Making the choice to adopt a rescue dog is honorable, a decision that has the potential to deeply impact the happiness and quality of life for an animal who may have experienced trauma in the past. This trauma can manifest physically and behaviorally in a number of ways, and it’s important that you are equipped to help your newest member of the family adapt to his new life. Elmhurst Animal Care Center is dedicated to helping connect pets to their “forever homes” and has, to date, helped over 10,000 pets find loving families through their services. As their friendly staff knows, the following steps can do wonders for both you and your pet during this transition.
- Before adopting a rescue dog, take a foster dog into your home first. This will help you develop a more informed decision. Taking in a rescue dog is incredibly different than raising a puppy, and though the rewards are incredibly high, it can be challenging to develop a relationship with an animal who may be rebuilding its trust with humans. If you lead an incredibly busy life, consider the fact that you will need to put more time and effort into a relationship with your new pet to solidify that trust. You may need to go above and beyond two walks a day and making sure that the water dish is always full.
- Patience is an absolute must. It’s quite possible that you will find a dog that has baggage from a previous owner that manifests in aggressive or fearful behaviors. Animals that have been abused may recognize characteristics of their abusers in strangers passing by on an afternoon walk, responding aggressively by barking or chasing. Some dogs may also have problems with other canines if they weren’t socialized or trained properly by their previous owners.
- Be persistent with your dog to help shift behaviors. Though it may take a great deal more time, you simply must continue to encourage good behaviors with positive reinforcement and discourage bad behaviors kindly. It can take years for some dogs to fully acclimate, and even then, they still carry that trauma with them but learn how to manage their behaviors differently.
Elmhurst Animal Care Center provides numerous services designed to bring your dog the highest quality of comfort and care. All new clients receive a complimentary exam, and their knowledgeable staff encourage you to check out their website for deals and discounts on services such as microchipping and grooming.