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Adopting an Older Dog
Young Woman cuddling her dog in the woods

Giving Up a Dog for Adoption

5 min read

Dogs are more than just pets, they’re members of our families. Giving up a dog for adoption is heart-breaking, but sometimes life doesn’t go to plan and this might be the best decision for both of you.

Before you make up your mind, it’s important to ensure you’ve exhausted all other possible solutions. But if you think you can’t give your pup the life you had in mind for them, here is what to consider and how to make sure they get the forever home they deserve.

Is giving up your dog for adoption the best solution?

No doubt you’ve never imagined that you will have to find your best friend a new home. Finding yourself in this dilemma is challenging. But it’s worth pausing and thinking about all the different ways in which you can help your pooch. Depending on the circumstances, here are a few things to consider before deciding to put your dog up for adoption.

Dogs with behavioural problems

Chocolate Labrador Retriever Dog Standing in Empty Suitcase

Aggressiveness or excessive barking can be difficult to deal with even for experienced owners. If your dog seems to go from 0 to 100 in a few seconds and you struggle to calm them down, you should consider asking experts for help.

Visiting the vet is a great first step as they will be able to rule out any underlying illnesses that might cause your dog’s behaviour to be more aggressive than usual. They might also be able to recommend a good behaviourist who can shape your pet’s behaviour and prevent future problems. The expert can establish if the dog is a danger to the people in your house or in your community and advise you what to do next.

Changes in your living situation

Whether it’s a new job that doesn’t allow you the same flexibility to look after your dog, or a change in the family schedule that means you won’t have as many hours available to dedicate to the pup in your life, time is one of the most precious resources in our relationships with our pets. There are many professional dog carers out there who would love to keep your pooch company while the family is away. Dog walkers and doggy daycare services are also available, so it’s worth researching a few local options, to see what they offer and at what cost. Maybe a family member or friend wouldn’t mind looking after your dog a few hours a day. It’s always worth asking!

Even if you decide to give up your dog for adoption, considering all the possible options will give you peace of mind knowing that you left no stone unturned to keep the canine friend in your life.

Owning the dog is too expensive

Unfortunately, the costs of owning a dog can be easily underestimated. From vaccinations to puppy training, insurance, toys, grooming services and medical costs, there are many expenses to be covered throughout the life of a dog. Sudden medical emergencies or life-long illnesses can put any owner’s budget under pressure.

But before you put your dog up for adoption because you can’t afford them anymore, you should know that there are many options for owners in situations similar to yours. There are charities created to help dog lovers, so it’s worth getting in touch with a few of them. Your vet might even know a few of these amazing organisations you can turn to. Consider learning to groom your dog yourself as this will save you quite a good amount of money in the long term. When it comes to medical bills, don’t hesitate to ask the vet for advice or even if it’s possible to pay in instalments. A good tip is to contact RSPCA as well and check if you’re eligible for low-cost vet appointments. These can go a long way in helping minimise your dog’s medical bills.

How to put up a dog for adoption

Dog lying on a sofa Holding a red heart

If you’ve been through all the different scenarios and the conclusion is that it’s time to say goodbye to your canine fellow, here is how to make sure they end up with a loving family and in the perfect home.

Talk to your friends and family

Oftentimes it’s the people closest to us who are able to give our pets the best life. They’re likely quite familiar with each other and chances are they already love the pet as if the dog is their own. So, it’s worth asking if they would like to adopt your pet. Even if they’re not able to take the responsibility themselves, they might know someone who is willing and able to give your pet the home they deserve.

Get in touch with the seller

Sometimes the original seller or breeder might be willing to take the dog back. This depends on many factors, including how long you’ve owned the pet and the reason you’re deciding to give them away. But even if this goes against their rules, they might be able to point you in the right direction.

Contact trustworthy rescue groups or charities

Fortunately, there are many wonderful dog rescue groups and charities ready to match your pet with the perfect family. In the UK, Blue Cross operates many rehoming centres across the country and through their Home Direct scheme will make sure your dog goes from one loving home straight into another, so the dog won’t have to spend stressful days in a kennel waiting for their new owner. Get in touch with them and see how they can help your dog find their new home.

Prepare a small bag with their favourite food and toys

Make the transition go down easier for your pup by sending them off to their new loving home with familiar items such as their blanket, bed, toys and even a bag of their favourite dog food. They’ll find comfort in the stuff they’re used to as they become more familiar to the new environment and the new people in their life.

The answer to the questions ‘how to put up my dog for adoption’ should always have your pet’s best interests covered. Even in urgent situations, you should make sure you leave your dog in good hands. In those cases, a friend or family member might be able to take your pet in for a few days as you take the time to solve the unpredictable events in your life, while looking for a responsible new owner who would love to give your dog the home they deserve. Managing your dog’s separation anxiety is key in making sure the moment when you have to say good bye goes as smoothly as possible. Check out our expert guide for how to help dogs cope with separation.