Rehoming an adult dog

Rehoming an adult designer breed dog

One of the most stressful and upsetting decisions to make regarding your pet is the decision to re-home your adult dog should the need arise to do so. Often people find themselves in this heart breaking position after exhausting any other option available to them to keep their dog. The most common reasons to re-home a family dog revolve around a change in circumstances in the owner’s lives such as a move to housing that does not allow them to keep the dog or a move to a different location for work. Re-homing an adult dog is more difficult than finding a suitable home for a puppy or young dog as many adult dogs will be set in the ways that you have moulded them into.

Older dog chewing a branch

If you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation there are a few steps to follow to give your adult dog the best chance of going to the best home available. Fortunately, designer breeds are very popular and it is usually a matter of a choice between homes to go to rather than a lack of interested families.

Avoid using “free” or “free to good home” classified advertising if at all possible. It is more beneficial to ask for a small payment for your dog to avoid attracting animal hoarders and less favourable people who will want to take your dog home just because it is “free”. You can always decline to take payment from the new owners that you choose or donate that money to a charity. If you do use a classified advertisement be sure that the add is well detailed and list everything possible about your dog such as any training they have as well as any negative aspects of your dog’s personality. These negatives may be desirable for you, such as if your dog chases cats out of your garden but would be undesirable for another potential owner who already has cats of their own. This will help to attract people who would be a better fit for your dog. Also stress that your dog is desexed (neutered) if that has been done and it’s advisable to have your dog desexed before you find them a new home if possible.

Be sure to outline that any potential home will be checked with a home visit from you before the dog is allowed to leave. Checking the potential new home will give you a feel for the home, the family and other pets in the home.

If you cannot find a home for your dog yourself or are unable to due to unavoidable circumstances, you can approach a local rescue centre to help advertise your dog on their website. Many rescues will be happy to do this free of charge while the dog is still living in your home, but many will charge you a fee to rehome your dog. Do ask what the fees are up front as some shelters can charge large fees to the owners.

Dogs meeting at the park

Assess people on initial contact carefully and establish the entire household’s commitment to be responsible for your pet for the rest of its life before a rehoming decision is made. Also, if the potential new owners already have a dog, then see how the 2 dogs get along with each other at a neutral area such as a park before taking your dog to the new home.

It’s good practice to write up an adoption agreement that both parties are comfortable with and have the contract of adoption signed and witnessed.

These guidelines will help you to minimise the risk of your dog going to an unsuitable home and doing your best to avoid your adult dog needing to find a new home again in the future.

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