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• Sarasota • Lakewood Ranch • Osprey •

Adopting a Rescue Pet – The “3/3/3” Rule

While every dog is different, when adopting a dog, it is still helpful to understand the 3-3-3 rule. The 3-3-3 rule applies to how long a dog will take to adjust to their new home. There are steps to take at certain milestones; 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months. When they’re first brought home, it’s very possible the dog will be overwhelmed with many different emotions and may just want to curl up and sleep. This is typical behavior as they’re adjusting to their new environment.

The First 3 Days

When they are first brought home, it’s good to first take them on a walk outside of the property so they can become familiar with their new surroundings. This initial walk will help set the boundaries on the leash and learn to provide a guideline on how they listen to you. After this, take the dog inside on the leash and lead them around each room for a few minutes. It’s important to remain calm and not talk to them throughout this process as they are already overwhelmed and adjusting. It’s necessary to establish boundaries by leading them to their food area and giving them a small amount of food so they know the boundaries of feeding time. Next, take them into the room where they will sleep and let them off the leash so they can investigate. During these first 3 days, it is important to stay calm, set boundaries, give them their space, give them direction while establishing a daily routine, limit social interaction, and be patient.

The First 3 Weeks

During the 3-week period, the dog will start to feel more settled into a daily routine of potty breaks, eating, and walk times. At this point, they will also start to test their boundaries. They may start to act out so it is important to reinforce these boundaries and make sure to stay within the routine. Behavioral issues may start to show up and increase if not attended to properly. One may want to seek help from a professional trainer to break these behaviors to avoid them sticking around. At this time, it is also important to start working on basic training. During this, make sure to give the dog clear directions, give calm feedback, and praise every success they have. 

The First 3 Months

Once the 3-month mark is reached, the dog will start to accept their home and trust their new environment. They will now grasp their everyday routine and understand it as well as their good behaviors falling into place. This is not the time however to let up on training. It is important to keep up with it and even push more if needed. A bond between you and your adopted dog will start to form and remember to use affection to grow this bond even more. Continue to practice their daily routine, be attentive, and most importantly continue to love them each and every day.


If you are in the consideration stage of adopting a new pet, we are fortunate to have several amazing shelters along the Suncoast area. Remember to Adopt Don’t Shop and consider some of these great non-profit organizations when finding your next furry family member;

Don’t forget–Bayside loves rescue pets! We are here for your family whether you’re traveling, spending the day at work, or your pet just needs some special time at their favorite pet resort. Call us to book your appointment today!

Sarasota – (941) 351-0730

Osprey  – (941) 244-4930

Lakewood Ranch – (941) 755-3047

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