Chesterfield, MO, January 26, 2021 – According to a study by the ASPCA, over one million households rehome their pets every year. Of these, about 36% surrender their pets to animal shelters. One of the major reasons these pets are rehomed is behavior issues.
A large portion of these pets are rehomed following the holiday season when families adopt or buy pets to celebrate. It is important to remember, however, that it can take weeks or even months for a pet to adapt to its new home.
Before You Rehome Your New Dog
Dr. Marty Becker, the veterinarian behind the Fear Free movement, says that a puppy is most susceptible to learning new skills between the ages of 14 and 16 weeks. What a puppy learns at this time in its life becomes the foundation for the rest of their training. Starting a new dog’s training early will help them develop good habits. It also strengthens the dog-owner bond and improves trust.
Not only must the dog adjust to its new home, but its new owners must adjust to the new addition to the family. The American Kennel Club suggests that children nine years old and older should not be left unsupervised with a new dog for at least three months. During this time, the dog is still adjusting to its environment. Children younger than nine years old should never be left unattended with a dog. If you are taking training classes with your dog, take your children along. Group training classes are a great way for your children to learn manners with their own dog and others. This will make the children and the dog more comfortable with each other, so you will be less likely to need to rehome your pet.
Before You Rehome Your New Cat
For cats, it can take even longer for them to be comfortable in their new home. A new cat may hide for the first few days or even weeks after adoption. All family members should know to give the cat its space and allow it to explore its new surroundings in its own time. If your new cat is not as outgoing or loving as you had hoped it would be, give it time before going back to the shelter. It could be that your cat is still finding its place in your home.
If your pet has behavior issues, consider a training program, consult your veterinarian, and research how to best accommodate your pet’s needs before you decide to rehome your pet. Your new cat might need several months to fully acclimated to your home. There are plenty of resources to help make the adjustment easier for both humans and pets. Try different things before making the decision to rehome your pet.