Adopting a pet is always an exciting experience. Although you’re probably eager for your pet to become a settled, comfortable member of the family, it often takes time for cats, dogs, and other animals to adjust to their new environment. Moreover, just as every human is unique, every animal is unique as well. There’s no set schedule for adjusting, and some pets take much longer than others. Fortunately, the “Rule of Three” often applies to pet adoptions. After just three days, three weeks, and three months of having your pet at home, you’re sure to see a number of positive behavioral changes.
Most Pets Take About Three Days to Stop Feeling Anxious
If you’re lucky, your new cat or dog will confidently claim his bed and settle in and won’t feel too nervous about exploring different areas of your home and your household members. However, it’s not uncommon for animals to feel anxious upon entering a new environment. This is all the more true for rescue animals with violent or otherwise unhealthy histories. Don’t try to push your pet too hard to adjust during this time. Always be willing to offer physical comfort and reassuring words in soothing tones or plenty of personal space as your pet’s behaviors and attitude dictate.
After Three Weeks, You and Your Pet Should Have a Solid Bond
After you pet acclimates to his new environment, you’ll want to establish a stable routine. This builds a sense of security, helps stave off a number of frustrating behavioral issues, and gives you plenty of opportunity to bond. You can begin house-breaking your animal, establishing a firm schedule for walks and other outings, and doing some light training during this time.
After Three Months, You Should Have a Firm Grasp of Your Pet’s Needs
Just as your new pet will need time to adjust, you may surprise yourself by needing a period of adjustment as well. After all, caring for an animal can be a lot like having a small child. As the weeks go by, you’ll gradually develop a better understanding of your pet’s personality and needs. By the time that three months have passed, you’ll have established needs-specific routines that promote consistently good behavior and encourage a strong and lasting bond.
At Arizona Small Dog Rescue, we’re committed to helping rescue animals find their forever homes. We are in need of fosters who want to help us learn more about the personalities of our rescue pets. We also offer volunteer opportunities, adoptions, and a variety of helpful resources for new dog owners. If you’re interested in adopting a rescue dog, we can help. Call us today for detailed information on our adoption process.