!Call Now! Button Tablet

Online Booking Available

Telehealth Appointments Available

!Call Now! Button Desktop

Online Booking Available
Text Now! 616-897-8484

Telehealth Appointments Available

!Social Icons

!Call Now! Icon

Tips For Adopting A Rescue Dog

May 15, 2024

Are you thinking about adopting a dog? If this is the case, you might consider getting a rescue. Many of our patients are rescues who once struggled but are now living their best lives as adorable, cherished, and loving pets. This article features a Lowell, MI veterinarian discussing rescue dogs.

What Is The 3/3/3 Dog Adoption Rule?

This is a recommendation, and a way to remind folks that our canine companions need some time to adjust to significant changes, such as moving to a new house. Even if Fido gets a top-notch forever home (which we believe that all pets deserve), it will take a little while for him to acclimate to the change.

The rule states that it will take your new puppy about three days to adjust to his new surroundings, three weeks to settle in, and three months to truly feel safe and loved.

The recommendation here is that the first three days be spent adjusting to its new surroundings, the following three weeks on training and bonding, and the first three months on continuing socializing and training.

Let’s break it down a bit:

The First Three Days

Right now, all you want to do is help Fido feel safe. Make sure he has a comfortable, quiet space to unwind and settle in. While you don’t want to go overboard with treats, this is a terrific time to serve some tasty tidbits. Food can definitely go a long way in helping a nervous pup feel safe. Use modest portions to avoid overfeeding your canine companion. 

Never force attention on Fido, even if you think he’s just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen; instead, talk to him in a friendly tone. If he enjoys being petted, indulge him; if he is shy, simply give him time.

Do not be surprised if your furry pal sleeps a lot at first, especially if he has come from a shelter. The shelter environment can be very frightening and stressful for dogs. Your pup may need some additional rest as he decompresses.

Positive reinforcement is really vital at this stage. If Fido misbehaves or makes a mess, do not discipline him. You can chastise him verbally, but anything more may scare him.

The First Three Weeks

Once Fido has had time to adjust to his new surroundings, it is time to focus on bonding and any necessary training. Establishing a consistent routine is critical here. Take Fido for daily walks and make time to play with him. This will help him burn off his zoomies and give him a sense of routine, which will make him feel more secure.

When walking your canine buddy, use a firm leash. Fido may have phobias or quirks that you are unaware of, like a fixation with squirrels or a fear of other dogs. If something spooks him or he decides to lunge at the neighbor’s cat, you’ll have a firm grip on him.

Your furry pal should also visit his new vet as soon as feasible. Even if he has been fixed and vaccinated, he will need a full nose-to-wagging tail examination. This is an excellent time to get specific guidance on his care needs. Microchipping is also a must!

Fido may put you to the test during this stage. If you encounter speed bumps or behavioral difficulties, consult your veterinarian for advice.

We’d also recommend getting a pet DNA test, especially if your furry friend is a mix. This can be extremely beneficial, providing you with vital insight into Fido’s behavior as well as information about any health conditions to which he may be susceptible. (It’s also always interesting to learn about Fido.)

The First Three Months

You and Fido should have come to know each other by now. Now, it’s time to concentrate on training and developing a relationship built on love and trust. Taking your canine companion to locations like parks might make him feel more secure and happy, assuming he is well-behaved and enjoys it. Toys, treats, and good old TLC can work wonders. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a scared, sad pup blossom into a happy, beloved pet!

Should I Crate Fido At Night?

There is no uniform yes or no answer to this. Many dogs do feel safer in crates. They offer Fido a snug little den where nothing can creep up on him as he sleeps. However, if your furry friend has been kenneled for an extended period of time or has a negative relationship with kennels, you should avoid forcing it.

You can give Fido the option to go inside his kennel while leaving the door open. You can also keep the crate in your bedroom. Your pup may feel safer around you. Alternatively, he may want to feel like he’s doing his ‘job’ and watching over you.

What Should I Do When Bringing A Rescue Dog Home?

The first thing you’ll want to do is take your pooch for a walk around the block. Fido will feel much safer after he’s gotten a chance to check out his surroundings.

We normally recommend giving Fido a quiet space to unwind and settle in. If you have other pets, keep them separated at first. Consult your veterinarian for advice on introducing them. (Note: if you have another dog, it’s best to let your pups meet before finalizing an adoption. This will help you see if they’ll get along or not.)

What Shouldn’t I Do When Adopting A Dog?

Knowing which mistakes to avoid might be just as useful as knowing what you should be doing. There are certain clear don’ts to bear in mind here.

Here are our top two:

Don’t Skip Petproofing

Every one of our furry friends is unique. One pooch might not care about your shoes or flowers at all, but another might be determined to destroy them. Make your home safe by addressing any potential dangers. This includes poisonous plants, small or sharp things, chemicals, medications, plastic bags, personal goods, and wires. Ask your vet for tips.

Don’t Rush Things

Giving a rescued dog another chance can be incredibly gratifying. It’s wonderful to see a dog thrive with love and good dog care. However, this may not occur overnight. Your pooch may be confused, afraid, or even depressed because he misses his previous owner. Be patient and let love grow. The biggest mistake many people make is attempting to force a dog to integrate too early.

What Are The Advantages of Adopting a Rescue Dog?

Unconditional love and loyalty are at the top of that list. Rescue dogs are frequently highly loyal and affectionate. Many people claim that their rescue dogs are the best pets they’ve ever owned. This makes sense. Fido is smart enough to recognize and appreciate someone who is kind and taking care of him. 

You also get to choose your ideal pooch! Rescue dogs come in every shape, size, color, breed, age, and activity level.

Many rescue puppies are also relatively inexpensive to adopt, and they are frequently already fixed and trained.

This can also be a very rewarding experience. The first time Fido looks at you or wags his tail, your heart may melt completely.

Contact Your Lowell, MI Pet Clinic

Do you have any questions about caring for a rescued dog? Contact your Lowell, MI pet hospital today! We are dedicated to providing top-notch veterinary services.