While there are various ways to adopt a pet, such as from a breeder, one can save a life and rescue a dog from abuse, neglect, or euthanasia. This job is not for everyone, but those who have it in their heart to do so should be prepared to take on a set of challenges not typical with other pets. Here are some ways to best care for a rescue dog.
Having patience is the primary way to care for a rescue dog. Your dog will likely have emotional burdens from past trauma, to which owners should be sensitive; one should never push their dog to do anything past its limit. Your dog might also lack house-training and social skills. Puppies usually go through socialization to get them used to animals, people, and other things in the outside world, but a rescue dog might be timid.
Learn Your Dog’s History and Habits
Another way to help your new pet adjust is to learn as much as you can about its history, health, and habits. You can talk with the people from whom you rescued it about anything they might know about these things. The more you know, the better you can help.
Don’t Punish, Reward
An abused dog may easily interpret disciplinary behavior as harmful rather than helpful. It might not know the difference between punishment and discipline. The worst that could happen is that your dog becomes afraid of you. Therefore, it is better to interrupt your pet’s unwanted behaviors and reward it for doing so.
As your pet adjusts to living in a loving home, you’ll want to take things slowly. Gradual acclimation is best. You can keep the noise in the house down to a minimum for the first two weeks. However, you don’t want to creep around your dog. Allow it to get used to the sounds of television, people talking, and other normal sounds.
Have Another Pet
The adjustment will likely be even easier if you already have a pet that will befriend the newcomer. Another dog is best, but a cat can also be a good companion for it when you are not home. Another animal will help your rescue know how to act more quickly.
If your dog becomes uncomfortable or frightened, give it space and do not turn your back to it. Dogs will want to either fight, flee, or both in the face of supposed danger. Let there always be a place for it to retreat, such as an open cage with plenty of blankets.
Watch Out for Health Problems
Lastly, your dog could have minor or serious health problems. Be sure to choose a vet you can depend on for all your pet’s needs.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!