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How to Rehome a Dog: 7 Critical Steps

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

a sad dog hugging a man

Rehoming a dog has to be one of the most heartbreaking experiences that anyone can go through. But some of us are forced to due to unforeseen circumstances, or due to situations that are beyond our control.

It could be because the animal fell ill, and you no longer have the finances to cater to the medical bills. Or maybe you’ve finally climbed to the top of that corporate ladder, but your new office is stationed at a location that’s not dog friendly.

Regardless, if you’ve found yourself in that predicament, and you’re wondering where to start, we’re here to help. With the help of this article, you’ll know the appropriate steps to follow to ensure your dog ends up in a good home.

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The 7 Steps How to Rehome a Dog

1. Create a Profile

Creating a profile is the most critical step. You have to add pictures and all the information that will prove to your potential adopters that you’re dedicated to the process, and give them as much info as possible about the dog.

Woman on computer doing research
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

2. Review the Applications

If the site is the kind that’s being visited by millions of pet lovers every month, and your pet profile is on point, you should receive plenty of applications. And it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re the only one sorting them out. That’s why we often encourage pet parents to have a team of helping hands that understands the risks of rehoming a dog with the wrong family.

3. Meet Your Prospects

You’ll have to conduct in-person interviews, just to get a feel of who they are. Prepare questions beforehand to make sure all your bases are covered.

Some of the questions that we recommend asking are:
  • Do you have other pets?
  • Financially, are you stable enough to cater to the needs of a dog?
  • Do you believe in positive or negative reinforcement methods of training?
  • Do you have a vet in mind?
  • Have you ever owned a dog before?

woman sitting on grass and talking with friend while spending time with dog in the park
Image Credit: garetsworkshop, Shutterstock

4. Pay Them a Visit

It’s a good idea to go and visit the potential new home, seeing as your prime intention is to make sure your dog finally settles in a home that offers safety and security. In addition to those two, the accommodation should also be clean.

A messy, cluttered home should not be regarded as suitable. Ask yourself—if they don’t keep their personal space clean, will they find time to look after the dog?

5. Organize a Dry Run

Thinking that the family is a great fit, is one thing. But actually being a great fit, is a different thing. What if the two get along swimmingly, but the dog’s frequent barks are too much for the potential family to handle? Or what if the adopter was hoping to find a couch potato, but your dog is too energetic?

There’s also another scenario whereby their pets don’t get along with the new adoptee in the family, hence creating a hostile environment that could be detrimental to your dog’s mental health.

You should give them the dog for a weekend or two, just to see how they both interact. Don’t commit to a permanent situation beforehand because there’s still a chance that the relationship might not work.

Side Note: To make the adjustment easier for both parties, don’t forget to bring the dog’s favorite toys. Give them everything that the dog finds valuable and share any medical information that they might need. If the dog’s allergic to something, let them know.

young woman plays with an animal with her dog on the grass in the park outside
Image Credit: ShotPrime Studio, Shutterstock

6. Inquire About Future Involvement

Rehoming your dog doesn’t mean that you need to cut all ties. Choose a family that will be open to the idea of you being part of the dog’s life, even if it means visiting occasionally.

But just know that they have the right to say no should they feel like your presence is making it difficult for the dog to settle.

7. Ask for a Rehoming Fee

Asking for a fee may make the situation feel awkward, as it will seem like you’re looking to profit from the departure. However, it’s one of the ways that you can gauge how serious the family is about adopting a dog.

If they are ready to invest in him/her, they are willing to do whatever it takes to add a new member to the family.

man pulling out money out of wallet
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

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How Do I Find a Potential Family for My Dog?

Professional Pet Matching Community

There’s a community of dog owners out there who have dedicated their lives to making sure that every dog gets a suitable home.

These organizations are often nonprofit entities, meaning anything earned through their activities usually goes back into their accounts to fund their mission. They’ll show you how to create an ideal pet profile that can be used to find potential adopters who are willing and ready to adopt your furry friend.

They’ll also be helpful when the time comes to comb through the applications and find potential suitors.

Speak to Your Vet

If your vet has a good reputation there’s a very high probability that they have a long list of clients. And one or two of those clients might be looking to add a dog to their family. You could ask them to ask around or post flyers in their office.

Contact an Animal Shelter

We know it sounds weird asking an animal shelter if they’ve heard of anybody looking for a dog, but it’s worth a shot. Maybe they got a visit from somebody who wanted to adopt a breed that wasn’t in the shelter—the exact breed that you’re now looking to rehome.

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Rehoming your dog won’t be an easy process, seeing as a lot of emotions and resources will be involved. You’ll constantly have doubts along the way, but if you stick to the script, finding the perfect family won’t be a problem. Follow our tips and the process should hopefully go as smoothly as possible.

Featured Image Credit: Zen Chung, Pexels

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