taking your dog to a shelter or rescue if you can’t find someone close who is able to adopt him or her from you because these are the places where your dog will have the best chance to find a new family.
Does this mean that you should take your dog to just any shelter? Of course not! You should take the time to locate a good shelter and figure out if it’s a good fit for your dog. Most pet owners are going to feel more comfortable with taking their dogs to a no-kill shelter, but do your best to make sure that any shelter to which you bring your pet is going to give him or her an excellent quality of life.
The Euthanasia Option
This is by far the worst option, yet it’s also one that might be the only humane choice. If your dog has extreme health or behavioral problems, you may have no choice but to euthanize him or her. If you have an aggressive dog that has a history of biting, for example, euthanasia may actually be your only choice.
So, when is euthanasia actually the right option? It’s usually right when there is no reasonable way that you could expect someone else to adopt your dog. Dogs who have extreme health problems that require thousands of dollars of care are unlikely to be adopted, as are dogs with extreme behavioral issues that pet owners or their property in danger. This isn’t to say that you should immediately put any dog who has a behavior or health problem to sleep, but rather that you should take the time to talk to shelters about what your realistic options will be for your dog.
Making the Right Choice for Your Pet
Unfortunately, there’s no right answer when it comes to rehoming. You should certainly make sure to give this topic a great deal of thought before you find a new home for your dog and you should do some research to figure out which kind of rehoming option is the right fit for you and your dog, but you’ll eventually be forced to make this choice on your own. There may well come a time when all of the hard work you do won’t pay off and you have to rehome your pet, but you owe it to yourself to know that you’ve made an informed decision if you have to undertake this action.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I find a good home for my dog?
The best way to find a good home for your dog is to do some research. Start by thinking about why your home isn’t the right place for your dog. Is it a problem of time, energy, or behavior? If so, what kind of person do you think will be able to solve those problems? Once you figure that out, start thinking about family and friends who might have those qualities. If you can’t find anyone who fits those criteria, ask those around you to think of homes that might be a good fit for your dog.
2. Do dogs get depressed when rehomed?
No, not all dogs get depressed when they are rehomed. In fact, some dogs are much happier when they go to a new home. Will your dog miss you when he or she is rehomed? Probably, at least at first. Most dogs do move on eventually, though, just as humans move on. In some cases rehoming your dog will be the best move to help him or her become happier and live the life that he or she was meant to live.
3. How do I give up my dog?
There are several different ways to rehome a dog. You can start by looking at your contract with a breeder or shelter – you might be required by your contract to bring him or her back to them in some cases. If that doesn’t work, try to talk to a friend or family member who might be willing to take them. From there, you’ll want to look into local pet rescues and shelters to find out if you will be able to surrender your dog there and what steps you’ll have to take to formally give up your pet.
4. How much do you pay to rehome a dog?
This largely depends on where and how you choose to rehome your dog. If you’re giving your dog to another person, there’s probably not going to be a cost involved at all. Shelters have a variety of different costs, ranging from those that will let you surrender a dog for free to those who charge high fees except in specific circumstances. Rescues are more likely to take certain breeds of dogs without a fee, so it might be worth performing a dog DNA test if you don’t have any other supporting documentation. Keep in mind that many rescues will require at least some donation to take a healthy pet out of his or her home.