Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Is Rehoming My Dog Okay?


Placing my dogThis family adores their dog. This dog adores her family. No one ever expected a bump in the road but a bump happened. The youngest child is allergic to dogs. Very. Because the family loves the dog, they are concerned. Isolating the dog from the family more helps the child but would be hard on the dog. They want to know what every loving family has wanted to know when they talk to me about this: Will rehoming my dog break the dog’s heart.

Done right and to another loving home, no, it will not break the dog’s heart. Once a dog has learned to love a person they will love again. They will want to love again. Every year, millions of dogs, of all ages and stages, get adopted into new homes and thrive.

Every year, millions of service dogs, lovingly raised by families or inmates get placed in their forever homes without even looking over their shoulders (okay, maybe a few looks but then the new bond forms and love moves forward.)

It’s sad for us, sometimes, to realize that our dogs can go on to new attachments and new lives so easily but it is a compliment to you and your dog’s attachment to you when your dog can.

There are valid and loving reasons to place your dog into another home. A few such reasons might be:

  • Life changed and you no longer have the time you did for your companion.
  • Someone in the family is allergic.
  • There is serious tension/aggression between household pets and training/behavior counseling has not helped.
  • The dog is in danger of violence by someone in the family.
  • You are ill.

What is not okay is offering an unstable or dangerous dog to an unsuspecting individual. If your dog is dangerous, has seriously bitten you or other people, then speak to your vet and a local training/behavior expert about your options. Passing along a dangerous dog to someone else without fully informing them only spreads the pain and confusion.

Rehoming a dog you love is always tough. I’ve helped place hundreds of dogs through the years into new homes and I cannot recall one that was not happy in a carefully selected home. When you are no longer the best home possible for your companion, finding a home that is can be a loving, if difficult, choice.



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