At any time, millions of cats and dogs live in shelters. Adopting a rescue is one way you can give a new life to an animal that deserves it. It’s a truly admirable, yet challenging, act of kindness and love. Rescue animals usually require more care, time, and effort as they often come from bad situations. Rescues make good pets but they can be very difficult – and more expensive – to incorporate into your life due to trauma, injury, and other special needs. We’ll help you understand everything you need to know about rescue pets and how you can save yourself frustration and money when you bring one home.
Before You Bring a Rescue Animal Home
Bringing home a rescue animal is a big responsibility. Once you’ve decided you’re ready for it, there are some other steps you must take to ensure you’re prepared to bring it into your home.
Here are some questions to consider before you bring home your new pal:
- Are you equipped for a rescue animal?
- Is your family ready for the responsibility and adjustment?
- How will you keep your kids safe?
- Where will it spend most of its time?
- Are you going to crate train your dog? Do you have a crate?
- Is the area safe for a new pet?
- What commands will you use to train your pet?
- Do you have an ID tag and collar?
- Do you have the appropriate space for the pet?
- Do you have spare time to dedicate to familiarizing and training the pet?
Iron out these details prior to bringing home a rescue dog or cat. They will be under a lot of stress with the changes, and you and your family need to be prepared.
The Weeks After Your Bring Your Rescue Pet Home
Remember, this is a big transition for everyone involved, especially the rescue. Some rescue cats and dogs will adjust better than others. The stress and fear the animal will experience will affect their behaviour. The safety and comfort of the rescue pet and your family are the top priorities.
Here are a few things to keep in mind in the days and weeks that follow the adoption of your rescue pet:
Give it time
Moving is stressful. Give your new pet time and space to acclimate to your home and family. Don’t introduce him to strangers before he’s comfortable with you. Most people who adopt a dog or cat say that it takes at least a few weeks for their personality to shine through. So, take it slow as you all get to know each other.
Create a designated safe space, like a crate, for your rescue pet. Show your new pet this area as soon as you get home. For the first few days, remain calm and quiet around the rescue animal. Teach your kids how to behave around a rescue. Don’t let them play roughly with a rescue dog or raise their hands at it. Rescue animals might have been abused with objects like leashes, sticks, hands, etc., and therefore, could be aggressive or nervous around them.
Find out the type of food and how much to feed the cat or dog. It’s best to provide the highest-quality food possible. Remember that feeding a pet can be expensive, so make sure you have pet food factored into your budget. Good nutrition will keep the pet healthy and vet bills lower.
Get to the vet
Rescue animals might be more susceptible to disease, injury, and illness depending on the environment they were in previously. Take your new pet to the vet for a checkup so you know their condition from the start. Continue to be a good pet owner by taking your rescue dog or cat to the vet regularly.
Having a pet can get expensive, especially with a rescue. That’s why we highly recommend you invest in pet insurance. With Petline, you can be reimbursed for up to 80% of veterinary costs – and you receive Hudson’s Bay Rewards points.