How To Rehome A Dog (Complete Guide)

Rehoming is finding your dog a new home, a new family that will love and protect them. It’s not about giving up your dog in shelters or rescue. It sounds sad and painful, but life changes dramatically, which leaves you no choice but to rehome them.

How to rehome a dog? In rehoming a dog, various services can help you quickly look for potential new owners, such as local rescue, pet matching communities, or non-profit adoption websites like Rescue Me, Petfinder, Adopt a Pet, etc. 

For online resources, you need to create an appealing profile for your dog that will catch thousands of potential adopters, let adoption websites screen them, and meet with the possible new owner.        

There are numerous ways to rehome your dog so long as you have valid reasons. But make sure that you have exhausted all your means to keep them before you jump into this kind of decision.

Rehoming your dog has an emotional impact on them. Like humans, they can experience mixed feelings and emotions when giving them up to another owner.

The following details are necessary information you need to know about rehoming your dog, as well as tips on what to do when rehoming an aggressive one.

Is It Easy To Rehome A Dog?

Rehoming a dog can be as painful as being left by someone close to you. It’s heartbreaking. 

But if you ask if it’s an easy process, then yes. Rehoming a dog can be easy because many classified sites on the internet will help you find your dog a new home.

Look for those group communities online who are dedicated to helping you find a responsible owner as well.

You may check a professionally managed pet matching community. It may provide you with detailed tips and a checklist on creating a profile for your pet, which will help you find potential adopters.

What makes it more challenging to rehome is letting go of both of your attachments with each other.

Related: How To Sell A Dog On Craigslist

How To Rehome A Dog Fast?

You can look for resources available online that will help you rehome your dog quickly. Check out some known pet matching communities or non-profit pet adoption websites.

It can help you guarantee to find a place for your dog to get a loving home.

The first thing that is essential for you to do is create a profile for your pet. It will give your dog the chance to get seen by millions of people around the globe. Thus, it’ll be easier for you to rehome your pet.

On the counterpart, these pet matching communities will review your applications. They will be the ones who will do the screening process for prospective adopters.

They will also help you meet your dog’s potential adopter in a safe and pressure-free meet up. Once everything is set, you will be provided with a contract indicating your pet ownership’s legal transfer.

What Platforms Or Services You Can Use To Rehome Your Dog?

There are many ways you may opt to choose when rehoming your dog. 

You can look for a private rescue or shelter that will take your dog safely. The only problem with this is their capacity to keep another dog. So chances are, finding a spot can be quite challenging.

You can also place them with a trusted friend or family member willing to adopt.

Aside from local rescue, there are several adoption websites that you can also check into.

Some of these known and leading adoption websites are: Rescue Me, Petfinder, Adopt a Pet, and ASPCA.

Make sure to read its different terms and conditions and their return policy before committing any of them.

Do Dogs Get Depressed When Rehomed?

Just like human beings, rehoming your dogs can have an emotional impact on them. Depression is one of them.

It is common among dogs or other pets if they have lost a caring owner change in their masters or family members.

Dogs that are depressed cannot attend to their surroundings. They may have lost their appetite, been unmotivated to play, lethargic, or sleep at unusual routines.

However, in some cases, dogs do the opposite. When depressed after being rehomed, they may tend to eat more than usual, sleeps excessively, or licks themselves non-stop to the point that it becomes destructive for them.

Nevertheless, your dogs will miss their old owner and may not feel to do much at all in their sadness over leaving.

dogs in shelters

Do Dogs Feel Abandoned When Rehomed?

Since dogs can feel a host of emotions like humans, they feel fear, pain, abandonment, etc.

Domesticated dogs and other pets can feel abandoned when rehomed.

Sometimes, your dog gets confused after being taken from the family or owner they have ever known. These feelings of abandonment can lead to health impacts.

It’s just your dog’s typical reaction a few days after you get them rehomed. Generally, rehoming them can be a stressful situation for your dog.

If your dog grew up in a happy and fun environment, it might find it difficult to adjust to its new home if it does not make them feel the same as it was.

How Does A Dog Feel When Rehomed?

Rehoming can be a traumatic experience for your dog. It may cause feelings of distress, depression, and anxiety.

Research has shown that the dog’s reward or pleasure center of their brain is highly activated once they smell their owners. Forming a close bond with the human owner is primitive to dogs, mostly domesticated ones.

The moment you break this bond with your dog, they may feel depressed. In some worse scenarios, dogs can suffer from severe anxiety problems after rehoming.

The symptoms of dogs’ severe anxiety include barking out of frustration, whining, or searching for their previous owner. There could also be times where dogs may manifest aggressive tendencies when approached by their new owner.

Do Dogs Forget Previous Owners?

Scientifically, dog’s memories do not function the same as humans. However, dogs do not forget their previous owners.

In fact, studies would show that dogs can remember their past owners even if they have been adopted by one or more owners before.

Dogs do not link time to memories. They have an associative memory in which dogs will remember things in relation to their previous experience.

They can recognize similar characteristics from their previous owner. If they have been beaten before, dogs will manifest fear or aggressive tendencies towards their new owners with the same physical features as to their past owner.

There are also anecdotal shreds of evidence that dogs do not forget previous owners even if it has been years already. Dogs can still recognize their past owner even if they are happy and content with their new family.

If the dog came from a happy family before, they would feel excitement once reuniting with their past owner.

How Long Does It Take A Dog To Bond With A New Owner?

After rehoming, dogs’ adjustment may differ depending on their age, history, or condition. It also much depends on how trust and rapport are built.

Like humans, they have different personalities and experiences that can affect how they behave around their new owners.

When rehomed, puppies can bond instantly with their new owner. Usually, 12 weeks and younger have no difficulty in adjusting. As long as the puppy has no negative associations or experiences with its new hope, there’s no reason for them not to get attached right away.

Those who are older dogs and came from a stable family might take them a few days or weeks before getting used to their owners.

It is ideal for giving them time and space in the meantime to make them feel safe. You’ll get to strengthen your bond as time passes by.

Rehoming An Aggressive Dog – What To Do?

Dog aggression can be stressful to handle and deal with for pet owners. It can cause feelings of frustration or guilt because of the conflict it could bring around you and your family as well.

Rehoming an aggressive dog can either be two things. You are afraid that you can’t improve your pet’s aggression problem. Two is that you don’t want to do the work of training your dog to solve its problem.

Here are tips on the things you can do in rehoming your aggressive dog.

1. Consult Animal Professional

You may opt to ask an expert opinion through a Veterinarian or a dog behaviorist.

Your Veterinarian may recommend testing your dog if there is an underlying problem that causes its aggression. It could be that your paw friend is suffering from chronic pain or brain tumors.

On the other hand, a reputable dog analyst can help you assess or determine any modification program for your dogs. They can also recommend drugs that might help your dog calm.

Besides this professional, you may also tap some rescue volunteers who have linkages to the right people who can take your dog.

2. Do Not Initiate Do-It-Yourself Program

If you want to help your dog, it’s a no-no to do it without the supervision or help of dog experts. It will just bring you danger. Thus, aggression begets aggression.

Just teach your dogs to defer you and sit calmly. This will enable them to learn how to relax.

3. Avoid Triggers

Your dog may act aggressively due to some situations they are in. Your dog’s aggression towards the other dogs can be challenging to avoid. The safest thing to do is to bring them for a walk outside when other dogs are not around.

If they scare children, wear your dog a shirt with a universal symbol of a stop to caution them. To keep others from approaching your dog, you may use some color-coded leashes.

It would also be best to invest in a head halter or muzzle. Though using this cannot treat your dog’s aggressiveness, you can at least provide proper control over them.


In summary, no matter how responsible an owner you are, life changes will leave you no choice but to surrender your dog.

Reasons such as its owner’s death or aggressive behavior that pose a danger towards your household can be valid for rehoming your dog. However, no matter how valid your reasons are, still, it’s a heartbreaking and difficult decision to make.

Before coming up with this decision, make sure to weigh all available options, and you exhaust all your means to keep your dog. It’s better this way than to regret it later on.

Only then can you give them the chance to be protected, loved, and cared for by their new owners.

Looking for the best adopters can be challenging, especially if your dog has behavior problems. Options such as handing them over to a shelter or rescue can be one. If you have a trusted family or friend who can adopt your dog would be great. 

Anyway, rehoming is both hard for the owner and the dog. It can impact your dog’s emotional and physical state, which may lead to health issues if not given proper attention.

But rest assured that if they are in good hands, your dog will be able to adjust and be familiar with its new family members. Just give your dog ample time to feel safe and develop its trust.


Image credits – Canva

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