How do dog rehoming centres work?

Looking to adopt a rescue dog? Here’s what to expect when you visit your local rehoming centre

An estimated 2.7 million animals enter UK rehoming centres every year – 664,000 of which are dogs – who are made homeless by neglectful owners, irresponsible breeders, or simply because their owners can no longer look after them how they deserve.

Luckily though, the number of people adopting dogs, rather than purchasing from breeders, is on the rise, and in their most recent annual review, Dogs Trust revealed that they were able to find homes for 8,550 out of 10,864 dogs!

If you’ve got your heart set on adopting a rescue dog, you likely have questions about how the process works.

In this post, the Pet Shop Online team explains everything you need to know about adopting a rescue dog and what to expect when you visit the rehoming centre.


How do I find the best local rehoming centre?

Most towns and cities will have at least one dog rescue centre – maybe even a few.

With large dog welfare charities, such as Dogs Trust and the RSPCA, operating in most areas of the UK, you’ll be able to find plenty of dogs that need loving new homes.

There’ll also be some independent local shelters you can visit, and a quick Google search should reveal the best ones close by.


Is adopting a dog expensive?

Compared to the prices that breeders charge, rescue centre fees are  miniscule.

Breeder prices can vary between hundreds to a few thousand depending on the breed, whilst rescue centres charge significantly less – usually around £200-£300.

This cost covers any health checks – including microchipping, vaccinations and neutering – as well as training and a few weeks worth of insurance. The rehoming centre will also provide you with the food the dog has been eating, as well as a collar and lead.

And, in addition to all this, you can also be confident that your money is going to a good cause.


Are all dogs in shelters old?

When thinking of dogs in a rehoming centre, most people picture senior dogs.

Whilst lots of the dogs living temporarily in shelters are older, there are also lots of younger dogs and puppies who need a new home.

Rehoming centres often find it easier to find homes for younger dogs and pups, as they can be trained easily and aren’t likely to have as many behavioural issues as older dogs that have been in the shelter for a while.

However, no matter a dog’s age, it’s important that they all get another chance at happiness.


What happens once I’ve chosen my new dog?

Once you’ve found the perfect pooch, someone from the shelter will visit you at home to perform some quick, necessary checks – to see if it’ll be suitable for your new pup.

The checks will include looking at the outdoor space you have available, how the dog interacts with you and other family members and offering advice on how you can dog-proof your space to make it as safe as possible in time for your furry friend’s arrival.


Need expert advice?

Whether you’re looking for more information on what to expect when you visit your local rehoming centre or need expert tips on how to give your new canine companion a proper welcome, you’re more than welcome to contact our team.

Call 0161 728 4656 or email us at, and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can browse our collection of high-quality dog and puppy products online. Add items to your basket and head to our secure checkout to have everything you need to be delivered directly to your door!