Did you know that 1 in 3 pets in shelters are adopted? If you’ve ever been to a shelter, you’ve seen them – furry companions in search of a caring home. If you’re considering giving a shelter pet a forever home, understanding an animal’s needs is key. In this article, we cover tips to help both first-time adopters and experienced pet owners alike master the art of adopting and fostering a rescued pet. Let’s get started!
1. Appreciating the Adoption Possibilities
Adopting can be an incredibly powerful and rewarding experience, and it’s important to take a moment to appreciate the possibilities that come with it. There are a number of concrete tangible benefits to adoption that can range from providing a home to a child in need to accessing financial breaks and government assistance. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- A Sense of Happiness & Fulfilment: When a parent chooses to adopt a child, the happiness that comes with that relationship can last a lifetime. The joy of creating a family and providing a loving and stable home will bring intense happiness and satisfaction into the family.
- Educational Opportunities: For many adopted children, adoption into a family also provides access to better educational opportunities. Resources like college savings and college tuition for adopted children are available in many states, which can bring much needed relief to both children and parents.
A family built together with love through adoption will be full of smiles, memories and experiences, and it’s important to appreciate that. Adoption is an incredibly powerful option to help children in need and open the door to lasting family bonds.
2. Making Shelter Animals Feel at Home
Once an animal has been adopted from a shelter, they will be in a new home and will need help settling and feeling comfortable. Here are some tips for making an animal feel at home:
- Spend time getting to know the animal – gradually introduce them to their new environment.
- Make sure they have a comfortable safe area they can retreat to when they feel overwhelmed.
- Let them explore the home and get to know the layout and scents.
- Provide familiar activities like play and cuddles which will help them build trust.
It’s important to give an animal space and time to adjust to their new surroundings. Even if the animal seems to settle in quickly, be aware that they can get stressed quite easily. Make sure to keep a calm and relaxed environment. Spend quality time with the animal, not only in play but in quiet environments too. This will allow them to build trust and get used to their new home.
3. Getting to Know Your Furry Friend
So you have a furry friend now, and you want to get to know them? Here are some helpful tips that will help you form a bond and get to know your new pet:
- Observe – Watch their behavior. How does your pet act in different environments and around different people? This will give you insight into their personality and help you better understand them.
- Interact – Talk to your pet, whether it be a dog, cat, or another animal. Speak in a calming voice, and reward them with treats when they react positively.
- Play – Spend time playing and exercising with your pet. This helps them to energetically release emotions and become more socialized.
The more time you spend with your furry friend, the more comfortable they’ll be. Take things at a natural and comfortable pace for both of you. With patience and consistency, your pet will open up and you’ll both become closer together.
4. Fostering an Unconditional Bond
Nurturing an unconditional bond between parents and their child during their childhood is one of the greatest gifts that parents can give them. No matter what changes life brings, a strong, secure bond between parent and child stands the test of time and can act as a source of strength and reassurance through difficult times.
The bond that parents build with their offspring begins with one key ingredient: unconditional love. Showing unconditional love to a child no matter what, gives them the safety to be themselves and to express their thoughts and feelings without the feeling of being judged or rejected. Beyond that, it also encourages trust, respect and communication.
- Take an interest in your child – Children thrive on connecting with their guardians. Spending quality time with them, even if it’s a few moments a day, helps them to feel loved and provides an opportunity to learn about their thoughts, feelings and interests.
- Encourage exploration – Invite conversations by asking open-ended questions and show interest in exploring different ideas, cultures, experiences, and perspectives.
- Put them first – Avoid putting your own needs ahead of your child’s. Taking the time and energy to focus on your child helps to foster their sense of belonging and security.
- Listen and comfort – Pay attention when they speak and take the time to truly understand what they are feeling. When they are upset, listen and provide a gentle embrace that gives them a feeling of comfort and love.
Adopting or fostering a rescued pet can be a rewarding experience that can have a positive impact on both animal and human. It is important to recognize the many ways that your carefully chosen companion will enrich your life. Understanding how to properly care for an animal in need can be the first step to building a lasting bond with a shelter pet.