Adopting a dog in London means saving one of the many animals currently looking for a home in the city. In 2020 the RSPCA reported around 56,563 incidents around dogs, the highest of all pets. Rehoming is therefore a great way to do your bit and show these dogs what a loving home can look like.

 When you get home there is nothing like the greeting and companionship from a dog. After a hectic day at work and on your commute, having a dog at home can help ease stress and aid relaxation. Plus, all the extra exercise you'll have to do will keep you in tip-top shape.

Of course, rescuing a dog comes with its own challenges. Older dogs may have special needs that you need to be aware of or behavioural issues. However, adopting a dog rather than buying from a breeder offers plenty more rewards.

Work with your new furry friend to help them trust again. Show them what a safe environment can feel like and watch them blossom into a loyal companion. 

But, where can you begin to adopt a dog in London? Luckily London has a wide variety of amazing rehoming charities to choose from. We'll take a look at some of the charities you can approach and outline what is required to become a new pawrent.

Preparing for Fur-Parenting: Are You Ready?

A happy adopted dog

There are many benefits to adopting a dog, but it is also a massive responsibility. 

You’ll need to ensure that you have enough time and space to spend with your new companion. Or, ensure you can afford adequate care when you're not home. The more time you can spend with the dog, the better.

You also need to make sure that you are able to take the dog on ample walks, especially if it’s a larger breed. If you don't have experience with dogs, reach out to a friend who does for some advice. 

Different breeds have different needs. You'll want to make sure to do your research on the specific breed(s) of pup you adopt.

It’s also worth noting that rescue dogs may have various issues that require special needs. This is something that will be specific to the dog’s experience, but you need to be prepared. The shelter will tell you what you need to know.

Here’s a list of equipment you may want to prepare in advance:

A Crate - make sure you get the right size. Not too small and not too big.

  • Leash
  • Doggy Bags
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Food

Owning a four-legged friend can be costly. With regular monthly costs to budget for such as food, insurance and more. It's also worth putting money away for any emergency vet bills you may have to pay for. 

Make sure that you not only feel ready for this commitment but are financially ready as well.


A sleepy dog adopted in London

Since 1860, many rescue dogs and cats have found their forever home through Battersea. Based in South London, this charity is one of the best known, not just in London, but across the UK. 

You may have seen some of Battersea's residents on the ITV show "Paul O'Grady For The Love of Dogs". This show gives you an inside look at how the charity works and some of their dogs up for adoption.

You'll find Battersea right across from Battersea Park. It's easily accessible from the Battersea Power Station stop or via bus. There's also a car park for visitors so you can travel by road.  

To ensure their dogs go to the best homes, Battersea uses a rigorous rehoming process. Battersea also recommends not applying for a specific pet. They will use their 160 years of experience to match you with the perfect pet.

First, register your information and answer a few questions. The team will assess your information and determine whether you are a good match. If you are, the rehoming team will be in touch.

If they find a good match, they will arrange a call to discuss things further. Often there will be someone who will pop around to your home for an inspection. This is just to ensure that your living arrangements are suitable for your potential pet. 

Once all the boxes have been ticked, you'll be invited to Battersea to be introduced to your match. Hopefully, if things go well, you'll soon be adopting your new furry friend. 

Battersea also offers plenty of advice and support for new dog owners. They want to make sure that the owner and pet settle in so if you need anything after the adoption, get in touch with them.

If you're living in our Union Wharf building, Battersea will be the best place for you to adopt a dog. The easiest route to Battersea is either by car or by Thameslink and the 344 bus. 


All Dogs Matter

Young family with dog

All Dogs Matter works in London to transform the lives of lost, unwanted, or abandoned dogs. Their work isn’t limited to the UK, either. All Dogs Matter even works to rehome stray dogs from overseas.

This charity also welcomes those looking to foster. Fostering can be a great way to build your skills as a dog owner while also giving a newly rescued dog a home. It is a challenging role, but richly rewarding if you feel up to the task. 

All Dogs Matter allows you to browse their current dogs looking for a home. Each dog's profile tells you what you need to know to find the best fit for you and your lifestyle. Pay attention to dogs who may need more experienced owners or have special needs. If you're interested, make sure you have the right experience to give them the best life possible. 

For adopting dogs in London, the process is similar to that of Battersea. First, you'll need to register your interest. All Dogs Matter suggests enquiring about a specific dog that fits what you're looking for in a pet. 

Then you'll have an assessment from the team. They will determine whether the dog you've picked is the right fit and if not, choose a more suitable match. You'll then be invited to meet your potential pet to see if you're a good match. 

Again, after you have rehomed your dog you'll receive continued support to help you both settle in.

If you're living in Vantage Point then All Dogs Matter is your closest charity. You can get there by road in just 8-minutes or walk along Archway Road for 35 minutes. 


The Mayhew

An adopted puppy

The Mayhew is an animal welfare charity based in Kensal Green just north of Notting Hill. Much like Battersea, The Mayhew have a range of celebrity ambassadors. From Joanna Lumley to documentary maker Louis Theroux.

Not only do they help you adopt dogs in London and overseas, but they also help with pet owner education. To help make pet care affordable, they operate a community vet clinic. Here you'll find affordable services such as neutering and vaccinations. Plus, they run a nurse clinic for regular checkups, helping keep your dog healthy and happy. 

As well as rehoming and veterinary services, The Mayhew also offers TheraPaws. This is a dog therapy program run by the charity. The team of volunteers take therapy dogs into hospices, hospitals and care homes. They also visit corporations to help reduce stress and improve mood in the workplace. 

The Mayhew adoption process is similar to those of the other charities mentioned. First, register your interest in one of their dogs and wait for the team to assess your application. Once you have had a chat with the team and they have found you the perfect fit, it's time for a meet and greet. 

As The Mayhew is entirely public-funded, there is a rehoming fee.  For dogs, this fee is currently £160 and ensures your chosen pet is reserved for you. You will undergo a standard home visit to make sure everything is ok and then pick up your new friend.

For those living in our Vantage Point building, this will be the closest charity to you. Either jump in the car for a 25-minute drive or grab the Northern Line and the number 18 bus.

Dogs Trust

A close up headshot of a dog

If you're looking to adopt a dog in London then the Dogs Trust is one of the most established charities to visit. 

Often the Dogs Trust receive animals that struggle to be rehomed. Instead, they offer sponsorship to keep these dogs safe and housed in kennels or foster homes.  

The charity also offers dogs for adoption in London and in many locations around the UK. In total, they have 23 rehoming centres across the country. Their largest London centre is in West London in Uxbridge. Here you'll find a huge, newly built centre surrounded by open fields. 

If you want to simply pop in and meet the dogs looking for a new home, you can browse on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. Simply pay a visit between 12-4 pm to find your potential new four-legged friend. 

To adopt a dog you'll need to register your interest or you can chat with someone face to face. This is a great way to ask any questions you need answered before you make this big commitment. 

The Dogs Trust encourage multiple meetings with their dogs. Many of them will need to build trust and a bond before being able to go home with their new owner. Taking this time helps to make sure that the rehoming process goes as smoothly as possible. 

If everything goes to plan, you'll be able to bring your new dog home in no time. You'll also be provided with four weeks of free pet insurance. You'll receive a starter pack with microchipping information, a handbook and dog food. The team will also give you a call a couple of days post-adoption to make sure everything is going ok. 

The Dogs Trust make sure that all their dogs are perfectly matched. If you want to find out more about their rehoming process, you can do so here

If you’re living in our Berkshire House residence, this is your closest charity. It’s a quick 35 minutes by car, which is the easiest way to visit the centre.


Where to Adopt a Dog in London

Working from home with a dog

When it comes to adopting a dog in London you have plenty of options to choose from. Rehoming an abandoned or relinquished pet is a hugely rewarding process. Even though it can be a big commitment, seeing your pet flourish is worth it. 

At Essential Living, we know how important having a pet at home can be for your well-being. Finding rental properties that allow pets can be tricky though. 

All our London rentals are pet-friendly. No matter which of our developments you pick, you and your furry friend are more than welcome. We also have a number of guides to help you settle into apartment life with a pet. 

Suggested blogs: 
Can you keep a dog in a flat? 
The best pet-friendly landlords in the UK
Rented Properties that allow pets in London

If you'd like to rent one of our pet-friendly apartments, get in touch with our team

Josh Sebastian


Josh is an experienced London resident and stellar local guide. With his finger on the pulse of things to do in London, he's constantly sharing lesser-known tips and recommendations with readers.