During The First Few Weeks:
Give Your Pet Some Space: Talk calmly to your new pet and be available for him but let your pet come up to you for the first 2-4 weeks. Since you don’t know how your pet’s past has affected him or if there are trust issues, it is best to avoid smothering them. If they prefer to sit on the floor in another room, you can sit near him for a few minutes and offer him some treats and talk quietly reassuring him that you care. If he doesn’t want to come near you, leave a few pieces of food on the floor and he will approach it and eat it when he is ready. Make sure that the new pet has his own blanket and/or bed and leave it in an area he feels safe in. He will learn that you aren’t there to harm him. This may take time, be patient as this may take a few months.
Look Out for Stress-Related Issues: You could be the most understanding pet parent in the entire world and your pet still might experience some PTSD stress. Rescue pets have had many changes and no matter how loving you are to them, all this change can still be stressful. Look out for symptoms like diarrhea, shaking, vomiting, and not sleeping. Make sure that these symptoms are not food or parasitic-related. Creating a calm and quiet environment may help your pet adjust. Calm music, lavender candles, kids not yelling or running around, and leaving treats for him near his blanket and bed that contain chamomile and valerian root may naturally reduce your pet’s stress.
Feeding And Housing Training Troubles Can Occur: Most pets like to eat but for pets that are stressed eating food can amplify their anxiety. Try placing treats or drizzle peanut butter over the food to tempt them. Along with that, Rescue pets may have not had clear routines in the past, resulting in them not being trained. Many pets haven’t had a stable meal routine and exercise schedule. Once this has been established by you, they can depend on it and this can be a source that is calming to them.
Getting Comfortable with you and other members of their new family:
Start Slow: Getting used to one another is not just stressful for your pet but everyone in the household. A new family member can be a source of comfort or strain. Rescue dogs may have come from a chaotic unstable home or loving home and this new experience may cause them to put their guard up. Make sure that everyone in the household allows the adjustment to naturally occur. Current pets and new pets should be monitored until you know that they will respect one.
All of this takes time, and it is most important to be patient, prepared, and flexible! Just remember, every pet and family has an adjustment period. Your rescue pet will eventually feel safe enough to show you affection and happiness.