Tips to Help your Adopted Pet Adjust to your New Home
Congratulations on making the decision to adopt a pet! There are millions of animals living in shelters across the country just waiting for loving homes, and your adoption will give a pet the chance at a fantastic new life. A new pet is also a great addition to any home, providing fun, love and companionship.
Although getting a new pet is an extremely rewarding experience, it is also a huge change for the animal that you are adopting. Depending on her prior circumstances, she may be coming from a shelter packed with dozens or hundreds of other animals. Alternatively, she may be coming from another home where she is familiar with the sights, sounds and people/animals that she comes into contact with.
An adjustment period is to be expected with any pet adoption. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help make the transition to your care as easy as possible.
Take it slow
You can’t rush the settling-in period when getting a new pet used to her surroundings and we guarantee your new family member will appreciate your patience. Let her take each step at her own pace, and if something seems to make her uncomfortable, such as going outside or meeting children, take a break and come back to it at a later time.
Provide a safe space
Your pet will also appreciate a space that she can call her own while she is settling in. This should be a room or area that is completely free from other animals (don’t even let them wander in or through) and somewhere she can go to chill out when it all gets a little overwhelming. Bring her bed from her previous home if you can as the familiar smell will be comforting.
Let her eat alone
If you have other animals, it is important that you let your new pet eat alone until she is confident and settled. Some pets come from homes or shelters whereby there is competition for food and it is not unheard of for a pet to become aggressive at mealtimes as they settle in to their new home. Give her space to eat at her own pace and away from people and other pets.
Don’t be surprised if she has stomach issues
When you move a pet to a new environment it is common for them to have stomach issues, both from stress and from a change in their diet. You can speak to the shelter or previous home to see if there are any specific dietary problems to consider, or to see what brand of food they have been using. If you want to switch to something new, do it gradually to give your pet time to adjust.
Create a routine and stick to it
Much like children, animals benefit from a routine. The sooner your pet learns her new routine the easier it will be for her to feel comfortable and settled. You can help your new family member by:
- Feeding at the same time every day
- Having routine potty breaks
- Walking at the same times of day
- Starting and finishing the day at the same times
If you would like further advice on tips to help your adopted pet settle in, contact us and speak to our veterinarian.