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How to Find a New Home for My Dog: 6 Vet-Reviewed Rehoming Tips

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Woman sitting on the kitchen floor mad on her dog who is sad

How to Find a New Home for My Dog: 6 Vet-Reviewed Rehoming Tips


Dr. Maja Platisa Photo


Dr. Maja Platisa

DVM MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Having to find a new home for a pet dog is a stressful, overwhelming, and heartbreaking experience. Shelters are often overwhelmed, and more than 300,000 dogs may get euthanized from the 3 million dogs that end up in shelters nationwide every year.1 There’s never a guarantee that a dog in a shelter will find a home to call their own. No-kill organizations are often full and underfunded.

So, the most important thing that you can do is find your dog a new home that is safe and happy and where they will be properly cared for. If the new home that you find for your pet is all those things, you can move on with the peace of mind that you’ve done everything to ensure that they will have an amazing and long life ahead.

Here are six tips to help you rehome your dog.

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The 6 Tips for Finding Your Dog a New Home

1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

It can take a while to find the right home for your dog, so give yourself a few weeks at least to conduct your search. Typically, though, it may take as long as 3 months to complete the process of screening potential adopters and finding someone who suits your pup’s specific needs and best interests.

Beagle dog lying down waiting for owner with sad face
Image Credit: N_T, Shutterstock

2. Enlist the Help of Local Organizations and Vets

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t unless absolutely necessary) surrender your dog to the humane society or any other shelter to get their help. Many organizations are more than willing to help people find homes for their furry family members to keep them out of the shelter system.

They can connect you with people who want to adopt a dog that matches the personality, temperament, health needs, and breed parameters that they’re looking for. They may also be able to link you with other organizations that specialize in helping people rehome their pets and finding fosters for in-between care. Certain states, such as Hawaii, manage specific programs to help with these things.

Speak to your veterinarian as well, as they may know of clients wanting to adopt pets, and they can possibly even put an advertisement in their reception area.

3. Tell Family, Friends, and Coworkers

To increase your chances of finding an amazing home for your dog, talk to your friends, family members, and even coworkers about your plight. You may find that someone you personally know is willing and able to take in your dog and give them a fantastic life. Put up fliers in your workplace if you can, and make a point of visiting the neighbors to let them know what you’re trying to do. Ask your family members to pass on the word to those who they think would be good dog parents.

labrador retriever dog lying on the floor looking sad or sick
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

4. Interview and Screen All Prospects Yourself

Don’t just take the word of potential adopters that they can give your furry friend an amazing life—verify those claims for yourself. Taking this step will give you peace of mind, and it will help weed out those who are not honest and can’t be trusted to keep your dog’s best interests in mind once they become the caretaker.

Meet each prospective adopter in person at their home, where you can see exactly where and how your pup would be living. Take the time to meet family members (including kids) and other pets in the household. Make a checklist of qualities, lifestyle habits, and other parameters that are important to you in finding the perfect home for your dog, and use it as a reference when meeting with potential adopters.

5. Be Honest With Potential Adopters

It can be tempting to keep things like the fact that your pup likes to chew on furniture from potential adopters to try to put the best light on them, but doing so can cause problems later. The adopters may not be prepared for such behavior and might not be willing to put up with it or correct it in the long run. Therefore, your dog could end up needing a new home again.

Be honest with potential adopters so they know what they are getting into. Many people are willing to deal with quirks and behavioral issues, but some are not, and it’s best to know up front. It’s also crucial to share all the required information about their health and possible ongoing medications or veterinary requirements. The goal is to find a lifelong home for your dog once they leave your household.

dog with the owner inside the elevator
Image Credit: Alexander_Evgenyevich, Shutterstock

6. Increase Your Pet’s Adoptability

A great way to get people’s attention when trying to rehome your dog is to increase their overall adoptability. Consider investing in a few professional obedience classes to ensure that your dog is ready for the next phase of their life. Treat your dog to a professional grooming session to make sure they’re looking their best. You should also make sure they are spayed or neutered so potential adopters don’t have to worry about unwanted offspring. Your dog should have received all of their required vaccinations and flea and worming treatment as well.

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Are There Things That You Can Do to Keep Your Dog?

There may be a few things that you can do to keep your pet so you don’t have to find them a new home after all. If behavioral issues are the problem, seek out programs in your area that can help, such as free obedience classes. Check with your local humane society and rescue organizations. Speak to your vet as well, as they will be able to provide you with useful advice or may point you toward a canine behaviorist that can help.

If you must move and pets are not allowed in your new place, maybe someone can take in your dog temporarily until you can find another location. Also, check with local organizations to see if they have listings for pet-friendly rentals. You may be able to apply for grants that will pay for any deposits and fees related to moving into a rental with a pet.

If you are having trouble affording the necessities for your pet, you aren’t alone and you are not without help. Various programs highlighted by the United States Humane Society will help pay for things like food, healthcare, and shelter. Consider fundraising on platforms like GoFundMe to create a balanced budget for your pet with the help of those who want to offer you a hand.

owner petting happy dog
Image Credit: Bachkova Natalia, Shutterstock

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Having to rehome a dog is one of the hardest things to go through. However, if it is necessary and there is no other choice, it’s a commendable thing to do compared to other options (taking them to the pound, letting them go stray, etc.). Taking on the responsibility of finding a suitable new home for your dog is a great way to show your love, compassion, and commitment.

Featured Image Credit: Sjale, Shutterstock

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