So you’ve decided your home needs a new furry friend. Out of all the ways you can bring a new pet into your life, choosing to rescue is one of the most rewarding ways to help give any animal a new home. As is the case with bringing home any new companion, it’s important to go through the process and carefully consider the best option for you and your environment. Introducing a rescue animal into your space can have its challenges, but there are a few things you can do to help make the transition as stress free and comfortable as possible for your new best friend.
Before You Choose Your Rescue Pet
Bringing home a new animal can be an exciting time, but it’s important to stop and take some time to consider your options as you begin to search for your new best friend.
Research Which Pet is Best For You
When it comes to choosing not only the right type of animal, but also the best breed of your animal of choice, while you may find yourself drawn to certain ones, it’s important to consider yourself, your lifestyle and your home and what breed is going to intertwine best. Some factors to consider when researching are;
- How much space do you have at home for your pet to exercise?
- How much time do you have to take them out of the house each day to meet their daily exercise needs?
- How much time are you at home on a daily and weekly basis?
- How much time do you spend travelling and away from home?
- Do you have any allergies?
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Pick a Reputable Shelter/Organisation to Rescue From
When looking for somewhere to choose your new pet from, it’s important to research and make sure your pet is coming from a reputable rescue or organisation. Unfortunately some people run rescues just to make money, meaning they may not be looking after the animals properly which cause long term behavioural issues that can be tough to correct. It also means they may not have a high priority in matching the right animal to the right home, which can lead to you getting minimal information about your chosen pet and coming home with an animal that just isn’t suited to your space or lifestyle. Checking online reviews and making sure the organisation has a good profile of their animals that includes photos and information about their personality is usually a good starting point for choosing a place to rescue from. We have also complied a short list of various organisations and rescues throughout Australia that are great places to start searching for your new furry family member.
Pet Rescue Organisations in NSW
- Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
- Animal Adoption Agency
- Animal Welfare League NSW
- Liverpool Animal Shelter
- RSPCA NSW
Pet Rescue Organisations in Victoria
- Animal Aid
- Blue Cross Animal Society
- The Lost Dog’s Home & Cat Shelter
- Australian Animal Protection Society
- Geelong Animal Welfare Society
Pet Rescue Organisations in South Australia
- RSPCA South Australia
- South Australian Humane Animal Rescue Association
- Animal Welfare League SA
- Be The Change Animal Shelter
- Hope Springs Eternal Dog Rescue & Rehoming
Pet Rescue Organisations in Western Australia
- Albany Animal Welfare
- SAFE Perth
- WA Pet Project
- Animal Rescue BARRC
Pet Rescue Organisations in Queensland
- RSPCA Queensland
- Best Friends Rescue QLD
- Happy Tails Animal Rescue
- Animal Welfare League QLD
Pet Rescue Organisations in ACT
- Canberra Pet Rescue
- ACT Foster and Rescue Inc
- RSPCA ACT
- Queanbeyan Pound
Get To Know Your Pet Before Bringing Them Home
When looking for a pet, or when you think you’re narrowing down on who you’d like to bring home, make sure you take some time to sit with them while they’re still at the rescue or shelter. Use this time to get to know their personality and begin to create a bond between you. This time will also allow you to determine whether you’re the right fit for one another.
Get Prepped for the Big Arrival
Once you’ve found your best match and have started the adoption process, you can start getting all the supplies you’ll need for when your new pet comes home.
- Go shopping for a new bed, toys, grooming products, food and bowls.
- Find your local vet and make an appointment for an initial health check once your pet arrives home.
- Look into pet insurance and determine whether taking out a policy might be a good option for you.
- Connect with local pet owners groups and if you plan to head to the dog park, find your nearest one and become familiar with the area.
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What To Do When Welcoming Your Rescue Pet Home
Any time an animal moves locations and is brought into a new space, it’s very common for them to feel a little stressed and unsure. While you might want to shower your new companion with all the love and affection, they may not be quite ready for all the attention straight away as they become accustomed to their new surroundings. To help make the transition as smooth as possible and ease your new pet’s anxieties, there are a few things you can do in preparation and once your new furry friend is finally home.
Create a Safe Space
Before you bring your new rescue pet home, especially if you’re considering a cat, it’s important to make your home as pet friendly as possible. This also involves making sure there is a space your pet can go to that will allow them to feel safe and secure if their feeling stressed. It’s also important to make sure your new pet has a place to sleep, eat, drink and go to the bathroom, especially if they’re going to be indoors the majority of the time.
Keep Your Animal Inside Initially
This one particularly applies if you’re planning on bringing home a new feline friend. To ensure you don’t overwhelm the newest addition to your home and help keep them feeling as safe and settled as possible as they get use to the new space, be sure to keep them indoors for at least four weeks. This will also reduce the risk of your new feline running away. When you first come home, it’s also best to pick a room, preferably the one you’d like them to keep as their space space, and keep them confined here for the first three to five days. If you already have other pets in the household, it’s best to keep them away at first and slowly make them aware of one another, either by putting them in a nearby room where they can hear each other or swapping blankets to get them accustomed to the others scent, before introducing them face-to-face.
Keep Your Schedule Free To Be Home
Whether taking some time off work or clearing your schedule of social events, it’s best to be able to be home for the first days of your new pets arrival. This will allow you to monitor them and make sure they’re not overly stressed and settling in well and help strengthen that initial bond between you. Once they feel more settled, spend some time playing together and just hanging out. This will help calm them as they’re brain is occupied with something else and also allow you to determine if there are any behavioural issues you might need to work on. This time also allows your new pet to build trust and recognise you as a safe person, which is helpful for when you begin to introduce them to anyone else living in your home. When introducing them to new people, make sure to do so in a comfortable and safe space in the home and take things slow; your new pet should approach others when they’re ready and not the other way around.
If you’re bringing home a new dog and plan on taking them out for walks or down to the local park, it’s probably best to hold off on venturing out for the first few weeks. This will allow your new pet time to adjust to their new home environment before introducing them to another one.
Make Sure Your Home is Safe
It’s important to take a walk around your home and closely inspect each room to make sure it’s safe for your new furry friend. Make sure there’s no loose cables anywhere that could be chewed on, install safety gates if you feel you need and just make sure there aren’t any general hazards in your home, including making sure that any chemicals or anything that may be poisonous to your pet is well out of their reach. If your pet is going to be outside your home at all, be sure to check those areas as well. Check for any holes in fences or gates that your pet might be able to escape through and make sure any gates are able to securely close to make sure they don’t end up running out onto the street.