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Difficulties with Adopting Pets

By: Jane Pullen - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Difficulties With Adopting Pets

Many adopted pets quickly settle into their new homes and the beginnings of a long and happy relationship are formed. There are times, however, when pets can take a little longer to settle and this can present some difficulties. Before adopting a pet from a rescue centre, it is important to consider the difficulties that may arise as well as the positive aspects of adopting a pet. This can help to prepare a family for potential pitfalls and make sure that they are well placed to deal with them.

House Training

One difficulty that can arise with newly adopted pets is house training. Even the most well behaved pet can break his house training when he is feeling insecure or nervous. Most adopted pets will feel unsettled during their first few days and this can result in them going to the toilet in the house. This generally stops when the pet feels more secure, however there are occasions when this is an ongoing problem and the pet needs to be retrained.

Running Away or Wandering

Dogs and cats may be confused when they arrive at their new home. If they have come from a rescue centre they will be used to the noise and smells of the rescue centre and the company of other animals. It will take a pet some time to realise that this is his new home and he may well be tempted to wander during the first few days. Cats should not be let out of the house for at least three weeks. This gives them time to get used to their new surroundings. Dogs should not be let off their leads until people are confident that they will come back. If an adopted pet has been given a new name, then it is also important to get the pet used to his new name as soon as possible.

Nervous Behaviour and Hiding

Some dogs and cats may be very nervous during their first few days and may want to take themselves away from humans or other animals. Making sure that they have safe and secure surroundings which are away from people and other animals will help the new pet to settle. It is difficult to bond with a nervous pet, therefore helping to build their confidence and making them feel secure in their new home is extremely important.

Unknown Illnesses or Injuries

The background of a pet from a rescue centre maybe unknown. While each animal is likely to have been thoroughly checked by a vet or experienced staff member, there may well be a history of illness or recurring problems from an injury that are not apparent at the time. These circumstances are almost impossible to plan for, however families looking to give a home to an adopted pet should always consider the fact that there may be additional costs involved.

Ongoing Difficulties

Many problems and difficulties are short term and disappear quickly as the pet gets settled into his new home. Some ongoing difficulties need special support and help. This can include special pet training or support from the rescue centre. Many rescue centres will be happy to talk through any issues that a family is facing with a new pet and offer advice based on their experience. If the difficulties are irreconcilable then a rescue centre will accept a pet back for rehoming. The staff at the rescue centre will appreciate the hard decision that has been made and will never put people under pressure to keep a pet that they cannot look after.

The pleasure that an adopted pet brings usually vastly outweighs any difficulties experienced early on and many families look forward to a long and happy relationship with their adopted pets.

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