So you decided to adopt an older dog. Let us be one of the first to congratulate you! Bringing a senior dog or cat home is a truly rewarding experience and we know you will feel the same after even just a few days. But, like bringing home any other new pet, senior pets will need a bit of prepping before they are completely acclimated to their new surrounding. We want to make this as easy as possible for you both, so here are a few ideas that will help your new pet fit right into his new home.
Give Older Dogs a Spot
Giving your dog his own safe area will go a long way to making him feel very comfortable in his new surroundings. Make sure it’s quiet, but try not to isolate him from the rest of the family. He’ll want to observe his new pack from a safe space until he’s relaxed enough to join in on the family activities.
Make the Introductions
It’s important to give your dog or cat the time he needs to adapt to your family. Introduce him to your family members individually and make sure he feels as safe as possible. He may have been in shelters his whole life, so it’s your responsibility to make this transition as easy as possible.
A walk in neutral territory away from your home is a good way to ease any stress and a wonderful way to kick off the bonding process. You’ll all be one big happy family in no time, so there’s no need to rush this part.
Ease Into a New Diet
While we always recommend the highest quality diet for all our pets, it’s important to note that transitioning a pet to a new diet should be gradual. A disrupted digestive system is no fun for anyone! If you can, get a little bit of his old food and mix it with his new food. We have many food options for older dogs, and recommend starting out with something easy like Freshpet Select Chicken or Freshpet Select Roasted Meals for Cats . Both recipes are packed with fiber that will make digestion very easy for your new pet.
Take Your Time!
While you may be excited and want to show off your new pet to everyone, remember that she is getting used to a brand new home with strangers. Like we said earlier, take every precaution to make the home comfortable for her and but don’t expect to rush her into every family function right off the bat. Give her the time she needs, and she’ll thank you for it in the long run.
The last thing to remember is that adopting a senior dog is a wonderful thing to do. You’ve given him a great home and he’ll spend the rest of his time with you loving you for it. Enjoy the new family member!