When welcoming a rescue dog into your home, remember these essential tips, which is widely known as the 3-3-3 Rule:

1. Decompression Period: Your new companion needs approximately three days to decompress and start adjusting to their new environment. This is a critical time for them to settle and feel safe.

2. Routine Familiarization: It takes about three weeks for your rescue dog to learn and adapt to your daily routine. Consistency during this period is key to helping them understand their new life.

3. Comfort and Trust: Building a sense of comfort and trust with your rescue dog generally takes about three months. This is when they truly start feeling at home and show their full personality.

  • Prepare Your Home:

    • Safe Space: Before your dog arrives, set up a quiet, comfortable area where they can retreat and feel secure. This might be a corner with a cozy bed and some toys.
    • Remove Hazards: Ensure your home is safe by removing any toxic plants, securing loose wires, and putting away small items that could be swallowed.

  • Gather Supplies:

    • Ensure you have all the necessary supplies, including food, crate, bowls, a collar and leash, a bed, and toys. It’s also wise to have some treats on hand for positive reinforcement.

  • Veterinary Care:

    • Schedule a vet visit soon after adoption to check your dog’s health and get advice on diet, care, and any necessary treatments.

  • Patience and Routine:

    • Understand that your new dog may be stressed or confused. Establish a routine for feeding, walks, and playtime to give them a sense of stability.

  • Training and Socialization:

    • Start training early but keep sessions short and positive. Basic obedience training helps your dog understand expectations and strengthens your bond.

    • Gradually introduce them to new people, pets, and environments once they feel comfortable.

  • Give Them Time:

    • Some rescue dogs adjust within days, while others take months to feel at home. Be patient and provide them with a loving, stable environment.

  • Observe and Learn:

    • Pay close attention to your dog’s body language and behavior to understand their needs and comfort levels. This can help you respond appropriately and build trust.

  • Love and Affection:

    • Show your new companion plenty of love and affection. It is best to avoid squeezing, hugging, or having your face in their face. This helps to build a strong, trusting relationship.

  • Identify and Microchip:

    • Ensure your dog wears an identification tag and consider microchipping for added security, or an AirTag is also a great choice.

  • Support Network.

  • Connect with local support groups, trainers, or online communities for advice and support as you navigate your new life together.

Please exercise patience throughout these stages. Many rescue dogs have endured difficult pasts, including neglect or abuse. For instance, dogs with splayed feet often indicate a distressing history — they might have been confined in cramped spaces like chicken crates for extended periods, only being removed for breeding purposes. These conditions can lead to long-term physical and psychological effects.

Additionally, it’s vital to consider the origins of any pet you’re looking to bring into your home. Purchasing from pet stores often means supporting cruel breeding facilities where animals are treated as mere commodities.

By choosing to adopt, you’re not just providing a loving home to a deserving animal but also taking a stand against inhumane industry practices. Your decision to adopt can make a world of difference in the life of a rescue dog.

Research your breed: we advise no backyard breeders.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Stay flexible and attentive to your new pet’s needs, and you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding companionship.