10 Tips for Transitioning your Pet from HSNEGA to Home
Bringing home a new rescue is exciting! While you’re busy buying them a fancy new bed or treats, remember that there is a lot of other things to keep in mind as they adjust to their new surroundings. Here are 10 tips to help transition your pet into their new home:
1. Remind Yourself It Takes Time
This seems like it would be obvious, but in reality, it can be hard to accept that it may actually take a few WEEKS for a rescue’s true personality to emerge. If at first they seem shy or scared, give them time! A little patience will lead to a lifetime of love and the weeks they spend getting used to their new home will soon become a distant memory!
2. Don’t Overwhelm Them
From the moment they leave HSNEGA, your new dog or cat begins meeting your family, exploring a whole new environment and dealing with a TON of new smells. Talk about sensory overload! It’s hard with all of the excitement of bringing home a pet not to overcrowd your new furry friend, but they’ll certainly appreciate the space as they get oriented.
3. Try Not to Feel Guilty
In the first few days, it’s easy to feel guilty if you see your new friend hiding or acting withdrawn. Especially when you have to leave to go to work, knowing you left your new pet at home. There is a lot of change going on and your pet, like you, is adjusting to a new routine. In time, they will become braver in the home and will be just as excited to see you when you return.
4. Pet Proof Your Home
Just like you would for a newborn baby, you may want to pet-proof your house before your new friend arrives, especially if you are bringing home a kitten or puppy that has not had any training. This includes putting up any hazardous items, removing exposed cords and buying gates or a crate to keep them out of areas they should avoid… at least until they learn the ropes!
5. Be Understanding
It’s a huge transition moving from spending hours in a shelter to home life. One of the biggest changes is getting used to the new bathroom situation. Even rescues who do well keeping their kennel clean may have an accident or two as they learn where it is and isn’t okay to relieve themselves. Training takes time and, as mentioned before, rescues have a lot of changes to adjust to when they first arrive in a new home!
6. Talk with Your Family
Whether you have young children or older family members, it can be a good idea to sit down and discuss how to best welcome your new family member. This can include watching resources on how to hold a rescue, discussing boundaries or the deciding on what training will take place for your new companion.
7. Find Training Resources
Training resources are the best way to prepare before bringing a new rescue home! Whether it’s watching videos on YouTube or accessing a catalog, like Best Friend’s step-by-step training guides, reviewing these resources ahead of time is a great way to set your cat or dog up for success.
8. Introduce Them to their Area
Before going to get your new friend, make sure the they have a special area is set up in your house. Once you bring them in, it’s important to make that their first stop before allowing them to explore the rest of your home. This spot should be reserved for them alone and will act as their safe space while they adjust to their new surroundings.
9. Slowly Introduce Food
In addition to adjusting to a new home, a new diet can also be a lot for your rescue at first! It can even lead to some pretty upset stomachs, which may lead to more accidents. Be sure to ask what your pet was eating beforehand, then slowly begin the process of transitioning their food. A guide on transitioning food can be found here!
10. Struggling? Ask for Help!
If your struggling, try speaking with the Adoption Team at the shelter you adopted from. They often have a vast wealth of resources that they would be happy to share with you to help you and your furry friend adjust.
For more HSNEGA pet ownership tips visit https://hsnega-augusta.org/category/pet-ownership-resources/.
Give with Confidence
At HSNEGA, we want to remember the amazing rescues that come to stay with us. All of the animals pictured on this site have been with us at some point. Some have already found their forever homes, but some may still be here at HSNEGA! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID #58-0678817) and has received top recognition from the following charity rating organizations: