7 horrible mistakes you’re making when you rehome your dog

In the world of animal rescue, rehoming is a growing trend and one that seeks to help keep unwanted animals from arriving at the local animal shelter in the first place.  The basic idea is that instead of surrendering your animal to your local animal shelter, you use your resources to “rehome” or find your furry family member a new home.  This is a great concept to consider and follow but it is also wrought with pitfalls and many people make the same common mistakes.  Here’s 7 mistakes that you should avoid when you rehome your dog.

Mistake 1: Not identifying the root problem –

When you have to rehome your dog, there is always a backstory and a reason for you to be pursuing the rehoming.  It’s very unlikely that you woke up one day and said, “Yeah, let’s find buster a new home today.”  Typically there was some event or series of events that caused you to come to this conclusion.  Our intent is not to judge, but rather to ask you to focus on the circumstances that are leading you down this path to determine if the root problem can be resolved.  Maybe your favorite pooch has behavioral problems; maybe your furry friend can’t get along with the other residents (dogs or cats or even humans) in your household;  maybe financially you cannot afford to care for them how you would like to.  When you start with the root cause analysis, you might be surprised to learn that there are many resources available to help you keep your dog in your home rather than giving them up in the first place.

Mistake 2: Waiting till the last minute –

last minute

Once you’ve identified the root cause of the problem, you should start to implement your plan of action.  Rehoming your dog is not like surrendering your dog to the local animal shelter. It takes time and perseverance and patience.  If you wait until the last possible minute to rehome your dog you could find yourself in a more compromising position where you have to make rapid decisions that are not in the best interest of your dog or you.  If you’ve tried to find resources to support you in resolving the problems leading up to the need to rehome, then start to lay out your marketing and socialization plan for how you’re going to find that perfect new home for your pup.  This does not mean that you have to give him up to the first person that responds.  It just means that you’re starting the process before circumstances force your hand.

Mistake 3: Using Craigslist –

Let’s be clear.  We have nothing against Craigslist in general.  But when it comes to rehoming your dog, Craigslist is unfortunately not your friend.  While Craigslist might be good for finding someone to take that old washer and dryer off your hands, it’s not the place to find a permanent, loving, forever home for your family member.  After all, you do still want the best for your dog don’t you?  There are many other alternatives more focused on rehoming than Craigslist and you’ll likely have a much better experience as well.  Try rehome.adoptapet.com to find your next forever home for your dog.  They are the leading charitable organization in the U.S. focused on helping animals find loving homes both from shelters and through innovative programs like rehoming.  They’ll provide you the education, tips and platform that will bring a better experience than Craigslist.

Mistake 4: NOT contacting your local animal shelter –

#3 on our list of mistakes that you can avoid is NOT reaching out to your local animal shelter.  “Whoa,” you might be thinking.  “You just said not to surrender my dog to the local animal shelter.  What gives?”  When you say “I need to rehome my dog” you don’t need to eliminate the resources that are already in your community.  Your local animal shelter likely has resources to help you with things like behavior problems, food and medical supplies and even low-cost spay and neuter.  When you call them and tell them that you really want to keep your dog they’ll be very glad to help you with the resources you need.  And if you still decide you need to rehome your dog they’ll help raise awareness to other potential adopters that might be a good fit for your dog.  Their goal is helping animals so ask for some help. You’ll be glad you did.

Mistake 5: NOT Putting the dog first –

I love your dogWhen it comes to rehoming, remember that this is not about you, it’s about your dog.  Putting your dog’s needs first when you need to rehome is something people often overlook.  They’re thinking about how to solve their problems and not thinking always about what the dog needs.  Maybe you need to rehome your dog because she has too much energy and you live in an area where she cannot run and get lots of exercise.  Or maybe you need to rehome your dog because he likes to bark at passing cars and your apartment neighbors have complained to the landlord.  Think about what the needs are for your dog and try and be up front when you’re reaching out to find him the next home.  Would your dog benefit from a house with a backyard?  What kind of owners would work best for your dog?  People that like to exercise?  Or maybe an older couple that enjoys a chill dog.  Put yourself in the eyes and mind of your dog and help to choose a new home that fits their needs.

Mistake 6: Constraining your thinking –

Think differentOften times when someone says I need to rehome my dog, they immediately think that their options are limited.  They figure they can surrender the dog at a local animal shelter, or they can call on their friends and family to find Fido a new home.  They often don’t think about the thousands of organizations that exist called animal rescues.  Animal Rescues come in all shapes and sizes.  From rescues focused on particular breeds, to those focused on dogs with special needs, to those quirky rescues like the ones that only rescue “fluffy dogs.”  Within 50 miles of your home zip code there are likely dozens of animal rescues in addition to the local animal shelters that can serve as resources and potential promotors for your dog.  Many will list them on their site to help you get inquiries.  You can use the Doobert organization resources map to find a nearby rescue and give them a shout.

Mistake 7: Limiting your radius –

Of course being an animal rescue transport organization we would be remiss if we did not mention that animal rescue transport is also an option when it comes to rehoming your dog.  You might find an organization or a person that doesn’t live just down the block from you that would be a perfect forever home for your pup.  This is where rescue relay transport and other animal rescue transport options can come into play to help.  You’ll need to first find an animal rescue either in your area, or in the area where you’re sending the animal, as they will need to “sponsor” the transport to get volunteers to sign-up to help.  Not all animal rescue organizations will want to work with you either so be patient, and be upfront with them that you’re rehoming your dog and explain how you found the perfect home.

Rehoming can be a great resource if you avoid the common mistakes.  Which ones did we miss?

Are you making these rehoming mistakes? (Image - sad brown dog)

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