How to Post a Dog for Adoption

Screen all potential adopters thoroughly when posting your dog for adoption.

Screen all potential adopters thoroughly when posting your dog for adoption.

Posting a dog for adoption can be emotionally challenging if you have grown attached, but if you have no other choice, there are steps you can take to ensure that your furry friend goes to the best possible home where he will be loved and properly cared for.

Prepare to Find a Home

Take your dog to the vet. Before placing your dog for adoption, have your dog screened for health issues and make sure he is current on vaccinations. It may also be a good idea to have your dog sterilized before placing him for adoption so he will not contribute further to the pet overpopulation problem.

Create flyers to advertise your dog. The flyers should include a picture of your dog, a brief description, any relevant information about temperament and a phone number where potential adopters can reach you. Post the flyers in high-traffic areas around your neighborhood and places where animal lovers are likely to visit, such as local veterinary offices, dog parks and pet stores.

Advertise your dog online. Send an email containing the same information as your flyer to everyone in your contact list and request that they forward it to any animal lovers they know. Share pictures and information about your dog on social networks. Post your dog’s picture and information on your local Craigslist site and on adoption websites such as Petfinder.com, Rescueme.org or Adoptapet.com.

Spread the word. Tell all of your friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances about your dog. Put a brightly colored banana that says “adopt me” on your dog and take him with you to dog parks, pet stores and as many other places as you can so people can see and play with him.

Screen Potential Adopters

Set a reasonable adoption fee for your dog to protect him from people who may hurt him. Depending on the age and breed of the dog, adoption fees can range from $50 to about $200.

Ask potential adopters to share relevant information with you about their lifestyle and previous experience with pets. Reach out to animal rescue groups in your area for advice on the type of questions you should ask to ensure your dog is placed in a safe and loving home.

Check references for potential adopters. Ask potential adopters for veterinary and personal references who can confirm that they will make good pet parents for your dog. Whenever possible, personally visit the home of potential adopters to see where your dog would be living.

Finalize the Adoption

Collect the adoption fee from the potential adopter. Never give your dog to his new family until you have received payment for the adoption.

Request to see the potential adopter’s personal identification to ensure she is who she says she is. Maintain records of information gathered on the potential adopter including her identification details.

Execute a written adoption agreement. Requiring potential adopters to sign a written adoption agreement will help deter shoddy adopters while helping quality adopters understand the responsibilities associated with adopting your dog. Contact an animal rescue group for advice on what to include in your adoption agreement or use sample agreements found online as a guide.

Personally deliver your dog to his new home. Once you have selected an adopter and completed the necessary paperwork, take your dog to his new home and bid him farewell. Sending some of the food that he is used to eating and personal items like favorite toys or his bed can help your dog make a smoother transition.

Items you will need

  • Flyers
  • Internet connection
  • Email address


  • Never post your dog as "free to a good home" because some people who mistreat dogs target those type of ads.

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About the Author

Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

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