Guide to Pet Rehoming: Fees, Transition, and FAQs Explained

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Facing the hard decision to rehome your pet can be tough. Struggling with emotions, guilt, and perhaps financial concerns, we’ve all been there.

Plus, going through the unknown territory of rehoming fees can add to that stress. But hey, you’re reading this now, meaning you’re taking responsible steps towards ensuring your pet finds the right home.

In this blog post, we’re here to advise you on the details of rehoming fees, the how-to’s, and many other aspects you might be pondering over. So let’s go through this together and get those questions answered!

brown and white dog sitting on gray couch near window

What Exactly Is a Rehoming Fee?

A rehoming fee is an amount requested by the current pet owner from the potential new owner to ensure the pet is going to a responsible and caring home.

It’s not a “sale price” for your pet – instead, it serves as a tool to discourage people who might want a pet for wrong reasons, like reselling or illegal activities.

This fee often helps cover costs of pet care such as vaccinations, microchipping, spaying or neutering, and other vet bills that have been taken care of during the time the pet was with the current owner.

What’s a Typical Rehoming Fee for a Dog?

The typical rehoming fee for a dog varies depending on breed, age, size, health status, and location. However, generally, rehoming fees for dogs range anywhere from $50 to $300.

It’s worth noting that rehoming fees are not meant to profit from your pet but to ensure they find a caring and committed home. Remember, the aim is to find a loving family for your pet who is willing and capable of taking on the responsibility of pet ownership.

Should You Always Ask for a Rehoming Fee?

Yes, we strongly advise asking for a rehoming fee, but here’s the twist – it’s not about the money. 

It’s about the commitment.

Think of it this way, anyone who is willing to pay a rehoming fee is likely serious about caring for a pet. It can be an effective way to deter those with less-than-honorable intentions.

Plus, this also offers you the opportunity to provide the new owner with vital items like your pet’s favorite toys, food, or even leftover medication. It’s your way of creating a safety net for your pet’s transition to a new home.

Selling vs Rehoming a Pet: What’s the Difference?

The terms “selling” and “rehoming” a pet often get tossed around interchangeably, but they’re distinctly different.

Selling generally implies a business transaction, often involving breeders or pet shops. The main intent of selling a pet is to make a profit.

Rehoming, on the other hand, is when an owner finds a new home for their pet, often due to changes in circumstances or inability to provide the necessary care. The motivation behind rehoming is ensuring the pet’s welfare, not financial gain.

That’s where the rehoming fee comes in – not as a price tag, but as a marker of commitment.

Here’s a unique insight that many often overlook: while selling typically involves puppies or kittens, rehoming can occur at any stage of the pet’s life, including senior years. This difference is crucial as it impacts the type of care, accommodation, and financial commitment required from the new owner.

cute brown puppy on the floor looking up_1

How Does Rehoming Affect Your Dog?

It’s important to remember that dogs, much like humans, are individuals and each will respond differently to significant changes like rehoming.

For some dogs, the transition can cause stress, anxiety, and behavioral changes. They might become timid, lose appetite, or even exhibit signs of depression.

My own Labrador, Charlie, experienced some of these symptoms when were adopting him. It was a challenging time, but with patience and understanding, we were able to help Charlie adjust and thrive in his new environment.

However, it’s also worth mentioning that some dogs can adjust remarkably well, even seeming to flourish in their new environments, especially when moving from a less optimal situation to one where they receive more care and attention.

How to Make the Transition Easier for Your Pet

Providing your dog with a smooth transition to a new home is a priority.

Start by making sure you’ve chosen the right home. Spend time talking with potential owners about your dog’s needs, habits, and preferences.

Transition gradually, if possible, by organizing visits or even short stays at the new home. You might even leave a piece of your clothing with your scent on it to provide some comfort.

Speaking of stress, you might want to consider the ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket. This is a wrap that applies gentle, constant pressure, similar to swaddling an infant, and helps calm dogs during stressful situations.

Now, here’s a piece of advice that isn’t usually suggested but makes a significant difference for rehoming: prepare a detailed letter about your pet. The letter should include your pet’s daily routine, likes, dislikes, health history, and even quirks. This personalized ‘manual’ can be a guiding tool for the new owners, easing your pet’s adjustment process by maintaining some aspects of their known life.

Suggested Rehoming and Adoption Services

If you’re considering rehoming your pet (or adopting a new one) and don’t know where to start, here are a few reputable pet rehoming and adoption services you might consider:

These organizations have a wealth of resources and can guide you through the rehoming process, ensuring it’s as smooth and stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.


How do I get over rehoming my pet?

Getting over rehoming your pet is a process that requires time and self-care. Focus on the reasons why it was the best decision for your pet, do things that bring you joy, and consider speaking with a counselor or pet loss support group if your feelings of grief persist.

Do dogs miss their owners when rehomed?

Dogs do form strong emotional bonds with their owners and may miss them when rehomed. However, dogs are also resilient and adaptable, and with a loving and patient new owner, they can successfully adjust to their new homes.

Should you rehome a reactive dog?

Rehoming a reactive dog can be challenging but is sometimes the best option if the current environment is not conducive to the dog’s wellbeing. The new home should be prepared and equipped to manage and train a reactive dog effectively.

Why are rescue dogs so expensive?

The fees associated with rescue dogs cover costs like veterinary care, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and sometimes microchipping and training. These fees help the rescue organization continue their mission of saving and rehoming dogs.

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