Two rescue dogs playing at dog daycare.

Getting a new pet can be such a fun and exciting time. Knowing that you were able to rescue a dog and help provide a safe, happy, and healthy life for it can make that time feel even more exciting. 

Adopting rescue dogs can be great and rewarding, but these pets may have different needs than other pets you have had in the past. Knowing what your new family member needs can help ensure a smooth transition to a happy and full life together.

Below, we have outlined some of the most important things to know and activities to engage in in order to ensure a smoother transition and promote the well-being of your new furry friend.

The “3-3-3 Rule” for New Pets

The 3-3-3 rule is a set of guidelines that lets new pet parents know what behaviors to expect out of their rescue dog in the first three days, three weeks, and three months after adopting their furry friend. These rules let everyone know what to expect out of their new pup as they settle in and should help build a foundation for the family, both humans and pups, to thrive together.

First 3 Days

In the first three days of introducing a pup into your home, it is likely that your dog will need a lot of space and time to acclimate to their new setting. They may feel overwhelmed and act skittish, may not eat or drink much, and may hide away from the family. 

During this time, they will need to decompress, and in order to do that, they will need access to their own space and limited exposure to other family members. Your goal during this time is to allow your new pup to explore and begin to feel comfortable in their new environment.

Socialization with others, especially other dogs and animals, should be limited until they are more comfortable and confident.

First 3 Weeks

After the first three days, your new pup should be ready to slowly be introduced to more family members and other pets. You will want to have a routine that you stick to as your pet becomes more comfortable with their new house and family.

Use positive reinforcements, such as treats and praise, to help your new dog learn what behavior you expect from them. 

After initially sticking close to the house, once your dog becomes comfortable enough that you are no longer concerned about them running away, you can begin taking your dog for longer walks or fun trips to the park. It is a good idea to keep your dog on a leash, at least initially, so that you keep a close eye on them and their comfort levels.

First 3 Months

After the first three weeks with their new family, most pups should begin to settle in and feel comfortable in their new space.

It is important to establish and keep up with any important routines. Accordingly, you may want to not only introduce socialization and activities during this time but actively include them as part of the dog’s schedule.

As your dog begins to feel more comfortable, you may want to take bigger trips with them or consider obedience classes. Once they have established a rapport and a level of comfort, it may be appropriate to introduce them to dog daycare at this time.

Keep in mind that all dogs are different, and these are just guidelines to help you and your family know what to expect as everyone settles in and acclimates to having a new family member. Continue to give your dog positive reinforcement for the good habits you want them to establish and gradually continue to expose them to new experiences, and before you know it, it will be hard to remember your life without your sweet new furry friend. 

Important Considerations Regarding Daycare for Rescue Dogs

When working to ensure that your new rescue dog is settling into their new home, one aspect to consider is their socialization. Dogs are very social animals, tracing back to their ancestors traveling around in packs.

While modern dogs are generally domesticated and no longer do this, socialization is still an important component of your dog’s happiness and well-being. 

Depending on the history of your rescue dog, they may or may not have had much experience with many people or other pups. The more socialization your dog can get, the better behaved they will be, as they will gain confidence in experiencing new situations and become more adaptable.

One way to increase the amount of socialization that your dog receives is to consider sending them to a doggy daycare program. However, not all dog boarding facilities are created equally, and you want to ensure that you are sending your new pup into a safe and healthy environment so that they can receive all the benefits from socialization while you are away.

What to Look For 

After you have found several doggy daycares in your area, it is always a good idea to drop by and check out the place to see if you think it would be a good fit for your dog. According to the PACCC (Professional Animal Care Certification Council), the following are things to look for in a good doggy daycare:

  • Is it clean and organized?
  • Does it have secure fencing?
  • Is it adequately staffed?
  • Is the environment comfortable and free from hazards?

Choosing the Best for Your Rescue Pup

If the daycare has passed your initial assessment, schedule a time to talk with the staff at the daycare. When trying to choose a good fit, these are important questions to ask:

  • Do you require a temperament test? In order for your dog to be as safe as possible, you want the facility to require temperament tests for all the dogs they care for. Some daycares may do extensive testing, not only to determine if your dog is a good fit but also to assess what needs your dog may have so that they can provide customized care for your furry friend.
  • What training has the staff undergone? All staff members should be trained in basic care and safety skills. However, ideally, you would want staff members to have extensive training on reading canine body language, as well as being familiar with the warning signs of distress, illness, or danger.
  • How are dogs grouped? You want to look for facilities that will group dogs by looking at a variety of factors, including size, age, and temperament. This helps ensure the safety and comfort of your pup.
  • How often will the staff communicate with you? Is there a webcam available for you to check in with your dog? Will you receive any feedback or reports on your dog’s behavior? Will staff alert you if they notice a change in your pup’s behavior or well-being?
  • Are there a variety of activities? When choosing a good fit for your pup, you want to look for a facility that has a variety of toys, groupings, and locations in which to play.  Is there a quiet place for your dog to rest if it gets tired? Will your dog be crated at any point during the day, and if so, for how long?
  • Does the daycare provide training? If you want help with establishing good behaviors with your new pup, a daycare that can also help train your dog using good practices, such as positive reinforcement, can be helpful during the settling process.

Enjoy a Safe and Stimulating Daycare for Rescue Dogs at Greenlin Pet Resorts

If you have recently rescued a dog in the central Pennsylvania area and are looking to find a doggy daycare suitable for your new family member, consider Greenlin Pet Resorts. With six convenient locations in the Harrisburg area, Greenlin is here to help with all your pet needs. Book your pet’s stay online: 

We offer puppy and doggy daycare, as well as longer-term boarding options. Our experienced and friendly staff can also offer training and obedience school classes to help your furry friend adjust to their new environment.

Reach out to us today by calling one of our award-winning facilities or by filling out our online contact form. We would love for you to schedule a visit and look forward to answering any questions that you may have.

We can’t wait to meet you and your pup and have you join the Green Pet Resorts family!