Rehoming a pet is never an easy decision, but if you have decided to do so, doing it yourself is always much better than turning your pet/s into a shelter, where he or she may be killed due to space, behavior issues due to shelter life or for other reasons deemed reasonable.   There are many homeless animals in shelters, so finding a new home can take work, but rehoming your pet yourself is your pet’s best option of getting a new home.

You owe it to your pet to be patient, positive, creative and persistent.

There are good homes out there, so try to maintain a positive attitude.  It may or may not happen quickly, so patience is of the essence.  But while you are searching, you will know your pet is safe.   Their safety is your responsibility.

Please explore all options you can think of for finding a home – creativity and persistence are usually rewarded.

Basic preparation: Make sure your pet is healthy

  • Up-to-date on vaccinations
  • In good health.  If your pet has medical issues, make sure you have the documentation and medication available to discuss with potential new owner.
  • Clean and groomed.
  • House-trained and well-behaved.   Your dog doesn’t have to know a bunch of tricks, but manners go a long way.
  • Spayed or neutered.  Please have your pet spayed/neutered to avoid unwanted litters in the new home.  Spaying/neutering also helps with mating behaviors such as mounting, which is often a turn off to someone looking for a new pet.

You can talk with your veterinarian about vaccinations and spay/neuter or you can contact your local shelter as they may offer low cost services.  If you dog needs some training, they may also offer basic obedience classes.   You can also do a Google search for discount vet services, and for low cost/spay neuter clinics across the nation, visit SpayUSA.

Photos, ads and flyers: a good way to introduce your pet to prospective adopters.

Take good, quality photos.

Create an ad:  describe your pet’s personality, his/her habits, and the things that make the your pet special. If your pet has health issues, disabilities or behavioral issues, provide information about them. Oftentimes, these are things that potential adopters respond to.

Flyers, when they include good photos and descriptions are often highly effective.  You can visit to create a flyer that includes a photo and the description of your pet .

Get the word out

Contact family, friends and co-workers and let them know your pet is in need of a good, loving, quality home. Ask them to get the word out too.

Get the pet out meeting people. (This works well with dogs.), as the more the pet is out and interacting with people, the chances s/he has to meet her/his new family.

Take your dog on walks, to the local pet supply store, and to the park.

Post flyers throughout your community: Veterinarian’s offices, pet food stores, health food stores, supermarkets, churches, health clubs — locations where a good, prospective adopter may see it.

Adoption websites are another effective way to find a new home for your pet, such as

Contact your local shelter to find out if they have an online adoption page where you could list your pet or if you can bring your pet to an adoption event.

If you have a specific breed of dog, research into a breed rescue group to contact about listing your dog for adoption.

Give them a safe future

When a potential adopter makes contact, please do everything you can to ensure your pet is going to a safe and loving home.

  • Get some background information: has the person/s previously had pets? If your pet has special needs, do they have experience? Etc.
  • Ask for references:
  • Veterinarian – call and ask if their previous pets were kept UTD on vaccinations and exams, etc.
  • Personal references
  • Address and telephone number

Don’t be afraid to ask questions for fear the potential adopter will change their mind.  Your pet’s safety and well-being should be the first priority and a well-intended adopter will appreciate you for it.

You are your pet’s best chance for finding a loving new home.

You know the animal and can answer all questions a prospective adopter may have.  Importantly, it gives you the ability to decide the best new home for your pet.   Allowing your pet to stay with you while a new home is found is less stressful for them, as they are in their normal surroundings, rather than a strange place in a shelter setting, where no matter how nice, stress-related problems can occur: anxiety, aggression, and even illness are common. These reactions are natural to the change in circumstances can make adoption difficult or impossible.