What to Expect After Bringing Home a New Shelter Pet

River Valley Animal Hospital knows that bringing home a new pet is an exciting, and occasionally overwhelming, time for the entire family, including the pet. You’ve likely picked out all their necessary supplies, with a collar for each day of the week, a bed softer than yours, and a diet healthier than any that has graced your table. But, have you considered how much your new furry pal will need to adjust during the first few months? This is often the most stressful time for a new pet and the family, especially for an older pet who has been bounced from home to home or spent a long period in an animal shelter. To help ease your furry new addition into your family, follow these three rules of three. 

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 may spend much of her time in their crate, or another safe place. Your new pet is likely uneasy, because they have been uprooted yet again and 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 may need a refresher house-training course. Teach them as you would a new puppy or kitten, rather than an adult, with patience, and 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 behavioral 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.

Get Your Newly Adopted Pet a Vet Appointment

If you’re wondering, “when should I take my adopted pet to the vet?,” the answer is that you should take your new pet the vet within the first week. It’s important to get your new pet a veterinary checkup as soon as possible to ensure a clean bill of health, especially since some injuries or illnesses can go unnoticed by shelters.

If you have welcomed a new shelter or rescue pet in Arkansas, feel free to give us a call to schedule a wellness exam, to ensure your new friend is in tip-top shape.