If you’re bringing home a pet from the shelter or rescue, there are special considerations to make as you prepare for welcoming them home. We at Sumner Veterinary Hospital want to share what you can expect and how you can help your new furry friend acclimate to their fur-ever home.
The first three days with a new pet
In the first three days with your new rescue pet, they may be unwilling to interact much with your family, reluctant to eat, and uninterested in walks or playtime, and they may spend much of their time in their crate or another safe place. Your new pet is likely uneasy because they have been uprooted yet again. They will need time to settle in and learn your voices, scents, and routine without being pushed.
The first three weeks with a new pet
After three weeks, your new pet should begin to realize this is their forever home and to show their true personality. They have likely learned the routine, such as when to expect dinner, but may still be having training issues and need a refresher house-training course. Teach them as you would a new puppy or kitten—rather than an adult—with patience, using positive reinforcement to reward their appropriate behavior. Gently teach your new dog where to eliminate outdoors or confine your older cat with their food, water, bed, and litter box to retrain them to use a box.
The first three months with a new pet
When the three-month period rolls around, your new pet should be settled in and understand the household schedule and rules. They may still have some training or behavior issues, but lifelong training is an excellent way to develop a deep relationship with your pet. At this point, you’ve picked up on your pet’s little quirks that make them unique, special, and your new best friend.