Adopting a rescue pet: What you need to know
Choosing to adopt a rescue pet is a wonderful and thoughtful gesture.
By giving an animal a second chance at a good home, you’re likely saving them from a life in kennels – or worse. However, it’s important to remember that there are some extra challenges often associated with rescue animals and you need to know you’ll be prepared and able to cope with them.
Find out more about what it means to adopt a rescue pet and see if you think you’re ready to take on the responsibility.
Adopting your pet
When you choose to adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter, you may or may not be able to find out more about their past. Some animals will have come from a happy home and only need to be rehoused thanks to unfortunate change in circumstances. Others may have been mistreated and will be in need of some extra care and attention.
Your rescue centre will hopefully be able to give you some useful information about the animal’s personality and behaviour but this is likely to change once they’ve been rehomed – and often for the better. The RSPCA has some great information and also a useful video about adopting pets that’s a great place to start.
Bringing your rescue pet home
If you’re thinking about adopting a rescue cat, Your Cat has an excellent guide to settling your new pet into your home. It suggests ensuring that your cat has secure and quiet room with a comfy bed and litter tray nearby. After a while, your cat will begin to acclimatise and you can separate the tray and bed but in the early days, it’s best if your cat doesn’t have to travel far. Cat Chat has put together a handy resource with cat adoption centres across the UK and Ireland and also has links to articles about the benefits of adopting different kinds of cat.
When you’re thinking about adopting a dog, you’ll also want to think about what you can do during its first days home to make the transition easier. Healthy Pets has a useful article about rehoming with some top hints about building a bond and Paw Rescue also has some vital advice for looking after your new pet.
It’s also worth remembering that while cats and dogs are the by far the most common pets to be rescued and adopted, there are lots of other animals that might need your love and help too. Support Adoption for Pets has 350 small animal adoption centres across the nation for pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas and even fish. Small animals will also need some extra love and attention when they get home and often a very slow introduction to their surroundings and their new owner.
Give your rescue pet all of the time it needs to begin to love and trust you and you’ll soon have a wonderful new companion.