Once you’ve found a great new home for your dog, there are some things to consider to help ensure a successful private dog adoption and transition into the new home.
Dog Adoption and Rehoming Agreement
We strongly recommend that you put in writing the expectations and relevant information around your dog’s rehoming. Spell out basic expectations, the rehoming fee (if there is one) your release of all “rights to ownership”, etc. Both parties should date and sign the agreement. Click here for a sample agreement
Provide the new home with the most current vet and/or vaccination records. Note that some vets provide an affordable ‘wellness check’ visit with your dog – priced less than a regularly scheduled visit (we recently paid $40 in Oregon). You may consider such a visit before rehoming as a sort of “my dog’s healthy” courtesy to the adopting family.
Also, if your dog is chipped, it’s helpful to provide microchip information registration information – so the new home can register the chip in their name. Here’s a list of the microchip registration services and how to go about transferring ownership.
Make yourself available for the first week (at least) to help work through any questions or concerns. Unless it’s specifically discussed and agreed to, don’t expect a future of continued updates or communications from the new home. Your dog now belongs to this new family, and they’re moving forward – providing you updates may be furthest thing from their minds, and that’s okay.
Your Dog’s “Stuff”
Provide the new home with your Fido friend’s favorite and familiar things, like crate, bedding or favorite toys. Making these available to the new home will help ease your friend’s transition to an unfamiliar place. We suggest you also include 4-5 days of Fido’s food, to help with his/her transition over to a new diet.
Where to Meet?
Our experience over time suggests that “adoption day” might best take place in a neutral location away from both both homes. Perhaps a park or even a quiet parking lot without a lot of distractions.
This will probably be a confusing time for your dog as he settles in with a new family and new routines, but dogs are highly adaptable and within the first few days and first few weeks – most dogs settle into the new groove pretty quickly. To ease your dog’s transition in his new home, you can share this helpful page with the adoptive family – What to Expect – Bringing your New Dog Home.
What if Things Don’t Work Out?
Usually you’ll know within a couple weeks for sure, whether there’s a good match between your dog and the new family. Before the adoption, be sure to discuss with the new home about whether you will take your dog back (and whether you’ll refund the rehoming fee), if things just don’t work out. There’s no right or wrong answer here, other than the answer that works for both parties – discuss the possibility beforehand.