How to Get Rid of Unwanted Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

The reality of life is such that there may come a time when you find yourself with a dog you cannot keep. This situation is never ideal, but it’s crucial to handle it responsibly. The welfare of the animal should always be your top priority. This article will guide you through the process of how to get rid of unwanted dogs in a humane, compassionate, and responsible manner.

Table of Contents

  • Understanding Your Situation
  • Exploring Rehoming Options
  • Preparing Your Dog for Adoption
  • The Adoption Process
  • Dealing with Emotional Aspects
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • Never resort to abandoning or mistreating a dog.
  • Explore every possible rehoming option.
  • Prepare the dog for adoption correctly.
  • Be honest and transparent during the adoption process.
  • Handle emotional aspects responsibly.

Understanding Your Situation

Before you can begin the process of rehoming or surrendering a dog, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind this decision. There may be alternatives that you haven’t considered or resources available to help you keep your pet. For instance, certain organizations offer assistance with pet food expenses, medical costs, and even behavioral training.

Exploring Rehoming Options

If keeping the dog is not feasible, then it’s time to explore your rehoming options.

  1. Private Rehoming: This involves finding a new home for your dog among your network of friends, family, or colleagues. It’s often the least stressful option for the dog since it can be a more gradual transition.

  2. Shelters and Rescues: If you’re unable to find a suitable home within your network, consider reaching out to local animal shelters or rescue organizations. Some of these organizations on OneTopDog specialize in specific breeds, making them a good option if your dog is a purebred.

  3. Fostering: Some organizations offer foster programs, where your dog will be placed in a temporary home until a forever home is found. This can be a good option if you need to rehome your dog quickly but want to ensure they are well taken care of.

Preparing Your Dog for Adoption

Before your dog can be adopted by a new family, you’ll need to prepare them for the transition. This includes ensuring they are up-to-date on vaccinations, are spayed or neutered, and have a recent vet check-up. You should also gather all of your dog’s records and supplies, including any favorite toys or blankets that could make the transition easier. For more details on preparing your dog for adoption, you can check here.

The Adoption Process

Once you’ve found a potential adopter, it’s important to be transparent about your dog’s history, behavior, and needs. This will help ensure a good match and a smooth transition. Include details about their temperament, training, health issues, and habits. If you’re working with a shelter or rescue, they will typically manage the adoption process, but if you’re rehoming privately, you may want to consider drafting an adoption contract.

Dealing with Emotional Aspects

Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, even when you know it’s for the best. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, from sadness and guilt to relief and even anger. It’s important to allow yourself to feel these emotions and to seek support if needed. Remember, rehoming a pet is a responsible and caring act when done correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it wrong to give up my dog?

A: It can be a difficult and emotional decision, but sometimes it’s the best choice for both the pet and the owner. The key is to do it responsibly and with the dog’s best interests at heart.

Q: How can I find a no-kill shelter?

A: Websites like OneTopDog have resources to help you find no-kill shelters in your area.

Q: Can I charge a rehoming fee?

A: Yes, a reasonable rehoming fee can help ensure that your pet is going to a home that is financially prepared to care for them.


While the decision to rehome a dog is never easy, it’s sometimes the most responsible and compassionate choice. Remember, the wellbeing of the dog should always be your top priority. With careful consideration and planning, you can ensure that your dog finds a loving and suitable new home.