Behavior Tip of the Month
Moving to a new home is disruptive for most of us. However, we know why the move is necessary and where we are going. To our pets, it's simply traumatic, before, during and after.
Here are some suggestions for lessening their anxiety.
1. Strange smells are discomforting to our pets. Thus, try to make the new house smell somewhat familiar. A few weeks before the move, take clean towels and rub around the inside of the new house. Take these new "house-odored" towels and place them under your pet's current sleeping areas and food and water bowls. Hopefully, "odorwise", she will be familiar with the new house before she walks in the front door.
2. Massage your pet with other towels. Put these in the new house, and, when your pet walks in, he will feel he's on home turf.
3. Wear an old T-shirt to bed for a few days and keep it in with the dirty laundry. Leave it with your pet on moving day to comfort him in the new surroundings.
4. On the "big day", let your pet stay with a friend or even at a kennel. Don't expose him to the hectic comings and goings. It's hard to pack, supervise movers, and keep track of a pet.
5. Once you're in your new home, acquaint your dog with the house, yard and surrounding territory. Take him out to potty and keep him with you in the house. Supervise all his investigations for a few days. You don't need any surprises.
If you have a kitty, acquaint her with one room, such as a guest bedroom or bathroom. Put her food and water dishes on one side and her litter box on the other. Put her toys nearer to the food, and include your "smelly", reassuring T-shirt. Pet and play with her in that room, and keep her there until she is relaxed and feels at home. Then every week, introduce her to a new room. Cats adjust to change very slowly. It sometimes takes months for a feline to accept a new house.
Finally, don't forget to make an ID tag for your pet with the new phone number.
Hopefully, following these suggestions will allow your "moving experience" to "get off on the right paw"!
Woofs and wags,
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.