Bonding with Skittish Rescues: What You Should Know Before Adopting a Pet with a Past
Even with rescues who've been fostered for awhile, little may be known about their lives pre-shelter. An animal who's been mistreated naturally may be fearful. But don't let that stop you! All it takes is a little extra time and care to help a skittish rescue become a happy house cat or laid-back family dog.
Be sure you're ready
Have you considered the cost of care over the pet's lifespan? Have you taken into account your own needs and limitations, and researched which breeds might be best for you? Have you set aside time to bond with your new four-legged family member? If you can say "yes" to all of these, it sounds like you're ready.
Take it slow
Give your overwhelmed rescue dog or cat time to get used to you before meeting other people or pets.
Let him sniff around, but make sure he has his own crate or pet bed for when he needs some quiet time. Outside, keep your pooch on leash in case he gets startled and tries to bolt. Praise the new pet frequently and never force contact. Your dog or cat will eventually come to you, especially if there's a treat in your hand.
Ask for help
As your pet learns to trust you, he'll become more adventurous. But if after a while your new fur baby still seems excessively anxious, consult your veterinarian. She'll check for other issues and possibly prescribe a calming aid.
Over time you'll both relax. Whether it takes days, weeks or months, the rewards are immeasurable!