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Tips to Rehome a Dog: A Pooch’s and Human’s Point of View!

If you are considering adopting a dog, rehoming or rescue centres are wonderful places to find and connect with a new pooch. They will be able to give you information about each dog (such as their background, any issues they may have had) and help you make the right choice for you, your lifestyle, and the dog.

Remember that rehoming centres will check you out too! You will typically need to complete a questionnaire to check that your home circumstances match your dog’s best interests. The centre may even ask to visit your home (or do this virtually) and can give advice to help you create a home where your pooch will be safe and happy.

Before you make your first visit to a rehoming centre, consider what type of dog you think would fit with your family and lifestyle:

  • Would you like a large, medium or small dog? Consider the space you have available in your home.
  • Are you looking for a dog that has a lot of energy and will need lots of exercise, or would a quieter breed suit you best?
  • Are you prepared to groom a dog that has a long-haired coat, or would you prefer one that doesn’t shed its hair?
  • Do you have other pets in the home? Be sure to consider their needs and requirements.

Rehoming a dog has multiple benefits for humans and pooches alike – here are a few tips and considerations from both your - and your new dog’s - perspective to ensure you bond successfully!

dog with new family


From a Human’s POV

What sort of dog would I like? Do I want a purebred, or a mixed breed dog? Pure dog breeds have behavioural traits that have developed over centuries, so although every dog has a unique personality, you can likely predict some of their habits. For example, a Beagle or a Labrador Retriever may like to go sniffing in the undergrowth, whereas a Bichon Frise or a Shih Tzu will likely love to cuddle up on your lap!    

With a mixed-breed dog, it’s harder to predict their traits – but let’s face it, half the fun is learning about each other together! The staff at the rehoming centre should be able to tell you about the dog’s background and character, and it’s advisable to visit your dog a few times before you bring them home so you can get to know each other.

From a Pooch’s POV

What sort of human would I like? My previous humans had to move away and were unable to take me with them. But I like humans and I am quite used to having a routine! I was happy when I knew exactly what I was doing from day to day. I’m sure I can adjust to a different routine with new people, as long as they give me a little time to adjust!  

I would love to meet all of the family before they take me home. Being rehomed can be very stressful for dogs and sometimes we get anxious about change! So, it may take time for me to settle in, but I’ll already be familiar and more relaxed if I get to know them a little first!


From a Human’s POV

I have to consider everyone in the family.  Frequently, dogs that need rehoming are older (though puppies are sometimes born in rescue centres). If you have elderly people at home, rehoming an older dog that is happy with short, leisurely walks and a quiet lifestyle could be a good choice. An older dog can also work if you have young children in the house as they will have grown out of their puppy habits and are likely to be more kid-friendly. Always make sure that all family members visit the rehoming centre and spend time with your chosen pooch before you bring them home.

From a Pooch’s POV

I hope I get to meet everyone in the family before I move to my new home. I am quite a friendly pooch, but I know that some of my doggie friends get nervous around young children; kids can get very excited when they get a new doggie friend (not surprising, because we are so cute!). But there are a few things that humans should remember when introducing a new dog to children:

  • Let us approach the child on our terms – we’ll get nervous if they are over-exuberant.
  • We’ll normally like to have a good sniff first, so it’s really helpful if the children stand still.
  • Don’t crowd us as it makes us nervous, and we might try to escape the situation.
  • Ask the kids to sit down on the floor – they are much taller than us and that can be overwhelming!

rehomed dog with new family


From a Human’s POV

I already have a resident cat but would like to rehome a dog too. There is no reason why you can’t have both cats and dogs in your home – it’s more common than you think!  To ensure a harmonious household, consider:

  • Some breeds of dogs are born to chase, so make sure to choose a more laid-back breed like a Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, or Maltese – or a mixed breed that has a proven relaxed temperament. Your resident cat will thank you!
  • Match their ages as close as you can. Young animals have lots of energy and will like to play and run around – they are also more likely to adapt to another cat or dog in the home. An older animal could be less willing to adapt to a younger pet invading their space, especially if they want to play all the time!
  • Introduce them slowly and never leave them alone together until you are confident they get along.
  • Always check a dog’s history before adopting them to find out if they have come from a similar background, i.e. they have resided with other pets previously.

From a Pooch’s POV

Mmm…they have a cat?!  Well, I suppose I don’t mind sharing my new home…  Cats can be quite scary sometimes. It’s important that:

  • We are introduced gradually and I’m not left in the same room until we get on; I’ve seen a cat’s claws come out when they are unhappy!
  • We each have our own space – I will be quite happy in my crate or bed, as long as they are in theirs.
  • Keep our food separate. That cat’s food does smell interesting, and I might be tempted to try some. But I don’t want to share my food with anyone else!

I’ve heard that some pet owners get help from ADAPTIL. Using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser will help me stay calm and adapt to changes in the house.


From a Human’s POV

What do I need to prepare before bringing our adopted pooch home? It’s important that the transition from the rehoming centre to their new home is as stress-free as possible.

Once you have chosen your forever pooch, visit them as often as you can and take in a blanket, an old t-shirt, or piece of clothing that they can sleep with; this will help them get used to your scent and make the transition easier.

Make sure you create a dog-friendly home and have all their resources ready for their arrival:

  • A comfy bed in a quiet corner that they can retreat to and feel safe. Put their blanket or t-shirt in there too.
  • Food and water bowls should be visible so that they can access them easily.
  • You will need a lead or harness, so that you can keep them safe by your side until they have settled.  
  • An ADAPTIL Collar provides constant reassurance to your dog wherever they are during this time by releasing reassuring pheromones into the environment. It will be of great use as they encounter all the changes of coming to their new home.
  • Toys and treats, of course, to help them feel welcome!

happy dog with family

From a Pooch’s POV

I’m excited! There’s a lovely family that keeps visiting me and I’m hoping they will take me home with them one day!  When I was living with my previous owners they used to give me lots of tasty treats as rewards, and they always knew my favourite games to play. I hope that my new family will be the same! There are also some things I hope they remember to do – like getting my microchip updated and registering me with a vet.

I’m really looking forward to a new home, but I will feel strange for a while until I settle in.  After all, there will be lots of new things to discover and a lot of sniffing around to do.  There will be new parks, new walks, new people and new dogs that I haven’t met before!

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