30 December 2017 | Dog Advice

How To Care For a Previously Abused Dog

Caring for an abused dog requires dedication, devotion and endless love. Sadly, to this very day, there are lots of animals suffering abuse. The levels of abuse vary and can be anything from punishment, physical assaults, silent abuse and neglect. If a dog is abused during its sensitive stage of development, then this can have a significant impact on the rest of their life.

A dog of older age can potentially recover form abuse, but a young dog is very impressionable and will show lasting scars from their abusive past. You will have to work very hard to try and coax them out of their shell or sheer resistance, but the likelihood is that they will never fully trust.

Different levels of dog abuse

Abuse takes many forms, including the following:

  • Not socialising them properly and leaving them in isolation
  • No training and deprivation 
  • Restraining them using a cage, crates or tying them up 
  • Physical and verbal abuse, including shouting 
  • Not feeding, cleaning or providing regular grooming 
  • Deliberate infliction of pain or unnecessary stress

How dogs react to abuse

Regardless of species of animal that has received any form abuse, they often react in the same way and respond in the same manner. This normally involves withdrawing socially, depression, mistrust and physical inactivity. A dog that is completely defeated will remain in a anxious state and hide themselves away from contact. A severally affected dog will not know how to play or even want to play. They often remain quiet, reclusive and on guard.

How to care for a previously abused dog

This process takes time and you won't see any difference overnight. It’s worth noting that you shouldn't have too high expectations from the start. It can take over a year for a dog to transform and become their true selves. It’s highly unlikely that the previously abused dog will make a full recovery into a well-rounded dog, they will, however, become used to their family members and hopefully bond and trust, they may not become trusting of other people.

All that being said, providing therapeutic care is extremely rewarding and the result is priceless. All animals deserve a good life and should never be subjected to any form of abuse. Giving a dog, another chance is one of the nicest, rewarding things you can do, and your new companion will be forever grateful.

Listed below are some helpful tips on how to care for a previously abused dog.

  • Give your dog time to become accustomed to their new home. Let them work at their own pace
  • Give them lots of love and make them feel needed
  • Provide your dogs with protection against any fears that they may have
  • Provide clear communication 
  • Provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation 
  • Build their confidence 
  • Provide veterinary care when needed 
  • Provide them with a healthy diet and treats on good behaviour

If you're concerned for your dog’s health or their showing unusual behaviour, it might be worth visiting your vets and having them checked over, medically and getting some expert advice on how to nurse them back to good health.

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