I just want to start this post by saying that rehoming your dog should be the absolute last resort. We all know that everyone loves a puppy. They are so cute and cuddly, you just want to hold them and smooch them all over. They smell great and literally bring joy to everyone that sees them.
Many people give puppies as Xmas presents to unsuspecting family members or friends. The big problem with giving a puppy as a gift, is that at the time, they are super excited to get the puppy in the short term.
Whether the puppy was given as a gift or someone thinks they are ready for a puppy, sometimes it is just to much for them to handle. As time passes the realization of just how much work that dog is going to be becomes very clear.
Unfortunately, when people realize they can’t handle the dog and want to get rid of it, they try to sell that dog to someone else. We call this rehoming a dog.
Buying a rehomed dog, is tragically becoming a huge problem.
Why is it tragic
The reason that I call rehoming a dog, a tragedy, is very simple. When you first get that puppy, you smother that dog in love and attention. The puppy starts to understand that this is going to be the way they are treated everyday.
They blend into your family as the new family member. Finding their spots to sleep in your house and going outside to do their business in your backyard. A routine and comfort level starts to develop with the dog.
Then out of nowhere you decide that you don’t want your dog anymore and put up an ad on internet to try to sell your dog.
Your poor dog is unaware of what is happening and for them all of a sudden they are ripped away from everything they have ever known. It really just breaks my heart to think about it.
I believe that when you decide to take on the decision to get a dog you do that for their entire life. This is not a fleeting decision that can be taken lightly.
One of the most frustrating things I see when I look at a dog that is being rehomed, is when a couple gets a dog and a few years later the kids come into the picture. Many times that means that the dog has become the odd man out. For the dog, it just isn’t fair. No matter what the circumstances are, your dog is the victim in this scenario, so make sure you remember that.
Why sometimes it is understandable
Now I do understand that there are times and things that happen in our lives that just can’t be helped. Unexpected events can change our life at any moment. Illness , death and even our financial situation can effectively change our ability to care for a dog. Even things, like moving to a new place, that doesn’t allow a dog at all, and have absolutely no other choice in your living situation.
Obviously I think that we all go into the decision to get a dog with our purest hearts, thinking we can do this forever. The reality is that isn’t always possible.
When our life has a different plan for us, sometimes that involves the difficult realization that this dog we have we are no longer capable of caring for. It is not fair to the animal to not be in a position to ensure they are given their best life.
Having to decide to find a different home for your dog, is not a decision that can one should take lightly. This decision, will absolutely influence the rest of your dogs life and what kind of life they have.
Many people make the decision to drop their dogs off at the local dog shelter and make it the shelter’s responsibility to find them a new home. While other families choose to do it on their own by way of rehoming.
Rehoming your dog is at least a way to give your dog a new home. A chance to have a new family that loves and commits themselves to taking the best care of them.
I personally, if put in this situation, I would prefer to pick the family myself , meet them to ensure that they have a good connection with the dog. If not, I wouldn’t feel good about my decision to let them take the dog. Even though you can’t keep your dog, it is still your responsibility to really try to pick a good home that fits. Not just the first home presented to you.
You don’t want to end up with your dog going to a home that had some red flags when you met them, but you just needed to rehome your dog, so you ignored them. Generally you can get a feel from people and how they are reacting to the dog. The inner voice we all have, make sure to lead with that.
I would also make sure that I have asked everyone I know, whether they are looking for a new dog. That way you could easily tell them all about the dog, and you know where and who is taking over raising your dog.
On the other side of this idea of how to pick your dogs new family, make sure to be honest. Be completely honest when you are describing and talking about your dog.
Telling them all about your dogs temperament, habits (good or bad), characteristics around other dogs or people. Making sure that you tell them the activities they like to do and what those physical requirements are that your dog absolutely needs.
How many times a week do they need to go for a walk. Have they had any health issues, allergies or important things that the next owners will need to know. Make sure to include any food issues or things that they don’t like. Even mention that what kind of diet you have them on.
Does your dog need to have a big yard? How are they with other dogs, cats or kids. These characteristics are important things about your dog that anyone serious about taking them will need to know.
Include all your dogs personal items like kennel, food bowls, favourite toys, favourite blankets or snuggy. Include an old t-shirt or article that has your scent on it. That may help them settle the dog down for the first night when they get them to their new home.
Although I find this road a difficult situation, in my own life, there would be no way I would ever give up caring for my dogs myself. I would have moved heaven and earth for my boys, luckily my life didn’t take me down a road that didn’t include my dogs.
They were always a huge part of what defined my family.
If you are ever in this situation, please do your very best to find them a great home. Your dog deserves the best life that you promised them why you rescued them or bought them.
Do your home work when rehoming your dog. Make sure that when you do your ad, that you make sure to include great pics of your dog that show them in their current life. Show your dog happy and playful in hopes that someone will fall in love with them just like you did when you got them.
When doing your ad, make sure to price your dog accordingly. Make it expensive enough that only someone that is seriously looking to get a dog will want to look. Going with a low price, can bring out the crazies if you know what I mean.
People that are less likely to be equipped to handle a dogs needs including unexpected Vet costs may jump at the idea of getting a free dog or a dog that is very inexpensive.
Pricing your dog properly will ensure you get the best candidates for your dog to give them the best chance to settle in with a new family.
I do understand that emergency situations with health or illness can come up unexpectedly, so shopping for a new home for your dog, may not be an option. I think it would be a better idea to give your dog to a shelter in your area, then give your dog away for nothing. At least getting a dog from a shelter requires people to fill out an application and they are not automatically getting your dog.
I always say that getting a dog is a life decision for you and for your dog. When and if you are serious about getting a dog and you are reading this, please try to look ahead a bit. Where do you see yourself in 5 years or 10 years. In that picture you have in your mind, does a dog fit into that life.
if the answer is no then don’t get a dog or accept a dog. You just aren’t ready.
DO YOUR VERY BEST!