As a dog owner, rehoming your dog is a heart-breaking decision to come to. But as hard as it is, sometimes it is the right thing for the dog, and your family.
If we understand the reasons dogs are rehomed before we get one, then hopefully the number of dogs being rehomed can be reduced. Whether you have a dog already, or are thinking of getting one at any point in the future, please read through this and make sure you are ready for what you have taken / are taking on.
Some common reasons for dogs being rehomed in shelters included:
- Behavioural Issues: Dogs with behavioural problems, such as aggression, separation anxiety, excessive barking, or destructive behaviour, may be surrendered to shelters if their owners find it challenging to manage or modify their behaviour. Committing to training your dog every day from the moment they arrive will help you with these, as will seeking out expert advice before the problems become too much for you to handle.
- Financial Constraints: Economic difficulties can lead to some people surrendering their dogs to shelters because they cannot afford the costs associated with pet ownership, including food, veterinary care, and grooming.
- Moving or Housing Issues: Changes in housing situations, such as moving to a new home or apartment with pet restrictions, can force owners to relinquish their dogs to shelters.
- Allergies: In some cases, family members develop allergies to dogs, making it necessary to find a new home for the pet. Some breeds are more allergy friendly than others, so look into these if anyone in the family has allergy issues.
- Health Issues: If a dog develops significant health problems and the owner cannot afford the necessary medical care, they may have to surrender the dog to a shelter. Some dogs are more prone to health issues than others so research this before you commit to a dog.
- Lifestyle Changes: Major life events, such as having a baby or getting a new job, can lead some people to believe they can no longer provide adequate care and attention to their pets, resulting in relinquishment.
- Unplanned Litters: When owners fail to spay or neuter their dogs, accidental litters may result, and the puppies or adult dogs may end up in shelters.
- Time Constraints: Some owners may not have enough time to dedicate to their pets due to busy schedules or other commitments, leading them to rehome their dogs. Your dog needs exercise and training no matter what your work schedule is, or any other commitments you may have.
- Breed-Specific Issues: Certain breeds may require specific care, exercise, or training needs that some owners may not be prepared to meet.
It’s important to note that these reasons can vary depending on the region, culture, and other factors. Organisations and shelters continuously work to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership and the commitment required to care for a dog throughout its lifetime, in the hopes of reducing the number of dogs surrendered to shelters. For the most up-to-date statistics on dog rehoming reasons, I recommend checking with animal welfare organisations or relevant government agencies