Rehoming your dog is a painful decision to make. Whether they’ve been with you for a few months or a few years, there can be instances when it may be necessary and appropriate to find a new home for your pet. While rehoming can be an emotionally trying thing to do, it can sometimes be best for both you and your dog.
I usually advocate for finding ways to make it work with an owner and their dog. After all, our dogs are family. However, I recently came across a post in the forums of an owner who is having a problem with severe aggression between two of his dogs. The dogs get along most of the time, however they fight over food and toys. According to the owner, the dogs are fed separately, and they’re monitored with toys. He’s tried all the training methods and done everything he can possibly think of to deal with the situation. The problem is that fights still occasionally break out, and there is a 4 year old child in the house. That’s why I decided a post on when rehoming your dog is appropriate was in order.
Related: How to Tell if Your Dogs Are Playing or Fighting
When is Rehoming Appropriate
In all my years of working at the vet, I only met one or two owners who seemed that they could have taken their dogs or left them. In all other cases, our clients’ dogs were like family, so when the home environment becomes such that rehoming is on the table, it’s a terrible thing to have to consider. You absolutely need to know you’re doing the right thing for your pet and for your family, otherwise, both you and your dog may not have the outcome you’re looking for.
So when is rehoming your dog something that you should seriously consider?
Your Dog is Unhappy
This most often occurs when a family adopts a dog that doesn’t fit into their lifestyle. For example, a dog that craves constant companionship isn’t going to do well in a home where the family is always on the go. Or maybe a family with small children adopted a dog who is on the high strung side and is afraid of the noise and activity of children. Sometimes, we adopt dogs that appear to fit into our family, but later we find out that it just isn’t working. Rather than making the dog miserable, it might be time to look for a home that he’ll be happy with.
Your Dog is Aggressive
Whether its aggression towards people in the home or another dog in the home, aggression is something that should always be taken seriously. This is closely related to the scenario of a dog not fitting into a family’s lifestyle. For example, some dogs don’t do well in multiple pet homes. They may be great with people but constantly ready to fight with another animal. Or you may have a dog that just can’t put up with the tail pulling, yelling, and general chaos of small children. Sometimes, those dogs will nip at the kids. In any scenario involving dog aggression with a clear cause but that can’t be resolved, rehoming is absolutely something to consider.
The Owner Dies
If a family member dies, and their dog becomes yours by default, you’ll need to determine if the dog fits into your family. If your life isn’t set up to give you the ability to give the dog proper attention and care, you’ll want to start looking for a new forever home for the pooch.
Rehoming Your Dog is Painful, but Sometimes Necessary
You’ll notice that I only listed three instances in which rehoming should be a real option for a family. That’s purely my opinion, and you may find other posts on the web that have a more loose view of rehoming. In my opinion, however, rehoming is something that is an absolute last resort. It’s the nuclear option.
If your dog is unhappy in the home, or if he has aggression that simply can’t be managed due to the family dynamic, it’s probably time to start thinking about rehoming him. Rehoming can be an emotionally taxing ordeal, but sometimes, it’s the best thing for your dog and for your family.
Have you ever had to cope with rehoming your dog? What advice can you offer others in the same situation?