What to Consider When Rehoming a Pet

The prospect of welcoming a new pet into your home can be so exciting due to the abundance of love and unwavering companionship they offer. The month ahead is a very popular time for families to welcome a new animal into their home and as always, we urge you to give much consideration as to whether this is the right choice for you.

Although it is particularly relevant in the run up to Christmas, having a moment to reflect on whether a pet is the right choice for you, is vital all year round. We have put together some of the key questions to ask yourself before making the first steps in rehoming an animal:

Do you have the time and resources to look after a new pet?

It’s important to assess how much time you would have on a daily basis to set aside for the care and attention of a new furry addition to your family. From feeding and cleaning routines, to walks and playtime, - and of course, lots of cuddles – there is a lot to juggle in addition to your normal routines with work, hobbies, friends and looking after your family. Also, if you were to take an extended break away from home, do you have the right measures in place to ensure the animal is well looked after in your absence?

In addition to time, do you also have the financial resources to look after a pet? Pets can be costly whether that’s due to their weekly feeding bills or regular veterinary care, and you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario should your pet fall ill or you experience financial difficulties.

Pet insurance would be recommended to help mitigate costs in emergency situations.

Have you researched the pet or breed in detail?

Every animal is different and this is again the case when it comes to particular breeds. Make sure you research their feeding requirements, habits and whether they have any particular needs or not. If the pet is older, you may also have to make some adjustments to your home.

Unfortunately a lack of research into the particular pet or breed is one of the most common reasons for a pet to be surrendered into our care.

Does your lifestyle fit the needs of the pet?

Your lifestyle is intrinsically linked with how much time you have to give the new pet the love and attention it deserves. If you are at work all day, out for long hours at the weekend, or have to travel away from home quite often, your lifestyle may not be best suited to a pet.  It’s important to remember that most animals love the company of their owner along with a good routine.

Is your home best suited to the animal’s personality / past experiences?

Unfortunately not all animals have a great start in life and what you may find with a rescue pet is that they have their own unique story and needs.  Over the years we have had a variety of animals enter our care, some with absolutely heart-breaking circumstances, but with the great work of our animal care team, we are able to identify the needs and personality of each animal and assess which potential owner would be the best fit.  

You may find that due to their earlier experiences in life, some animals may require quiet homes with no children, or homes with a companion animal to help them develop. There are a range of different situations but of course, underpinning this all is that, no matter what, this new pet needs your love and devotion.

Do you have the space to accommodate a new pet?

From bedding and bowls, to litter trays and toys, pets can take up quite a bit of space and it’s important to consider this in advance of taking them home. Also, when rehoming a dog, the USPCA rehoming team will also carry out a home check and provide the potential new owner with lots of practical advice to ensure the pet has the best environment to settle into. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s best to do as much preparation as possible beforehand, giving thought to where your new companion will sleep, eat and carry out his or her business. Of course, depending on the type of animal, a space with lots of opportunity to exercise and play is also vital!

If you are interested in rehoming an animal from the USPCA please take a look at our Rehoming Policy and FAQs.