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Friday, August 26, 2011

Pets on the Move: Helping Fido
Adapt to a New Home

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
Sorry Gang
No Pups in the Truck

It's summertime, and this is the time when many families choose to move. It's a smoother time of year to uproot kids, when the choice is ours to make. Dogs may be another story, however. If you're planning to squeeze a move into this summer, here are a few things you may want to consider:

  1. When selecting your new home, keep Fido in mind. Check for poisonous plants in the yard, secure fences and gates, and any safety issues inside where he will have access. Swimming pool? Make sure Fido is drown-proofed.
  2. Before the move, do what you can to provide some familiarity for Fido: His bed (preferably a crate), some favorite toys and you--a familiar face. Don't plan to leave Fido alone until you've been in the new place a few days and he's realized it's not just an overnight visit.
  3. If you'll be moving farther than across town, check into veterinary offices before your move and be sure to get your records transferred just in case of an emergency while you're in transition.
  4. Pack first aid supplies along with dog food, poop bags, and any medications needed, when preparing for the initial days of moving.
  5. If you're crossing state lines during your move, be sure to visit your current Veterinarian before you leave. Get a physical and request a health certificate, just in case anything occurs during moving that would warrant this. Many states require that visitors carry a valid health certificate with them when traveling out of their home state.
  6. Plan to take potty breaks with Fido only on-leash, even when in your own yard--just for a week or so. This will give him a sense of what his new boundaries are, while assuring he doesn't make a run for it if frightened by something in this new environment.
  7. Before heading to the new home for the first time, take Fido on a long, tiring walk. A fatigued pup is less likely to react negatively to change. When you arrive at your new digs, let him explore and get the smell of things. He is likely to detect previous inhabitants, so give him a chance to leave his scent around, if he feels it necessary. This will also go a long way toward sending the message that this is now "home".
  8. After an investigation of "his" area inside, give Fido some special playtime--just you and him. Be sure to associate this with toys, belly rubs, treats and other activities that make it pleasurable for him. You'll be laying the groundwork for a quicker acceptance of his new home.
  9. Keep Fido confined to one area for a few days while he adapts to his bedding and feeding area being moved. After he seems relaxed, you may allow him to explore the rest of the home. Hopefully by now he's realized it's a keeper, but he'll want to check out the other rooms and get an idea of what's in his new territory. This is the time to set any boundaries for those areas you do not want Fido to enter. You can use baby gates, moving boxes, or training  to teach him where his acceptable areas of exploration are, but be firm and offer praise when he complies.
  10. Mealtime should continue at regular intervals to keep Fido on schedule and feeling more like this is becoming home to him.
  11. Daily walks that always return back to home will begin to send the remainder of the message clearly.

One final word on safety. Dogs traveling in pickup truck beds are at risk of extreme danger. Please find a way to transport Fido without using a truck bed. Crates and safety belts are even better.

Related Reading:
Swimming Isn't Just for Lab Lovers
Even Non-Swimmers Need to Know How to Get Out 
Drown Proofing Your Dog

This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Life with DogsConfessions of the Plume, and Two Little Cavaliers. The rules for participation are below, as copied from Life with Dogs' site on 8/1/11. Happy hopping!

  • Link up your pet blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add your link once to be seen on all the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week. Note that if your blog is not pet related your link will be removed. Also note that only one post per blog is acceptable, and links promoting giveaways that are unrelated to the pet blogger hop will be removed. This is a community building exercise and not a promotional vehicle – please treat it as such.
  • Grab the “Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop” button on the right hand side of this site and include it in your Saturday Blog hop post so that your readers will know what is going on. *Note – posting is optional. Feel free to just link and follow.
  • Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool.
  • Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you’d like.
  • Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you’re from the blog hop.
  • Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.
  • Make friends and grow. ♥


K-Koira said...

All great tips! And, a lot of them apply to anyone having to evacuate out of the way of storms on the East Coast, especially: Have a crate, and use it. Only walk your dog on leash, even in fenced areas. Travel with your pet somewhere safe for both pet and driver, ideally in a secured crate inside the car, and never in the back of a pickup.

melfr said...

Wow. Really great advice. I'm going to share this on my fan page. I actually know soeone who is moving soon and she has 3 dogs and a cat, so this is timely advice to share with her.

You should be writing for PetSitUSA instead of me!

Carrie said...

AWWW....I feel so honored by that last comment. My job is here though, so yours is safe! My goal is to offer readers the resources they need to solve doggie problems so they can commit to keep their pup furever!

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