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Bringing home a rescue dog or cat can transform an animal’s life, and can certainly enrich yours. Transitioning a shelter or rescue pet into your family’s home is an exciting time. Knowing insider tips on how best to take this exciting step will insure many years of happy healthy pet parentage. Here are six tips for making that transition go smoothly.
Gather up all the equipment and supplies you’ll need before bringing home a rescue dog or cat. For both canines and felines, that means appropriate food, bowls for water and food, bedding, toys, treats, and grooming supplies. For dogs, you’ll need a collar, leash and ID tags, while for cats, a litter box, scoop and litter are essential. You also will want a collar for a cat, even if you plan for it to be an indoor pet — cats can be great escape artists. Get a carrier for cats and small dogs.
Have a crate for a dog. A crate gives a dog a sense of security, akin to a den. Using a crate can help soothe a nervous dog by giving her a secluded, quiet space of her own. As the American Kennel Club (AKC) notes, rescue dogs have excessive barking and destructive chewing. Crating can boost their confidence as they become accustomed to their new surroundings.
Cats enjoy their own bedding. Some have domed covers to give your new kitty a safe place to sleep.
Even if your house or apartment is small, do not give a rescue animal the run of the place right away. Instead, confine the pet to one room or one part of your abode. Crates are helpful in this regard. By limiting access, you are also limiting potential destruction until the animal adjusts to the new surroundings.
Install baby gates on the doorway to the room so the animal can see and hear what happens in your household, but from a comfortable distance.
Establish a routine with your rescue pet as soon as possible. This is particularly crucial for dogs, whose bodies need to adjust to regular potty breaks and exercise at the dog park or on walks. Housetraining can take some time, and requires patience. Give the dog plenty of praise when he urinates or defecates outside, and establish and stick to a consistent feeding and walking schedule.
Dogs will look to you as the leader of their pack. An orderly routine helps you establish that position.
If you have other pets living in your home, you must ensure their safety as well as the safety of the rescue animal. The right introduction is paramount. Introduce a rescue animal to your pet in a neutral area, if possible. Even if the animals seem to get along, do not leave them unsupervised until you are sure they will not fight.
A rescue animal may benefit from another one in the house because that one can show the new animal the ropes when it comes to outings (for dogs) and expected behaviors.
If you’re already a cat mom or dad and bringing in a new feline friend, you’ll need a room to keep the foster cat isolated from them initially. Don’t give the foster and your felines access to each other at first. Make sure the foster and your pet are current on vaccinations. Once the foster has settled in somewhat and you are certain the animal is healthy, permit your cats to sniff the foster through the door of the isolation room or a crate or carrier. Take the introduction slowly. Although some felines may not prove too fond of the newcomer, cats usually adjust.
If you have kids in your home, teach them how to behave around pets. That means giving animals sufficient space. Warn them not to try cuddling a rescue pet or paying the animal too much attention until it settles into the house and your routine. A scared animal can snap out of fear. With love and proper training, any fear factor should fade over time and the rescue pet becomes a true member of the family.
Even a laid-back, calm animal is likely to feel anxious in a new environment, no matter how welcoming. An animal that is especially nervous or fearful is even more vulnerable. Advice for bringing home a rescue animal includes practical ways of making the process go smoothly. That includes daubing some soothing lavender on a bandana around the animal’s neck and reapplying every few hours. Another option is Purity Preferred’s CBD Calming products for pets, which may help promote calmness during this transition so the pet can relax and feel less stressed.
Why choose Purity Preferred CBD Calming for your pets, rescue and otherwise? We blend our proprietary strains of hemp — farmed with special care and under strict regulations — with other highly efficacious and safe active ingredients for our unique pet-specific product formulations. Purity Preferred CBD Calming has zero THC. Our CBD products blend full-spectrum hemp with moringa oil and krill oil to reduce inflammation and enhance the physical and mental well-being of an animal, and that is especially critical for a pet going through a new life change.
Jane Meggitt’s work has appeared in dozens of publications, including USA Today, Zack’s, Financial Advisor, nj.com, the Houston Chronicle and the Nest.
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