So you’ve searched pet rescue near me, adopted a new dog or cat, and brought your new fur baby home away from that loud and scary shelter. But, the pet adoption experience isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. Now what?
TRUTH ABOUT PET RESCUE
What should you expect after adopting a cat or adopting a rescue dog the first seven days (and beyond)?
You need to know that there will be phases of a rescue dog or a rescue cat adjustment when you first bring them to a new home.
This is the pet adjustment period and it can be particularly difficult for some rescue animals.
Educate Yourself on the Pet Rescue Transition Period and How To Handle It with Adopted Pets
No matter how amazing a rescue shelter is, the pet rescue shelter environment is very stressful for cats and dogs.
(It’s loud, it’s chaotic, it’s scary, and it’s stressful.)
Because of this (and any trauma they may have been through prior to the shelter), your new rescued pet is going to need a period of decompression and adjustment before you really start seeing their true personality.
But don’t worry! You just need to show a little more patience and be aware that any “acting out” may just be adjustment for them.
PLEASE DON’T REHOME PETS OR RETURN PETS TO SHELTERS BEFORE YOU ALLOW THEM TO GO THROUGH THIS ADJUSTMENT PERIOD.
Understanding the Pet Rescue Adjustment Period
Your new rescued pet may not act exactly how you hope when you first bring him or her home.
Your new rescue pet may:
- Sleep a lot or (conversely) be super hyper
- Be aggressive or timid
- Not understand “the rules,” not listen, seem confused
- Not play with their toys (or with you)
- Have accidents
- Eat a lot or not at all
- Not want to walk on a leash
- Exhibit behaviors that may be seen as “bad”
Or, just show general weird behavior (that’s not abnormal for a cat or dog from a pet rescue adoption).
So, what should you do?
Your new animal will go through a period of adjustment for around three weeks (longer for some and a little less for others).
During the pet adjustment time:
- Be super patient! (More than normal!)
- Don’t introduce anything new like formal training or new pets.
- Keep new people to a minimum.
- Don’t worry about how to acclimate a rescue dog or cat during this time. Let them do what they need to become comfortable with their new home environment.
- Try to maintain a calm environment without a lot of changes.
- Don’t move their bed, kennel, food bowls, or toys around during this time.
- Try to stay on a schedule.
- Give your new puppy or kitten plenty of space and quiet time to settle in.
- Create a quiet and safe area in a corner, up high on a cat perch, or in a kennel to decompress.
- Follow the pet rescue advice listed here!
Lastly, understand that some pets will seem to adjust quickly to their new environment, but then go through some of the issues listed here a little later. So, watch out for that, too, with your pet rescue!
ABOVE ALL, BE PATIENT AND SHOW YOUR PET RESCUE LOVE!