It goes without saying that rescued dogs require special care and attention. This is precise because these pups have experienced so much abuse and neglect that they grow to become apprehensive and reluctant to humans. This requires rescuers and adopters to work extra hard to gain their dog’s trust back. But before you can focus on rebuilding trust and relationships, you need to take care of your dog’s physical health first. Rescued dogs typically have a lot of scars, bruises, and wounds and may even be infected with various illnesses and diseases. You could diagnose your dog’s using home testing kits for pets, but you are generally advised to bring them to a veterinarian for a thorough and proper check-up. So, without further ado, here are the strategies you need to bear in mind when taking care of a rescue dog:
Patience is key
Regaining trust and rebuilding relationships do not happen overnight. Instead, it is a rather lengthy process that requires you to have extra patience and understanding. Especially at the very early stages of adoption, rescued dogs may show signs of aggression towards their new owners. As such, they may constantly bark or growl at you if you come anywhere near them. On the other hand, other rescued dogs may also show signs of extreme fear toward their handlers. This is typically manifested through hiding their tails between their legs, hiding in tight places whenever someone comes near, or their bodies may stiffen up when you approach them.
In either case, you need to act slowly and gradually. For example, offer them food or treats and see how they react. Eventually, you can move on to pet them slowly or caress their bodies. No matter what you attempt to do in order to regain their trust, do it slowly, or gradually, and do not ever consider sudden or extreme actions as, it could lead to you incurring injuries or them having to experience added trauma.
Another common theme among rescued dogs is that they are typically malnourished and underweight. This is because they cannot access food without the proper owners to feed them. Or, even if they are not underweighted, they may have only survived through eating extremely unhealthy food such as trash or food waste from the streets. Irrespective of this, a core consideration in taking care of a rescued dog is to feed them well. The appropriate diet can help restore their energy and enthusiasm, which will do wonders for their overall recovery.
A key component in your dog’s overall recovery is its health. Even if you have already regained their trust, your dog won’t be in its best shape if they are sickly or weak. Proper exercise can help with the development of muscles, bones, and joints. This is especially critical for those dogs who have been locked away for extended periods of time. Such a lifestyle will definitely take its toll on the dog’s mobility, leading to various issues, such as weak legs, heart, and low stamina. Regular exercise, including daily walks around the neighborhood, will help your dog recover faster.
One of the many ways you can assist in your dog’s recovery is to let them socialize and play with other dogs. This is a great way to let their playfulness come out naturally which will boost and improve their mood. You can take them to dog parks and playgrounds, or you may just invite friends who are also dog owners to your house and let your dog’s play around the lawn. During their recovery process, anything that can help them regain their playful and active nature is more than welcome.