Rehoming Your Dog | Last Resort

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.

rehoming your dog, last resort
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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.

adorable 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.

rehomed dog

Best choice

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.

Be honest

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.

dog need new home

Be sure

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.

home dog

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.


14 thoughts on “Rehoming Your Dog | Last Resort”

  1. I can only imagine the emotional distress a dog can go through after being taken from one home to another. I do not think it is a good idea to give someone a dog as a present, especially if they have not directly asked for it. It is a huge burden to take care of a dog and assuming that everyone will and is capable is a huge mistake. Honesty as you have said, is also something that should not be taken lightly. No need to lie and have a family mistreat the dog because they think the dog is a bad one yet that is just their temperament. Those are great tips on finding a good home for the dog. Great article!

    • Hi Carol,

      I am so glad that you enjoyed reading my article and found some helpful tips in there. Sometimes we just need to try to understand the impact from both sides of the situation and hope that we can all learn something.

      Dogs are often treated like possessions instead of family and I think this can be a reason why it is easier for some people to give up on their dog.  Getting a dog is a huge commitment that I am just hoping to try to get people to just stop and think before jumping into.

      Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate it.


  2. I just got home from university and my dad had just made a big mistake in rehoming some 2 puppies and 1 was bitten to death by the dogs that were already there and the other one has a broken back. It is really terrible and I see that this issue of rehoming a dog should be taken seriously as it has real impact on your animal friend. I have learnt quite a lot and hope to do it better next time and make sure I won’t give away a dog or sell it to a home where there are already some.other dogs there it doesn’t end well.

    • Hi Donny,

      Yes the impact of rehoming a dog is always so difficult for the dog.  They have no idea what is going on and I believe end up thinking that they have done something wrong.

      I appreciate that you realize the impact and all we can ask is that we learn from it.  Thank you so much for reading my post and getting a better understanding of this difficult topic.


  3. I hate the tradition of giving puppies as a Christmas gift. It is so inconsiderate. Whoever that gave it might have good intentions but they just do not think of the consequences and I hate to see the puppies end up at the shelters and got put down. I blame the hollywood movies for this tradition. My friend got his dog (Bambi) from his neighbor as well. The old man came to him and told him that his son cannot take care of the dog anymore and told my friend that if he is not going to take Bambi then he will have to take Bambi to the shelter. It was Bambi lucky days because since that day Bambi has been spoiled by many people especially me lol. Bambi is my dog (Shiro) best friend. However, I am also aware that not every dog will be as lucky as Bambi. 

    I think we all have to think it first then be sure to get our new best friend. This best friend will be a part of your family so you have to treat it like a human.

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      Yes we all need to stop and think before we jump into getting a dog.  Treating that dog like family and not just a possession is something I get very frustrated with.  People think you can just decide one day that you don’t want the dog anymore.

      It sounds like Bambi is very lucky to have Shiro as a best friend.  Shiro has a great mom.

      I also agree that giving pets as gifts, is never a good idea.

      Thank you so much for your comments.


  4. A dog is for life. I find it not only tragic but also infuriating when people decide to get rid of their dog. Most reasons for doing that do not make sense, with the exceptions being disease and death. I have rescued dogs and cats for 20 years and I have seen many “rehomed” ones suffer or die because their previous owners did not do what you recommended. Just so much suffering … It breaks my heart. More people should read your post. It’s important to share.

    • Hello Christine,

      Your response and my response to this topic are one in the same.  It really is the most infuriating situation dog rehoming.

      I love that you have spent 20 years rescuing and helping rehome dogs. You having such passion for helping animals is such an amazing gift, so thank you for that.

      I also hope more people read this information and it gets out there. Thank you for your wonderful comments.


  5. You really do have a rich content here. I thought no one talks about this but you just did. I really appreciate it. I also believe that we get dogs because of companionship. I don’t really see any reason why I should rehome my dog. I choose to get it in the first place, so now that we have bonded it will be wrong on my part to just send the dog away..just like that. Like you said, if one really needs to, then I should look out for a suitable home for that dog. Everyone with a dog should really see this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Temidayo,

      Your comments on my post, are wonderful, so thank you very much.  I really love how you talk about getting a dog and the reason why we get dogs….companionship.  To me it really is the most wonderful thing about having a dog.

      I have always found adding a dog to your family, just makes everything that much better.  Dogs are the best friends we could ask for.

      Thank you so much.


  6. I couldn’t help but read every last word when I came across your article. It is heartbreaking what some of these dogs have to go through. Made worse knowing how unconditional a dogs love can be.

    We have two rescue dogs, both Huskys and both a huge part of our family. The second one, it has to be said, can be a handful, certainly when it comes to other dogs. Wonderful with people, very bad mannered with dogs. That’s just her and we deal with it. There has never been any question of rehoming her, she is who she is and we love her anyway.

    Having dealt with rescue organisations we are well aware of the trauma the dogs can go through. Finding new homes is not just about first come, first served. All prospective owners are checked out, in their home by independent ‘home-checkers’ to make sure they are up to it. Like you said, providing a home for a dog should be considered a lifelong commitment and should not be on a whim.

    • Hi,

      It is very exciting to hear that you have 2 rescue dogs.  The funny thing I learnt about owning 2 dogs at once is just how different they are and one is always a little more work then the other.

      I really loved your comment about finding new homes for dogs and it not being first come first serve.  You are so right!

      Thank you for such an interactive reply to my post.  I appreciate it.


  7. I loved your topic. Re-homing your dog should be the very last resort for anyone. I do not think people realize how much it affects a dog when they just drop them off at a shelter. These poor pups will sometimes just sit and cry because they miss their family. They sometimes do not get homes for a long times and they live in a cage at the shelter. That makes ME cry. I wish you would have said more about what this does to your dog when you decide you no longer want them. They have feelings just like humans do. They suffer from separation anxiety. They can become withdrawn. Sometimes they refuse to eat. They will sometimes lay at watch the door just waiting for their family to come back and get them. I have seen real tears in the eyes of dogs who have been left behind by their family. I think perhaps if people knew this before they got a dog, it may help them in making a better decision.

    I think when you make a decision to get a dog, you should ask yourself the same questions you would ask yourself if you were adopting a child. This should be a permanent decision. Yes there are some sad situations when a dog might need rehomed but that should be only when it has to do with health of the parent. We have become a nation where everything is disposable. People leave their spouses every day. People are let go from jobs they have had for 20 years. We just seem to throw away people at times, so throwing away a dog does not seem like a big deal. I would like to see our values change to where every living thing could be valued.

    Your website overall is very nicely done. 

    • Hello,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments on my post.  Writing this article was a tough one for me, because I find the topic very difficult to understand.

      I still wanted to write, to help spread the word to please try not to rehome your dog, but also wanted to make sure I was able to convey that sometimes we just don’t have control over the direction our lives take.  Mostly just try to tell both sides of the story. 

      That is what information is all about, so glad that you found it a good topic.  


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