Celebrating Rescue Dogs

Have you been considering adopting a dog? If so, you may want to consider looking for a rescue. Many of our patients are rescues who fell on hard times but are now living their best lives as cherished pets. This article features a local Bel Air, MD vet discussing rescue dogs.

What Are the Benefits of Adopting A Rescue Dog?

It brings us great joy to see rescued dogs find loving homes. Many people declare that their rescue dogs are the best pets they have ever had! Fido is certainly intelligent enough to recognize and appreciate someone who takes care of him and is kind. 

A few perks of getting a rescue dog? Rescue dogs are frequently very devoted and affectionate. Rescue dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, breeds, ages, and activity levels. You also get to select your ideal pooch! Fido may be quite inexpensive, and he may already be fixed and trained. Plus, your heart may melt the first time Fido looks at you or wags his tail. 

What is the 3/3/3 Rule for Dogs?

This is not a general rule, but a way to remind folks that our canine companions may need some time to adjust to large changes, such as moving to a new house. Even if Fido goes to a very loving permanent home (as we believe every pup deserves), it may take time for him to acclimate to the change. The guideline is that it will take a pooch roughly three days to adjust to his new surroundings, three weeks for him to settle in, and three months to truly feel safe and loved.

How Should I Apply the 3/3/3 Rule?

The 3/3/3 rule is also a good rule of thumb for easing a rescue dog into its new surroundings and helping it settle in. It recommends that the first three days be spent letting the pup settle in and adjust to its new surroundings, the following three weeks on training and bonding, and the first three months on continuing socializing and training.

Days 1-3

Helping Fido feel safe is your priority at this point. Make sure he has a comfortable, quiet place to unwind and settle in. While you don’t want to go overboard with treats, they can definitely go a long way toward building trust. Use small ones so you don’t overfeed your dog. Avoid forcing attention on Fido; instead, speak to him in a kind tone. If he enjoys being petted, indulge him; if he is shy, just give him time.

Don’t be shocked if your canine companion sleeps a lot in the beginning, especially if he came from a shelter. Our canine buddies can be highly scared and stressed in shelters. Your pet may simply need more rest while decompressing.


Weeks 1-3

Once Fido has had a chance to settle into his new surroundings, it’s time to focus on bonding and any necessary training. Take him on daily walks and spend time playing with him.

When walking your furry bestie, use a strong leash. Fido may have phobias or eccentricities that you are unaware of, such as a preoccupation with squirrels or a fear of other dogs. That way, if he tries to flee unexpectedly, you’ll have a solid handle on him.

Your four-legged buddy should also visit his Bel Air, MD vet during this stage. Even if he has been fixed and vaccinated, he will require a full nose-to-tail exam. This is an excellent moment to seek specialized advice regarding his care requirements.

Fido may test you during this period. If you encounter speed bumps or behavioral difficulties, contact your veterinarian for assistance.

We’d also recommend obtaining a doggy DNA test, especially if your canine companion is a mix. This can be highly enlightening, providing useful information about Fido’s behavior and any health conditions he may be sensitive to.

Months 1 to 3

you and Fido should have gotten to know each other a little better by now. It’s critical to concentrate on developing a link of love and trust. If he’s friendly and adventurous, taking him to locations like parks will boost his confidence and happiness. It’s also essential to stick to a routine schedule. This will help your pooch feel more secure. 

Should I Crate My New Rescue Dog Overnight?

There is no universally accepted yes or no response to this. Crates make many dogs feel safer. They provide Fido with a safe little den in which nothing can creep up on him while he sleeps. However, if your puppy has been kenneled for an extended period of time or has a terrible relationship with kennels, this could scare him. Don’t force it.

One option is to give Fido the option to go into his crate, but keep the door open. You can also keep the crate in your bedroom. Your pet may feel safer being near you. Or he may want to feel like he’s doing his ‘job’ by keeping an eye on you.

It’s worth noting that we usually recommend keeping dogs in a private, separate area for the first few days, so they can have a peaceful spot to settle in. This is particularly important if you have other pets. Ask your Bel Air, MD vet for specific advice on making introductions. 

What Are Common Mistakes To Avoid? 

Knowing what traps to avoid might be as useful as knowing what you should be doing. There are certain obvious don’ts to bear in mind here.

Here are our top ones:

Don’t Ignore Petproofing

All of our canine companions are unique. While one dog may disregard your shoes and houseplants, another may be determined to eat them. Address any potential hazards, such as toxic plants, small or sharp objects, chemicals, medications, plastic bags, personal goods, and wires. Ask your Bel Air, MD vet for tips.

Do Not Rush Things

rescue animals often need time, training, and, most importantly, love in order to thrive. Giving a rescue dog a second opportunity can be quite gratifying. It’s a wonderful thing to see a dog thrive with love and care. However, your pet may be confused, afraid, or even depressed at first, especially if he has been through trauma or is missing his previous owner. Be patient! Love takes time.

Keep It Positive

Positive reinforcement is very important. If Fido does anything wrong, like making a mess, do not penalize him. You can admonish him verbally, but anything else may simply scare him.

When Is National Rescue Dog Day?

Every year on May 20th, we celebrate Rescue Dog Day. This is a pretty new pet holiday, founded in 2018 by children’s book author Lisa Wiehebrink. She is the executive director of Tails That Teach, an organization that educates children about pets. She established Rescue Dog Day in memory of her own rescue pup, Cooper.

Ultimately, there are two goals to this important doggy awareness day. First and foremost, it’s a ‘pawesome’ time to honor the rescue canines who have won our hearts, completed our families, and simply brought love and joy into our lives with their adorable happy dances, tail wags, and snoot boops. It’s also an excellent opportunity to encourage folks who are thinking about adopting a pooch to get a rescue.

Contact Your Bel Air, MD Pet Clinic

Have you got any queries about caring for a rescue dog? Contact us, your neighborhood Bel Air, MD pet hospital, now! We’re here to help!

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