Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Transition a Rescued Pet to Their Forever Home

Adopt Me...Please!
Looking For Our Forever Home

Rescued dogs and cats make wonderful pets.  They are always so grateful to you for giving them a second chance at life!  The first step is to find the right pet for your family and lifestyle.  Different pets have different needs.  You need to determine what pet will fit with your day-to day routine.  You should consider how active the pet is and how much care they will need.  Some dogs are very active and if they do not get regular exercise, can engage in destructive behavior.  Some pets have coats that need daily grooming.  How much time do you have to devote to your pet?

Where To Find Your New Pet?

Adopting from a shelter or rescue is cost effective, and helps a deserving pet find a forever home. It can save a pet from being euthanized.  Most shelters have time limits on how long a stray or abandoned animal can be kept at the shelter.  Many times, it is only a few days.  Rescue groupos  are a great resource also as they often will have more knowledge of the history and temperament of the pets and can help you find one that fits your family.  Be prepared to fill out a application and often have an interview. Reputable shelters and rescue groups have certain criteria.  The goal is to protect the pet and to ensure a good match for your family.  For example, some families may want to rescue a Siberian Husky for their beauty, but plan to keep the dog outside.  Huskies are pack animals that crave being part of a family and our indoor dogs!  In fact, all dogs and cats ideally should be offered the opportunity to be inside the home and outside so that they can be properly socialized with your family.

A great resource to search for pets in your area is  It is surprising to many people to see the number of purebreds, even puppies and kittens that are needing a home.  Petfinder has listings of all rescues and shelter pets that are currently available.  It does not show pets from breeders.

When You Bring Your New Pet Home

With time and commitment you can transition your pet, who has had less than an ideal past, into a well-adjusted, loving member of the family.  The first few days are always the toughest and can make you question your decision.  Please know your new pet is VERY STRESSED and scared.  Your new pet was abadoned before and even if it may not seem like it, is trying very hard to do the right things, but doesn't know what you want.  Therefore, having "rules" set up will set you both up for a good start.  For example, assume that your new dog is not housetrained and keep the new dog on a leash inside going out every hour to show them where to go.   Be patient-it is a stressful time for both you and your new pet...things will go wrong.  There may be accidents on the floor and other mishaps (your favorite shoes as a chew toy? that fence you thought was escape proof...NOT). it is important that you have realistic expectations and use available resources,you can consider formal puppy or dog training class to help instill manners.  Positive reinforcement is key to changing bad behaviors and insuring good, thus making a smooth transition.

Give You Pet The Stepping Stones to Good Health:

  • What To Feed A Rescue Pet- proper nutrition can reduce your pets risk of suffering conditions such as allergies, cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease.  Many pets have been malnourished.  Feed a rescue pet a raw frozen diet along with homemade vegetables or premium, grain-free canned food.  Dry food should be limited or not used at all, even grain-free as it is high in carbohydrates and not nearly as nutritious as the raw, canned or homemade food.
  • Veterinarian Visit- always take your new pet to the veterinarian immediately after adoption.  Do not wait especially if you have other pets at home.  Some pets may have worms, parasites or fleas which you don't want to bring into your home.  They could also have contracted a virus or upper respiratory infection at the shelter so please take your new pet to the veterinarian right away.  Many shelters offer a free first appointment veterinary exam with adoption.
  • Physical Fitness- engaging in regular exercise will keep your pet strong and entertained
  • A strong and balanced immune system- including supplements such as Amazing Omegas, and Power Probiotic can help strengthen your pets immune system
Following these steps, when considering adopting a new pet, will help to ensure a smooth transition and lead to many happy times for you and your pet.