A Heartbreaking Decision - Advice for Rehoming Your Dog
Whilst we always advocate doing your research on a breed and thinking about how a dog will fit into your lifestyle for the next 15 years, sometimes peoples' circumstances do change. If you’ve come to the heartbreaking point where you can’t give your dog the time and love he or she needs, please read the below advice to ensure you find them the best home possible. We also suggest going to organisations such as the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Kennel Club for more information about how to rehome your pet.
Ensure your pooch is neutered, microchipped and that you have a copy of their medical history.
In order to guarantee your pooch the very best forever home, it’s really important that you get these done. Responsible owners will insist on things like microchipping and medical history, and getting your dog neutered will ensure puppy farmers, who dangerously over-breed dogs in awful conditions, will not contact you.
Write an honest description of your dog.
It’s really important that your pooch’s new forever home has the most brutally honest depiction of your canine. Does your dog get along with cats/children/other dogs? Do they have any bad habits such as chewing or excessive barking? How much exercise do they need? Do they have any recurring health problems? Are they nervous/confident in particular situations? These are just a few of the details you need to include in the account you write about your four-legged friend. Although you may want to highlight your pooch’s best features, including all the information you can will ensure your dog goes to the right sort of home and remain there for the rest of it’s life.
Ask Around Via Family, Friends etc.
It’s always better if you know the home that your dog will go to, or at least that they can be vouched for by a trusted source. For this reason, asking family and friends whether they know anyone currently looking to adopt a dog is highly recommended.
Call Your Local Shelter
Shelters are commonly overflowing with pets and the kennels can be a very distressing place for your dog. However, rescues may be able to feature your dog on their social pages and website whilst it remains in your care. Shelters may also visit any potential forever homes on your behalf and ensure it is suitable for your dog.
Advertise In Reputable, Local Spaces
If asking family and friends doesn’t work, the next logical step is to see if anyone locally would be able to give your pooch a loving home. However, it’s really important that wherever you choose to advertise will get as many responsible dog lovers’ eyes on it as possible, both on-line and off-line. Off-line you may want to consider putting up an ad in your local vets, rather than your local corner shop. On-line, placing an ad on Dogs and Puppies as opposed to Gumtree will mean your advert has a more relevant audience. It’s important to include as much information about your dog as possible in the advert and pictures of your dog in different situations. In general, advertising your dog as ‘Free To a Good Home’ is not recommended even though this may be the case, as it can attract the unwanted attention of dog fighters or puppy farmers. You may want to consider placing a price on the advert but then including all of the dog’s belongings in that price - that way you will get more serious respondents to your ad.
Particularly with online advertising, it is absolutely vitally important that you take the below steps to ensure your dog does not end up in the care of dog fighters, puppy farmers or a family who are simply not ready for a dog.
VISIT YOUR DOG’S POTENTIAL FOREVER HOME
We can't emphasise how important this is - taking the above steps does not protect you from being contacted by dubious respondents. Rehoming your dog to just anyone without asking any questions can result in your pup sustaining horrific injuries at the hands of dog fighters, or being neglected and then rehomed again by people who haven’t considered the reality of owning a dog. When someone contacts you regarding your dog, it is vital that you insist on visiting their home with your dog and meeting them in person, even if they live far away. People who seriously want to give your dog a loving and responsible new home will not mind you visiting once or even several times. Ask questions about them, their family, their lifestyle and why they think they could give your dog a good home. Ask if they have owned a dog before, what breed it was and how long they had it for. A respondent who doesn’t want you to visit their house or give you any information about themselves is a massive red flag, and must be avoided. When visiting your dog’s potential new home you need to be satisfied your dog will be exercised and cared for properly, as well as that they will be loved by a family you get a good feeling about!
Make Absolutely Sure There is No Way You Can Keep Your Dog
Ask yourself why you are rehoming your dog. If the problem lies in behavioural issues you may want to consider getting in touch with a canine behaviourist, as very often issues like this can be identified and resolved quite easily with just a bit of patience. If you are rehoming your dog because you feel you can’t spend enough time with it during week days you may want to consider a dog walker who can pop in during the day and give your dog some love and a long walk. Very often this will be enough to keep your dog happy (although it depends on your dog’s needs), so long as you are making time for them in the mornings, evenings and weekends. Sites such as Borrow My Doggy can also put you in touch with people looking to spend time with a canine companion, which can benefit you, your pooch and them!
Following our advice may mean it takes a bit longer to find a new home for your pooch, but you will see your dog off to their new, loving family knowing you did the absolutely best for them. You will guarantee them a lifetime of love and will be safe in the knowledge that they will make their new family smile every day!