With a dog, it is even harder as dogs form bonds and relationships with their owners that can never be replaced.

If you are in this unfortunate position, for any reason, think long and hard before you act. Here are a few things that will help you to reach a decision.

Never ever, dump your dog

People have been known to drive out into the countryside, leave their dog and drive off. Their thinking is that because their dog is an animal, it can fend for itself. This is absolutely wrong. Dogs are domesticated and not wild animals. They are used to living with and being cared for by humans. His chances for survival in the wild are very slim. He could end up being hit by a car, picked up by terrible people that use dogs for fighting purposes or even collected by the dog warden. None of these are good solutions so this is one thing you should avoid at all times.

Use a shelter as a last resort

Shelters exist for very good reasons but often struggle for funding and can only keep dogs for a certain amount of time. If the shelter has a no-kill policy, this is good, but if they euthanize after a certain time, you could be committing your dog to a death sentence. Before you approach them as a last resort, do try to find a good home for your dog by yourself.

Spread the word

Let your friends, family and colleagues at work know that you are looking for a new home for your beloved pet. At least this way you will know where they are going and will have some idea of the background of the family that will be caring for them. You may also be able to keep in touch with your dog in the future, which is a massive bonus.

Return to breeder

If you got your puppy from a breeder and then find that you have problems with keeping him, a good reputable breeder will always help you. They should be able to take him back and find an alternative loving home from the many contacts that they already have. In fact, most reputable breeders will insist that they get first refusal on the puppy if you have to find a second home.

Fostering

If your position is temporary and you think that you may be able to take your dog back at a later date, fostering could be the answer. Some local rescue centres offer this service. You will have to sign a contract with them and give a very good and valid reason for having to surrender your dog. They will then care for the dog until you are able to take him back. (dogstrust.org.uk) You attract lost dogs

If the dog that you are looking to re-home is not yours but is one that you have found, abandoned, do take care when considering what to do. First of all, is the dog so scared that it might attack you? If this is the case, stay with the dog but call the dog warden or local rescue service like the RSPCA or similar. If the dog is friendly, then take him home and keep him in a safe place and advise the local vets and Rescue Centres that you have found a lost dog. Dogs that have been micro-chipped can be identified and usually returned to their original owners. If you find a lost and wounded dog, get him to the vets as a matter of urgency. (petfinder.com)

It can be a very upsetting time when having to deal with the re-homing of a dog, so do take your time to consider your options and carefully examine anyone that comes forward offering a home. Never give a dog away for free as there are unscrupulous people around who will collect dogs for illegal and inhumane reasons, such as dog fighting.