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5 Tips on How to Care For a Rescue Pet

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Rescuing a pet is a good deed, but it can also be hard. If you’re getting ready to come home with a recently rescued fur baby then you’ll need to do the best you can to help them adapt. Depending on the background of the animal, this can be a major task. If you’re willing to take on the responsibility, however, it will be a massively rewarding experience. Read on for some tips to make the process smooth for both of you.

1. Have a Plan Ahead of Time

With rescue animals, the transition to their new home can be a disorienting, frightening experience. Many have rather grim backgrounds, which makes for behavioral issues.

Making sure that things are structured before the animal comes home with you is important. You’ll want to have the bowls, crate, bed, and other fixtures in place when the dog comes home with you and know where they’ll spend the majority of their time.

One of the key things you can do for your new pet is to make sure they have an excellent bed.

Plan things out and try to foresee any problems. Prep time is important, and it’ll let you get ready for any problems that may arise.

2. Pay Close Attention to the Animal

When you bring the animal home, you need to constantly observe its behavior.

While cats can usually be left to roam and figure things out, dogs require a bit more work. A rescue dog may not have good habits instilled and many people recommend keeping them on a leash for the first week or so.

This will not only keep the animal close to you, but it also allows you to control the dog if anything bad happens.

You should never leave a rescue alone with any other animals or young children either. While most rescues have acclimated well enough, they can be quite unpredictable in the first few days. A scared dog is more likely to bite than an angry one and they’re going through a lot of life changes in their first few days in the home.

3. Visit the Veterinarian

One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to begin veterinarian visits immediately. While the shelter probably informed you of any health issues, you’ll still want to develop a rapport with the vet.

Regular check-ups will keep your animal in good health and let you know of any issues which may crop up in the future.

This tip is doubly important if you adopt a breed prone to health issues. German Shepherds often suffer from hip dysplasia, for instance. Having a trained medical eye on any issues that arise is one of the key things you can do to provide your rescue with a long and happy life.

Vets can also give advice in places you missed. Things like grooming supplies are often overlooked by first-time pet owners, for instance, but may be a necessary part of maintaining your dog or cat’s well-being.

4. Limit Guests at First

You should give your rescued animal at least a couple of weeks to acclimate to their new environment.

Bringing in guests brings in more pressure than they need to handle. If you do have guests over, you’ll want to keep them from interacting with your rescue. You need more time to make sure your animal is okay to socialize, and the animal needs to find itself in a stable environment to begin recovery.

It can be a bit of a pain. Just don’t plan any big dinner parties for the first couple of weeks and try to receive any guests outside or in a room the animal has no access to.

In a couple of weeks, you’ll be proudly able to show off your pet, you just need a bit of patience.

5. Prepare for Accidents and Mistakes

You and your new rescue are beginning a journey together.

Along the way, mistakes will be made and things will go awry.

Housebreaking, for instance, can be much more difficult with an adult rescue animal than it would be for a brand new pup. Other animals may be clumsy, or too curious, or just snap at the wrong moment.

Rescuing an animal is a noble thing, but it’s not always an easy one. You can do right by your new pet by remaining patient and helping them to work through their issues.

So, when those problems happen, take a deep breath and see how you can avoid them happening again. It’s easy to give in to anger at the moment, but it’s much easier to avoid aggravating the problem when you’re mentally prepared and accept that things will go wrong at some point.


Rescuing a pet is a rewarding task, but it’s one that can be fraught with difficulty. Preparation, both physical and mental, is the best way to make your lives easier. As long as you use the above tips, anything else which may crop up will be unique to your new pet. But the reward of giving an animal the life it deserves is timeless.

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