How to Ensure Your New Dog Feels Safe and Secure in His New Home
Guest Contributor -
Cindy Aldridge of OurDogFriends.org
Imagine if a group of people picked you up one random day, put you in their car, and took you home to live with them. It’d be pretty confusing, right? That’s how dogs feel when they move to a new home. They’d gotten used to the pet store, shelter, or their old home, and all of a sudden, everything changed. Although it can be a stressful time for your new canine companion, there’s plenty you can do to ease the transition. Here are the key things you need to keep in mind.
Know the Law if You’re Relocating Pets
If you’re bringing your dog from abroad, or if you’re relocating to Hawaii, check up on the requirements you have to follow in terms of microchipping and vaccinations. Pet importation laws can be strict, and if you don’t follow them to the letter, your pet might end up in quarantine, and you might end up with a fine—not a great start to your relationship!
The Grand Tour
The first 30 days are key, and it might take a few weeks for your four-legged friend to settle down. When you arrive, keep your new dog on a leash while you take him around your home, introducing him to everyone who lives there, including other pets. Let him get comfortable with you and the other people you live with for at least three days before you bring friends round to meet him. You can also put a piece of each person’s laundry like a T-shirt near his bed so that he gets used to each person’s smell. If he’s shy and sits under furniture or in his crate, just wait him out and let him come to you. He’ll start exploring when he feels safe, but don’t force it.
Establish a Routine
Dogs need to know where they stand and what you expect of them, so establish a routine through consistent times for feeding, walking, and resting. Ask the shelter or pet store what his previous feeding routine was, including when he ate and what brand of dog food he ate. If you want to change his diet, do it gradually over a few weeks by mixing your preferred brand in with his present one, and gradually increasing the ratio.
You can increase or decrease your dog’s amount of exercise based on his energy levels. If he is hyperactive and won’t sit still, it can be good to take him for longer walks or play with him. This can also help the two of you bond.
Dog-Proof Your Home
Your home is full of hazards, so dog-proof it. Some dogs will eat anything they find, including money, medicines, and electrical cables. So make sure cables are covered and hazardous/expensive items are kept out of their reach. Keep doors closed unless you want to find “special presents” around your home, and you may want to keep your furry friend in the crate when you’re not at home.
Outdoors, make sure your garden is fully enclosed. Your new best friend may not respond to verbal commands initially, and if he gets out, it may be very difficult to get him back. It will also spare you from arguments with your neighbours who might not appreciate a canine intrusion on their property. Hedges and bushes may not be sufficient, so consider getting a fence. HomeAdvisor states that it costs an average of $2,670 to install or build a fence.
It will take some time for your new dog to be comfortable and housebroken, and there can be a fairly large initial cost through chipping, spaying, neutering, or vaccinations. If you adopt, often the shelter will take care of these initial costs, and the dog will also be trained and socialized to some degree. You are also saving a life, as many dogs in shelters have been rescued from horrific circumstances. By adopting, you give them a second chance.
Every dog is different and takes different times to adjust. Some might settle in after a week, while others might take a month before they feel comfortable. Just take your time and be patient. The effort will be worth it.
If you’re relocating to Hawaii - https://www.huffingtonpost. com/kait-sawyer/moving-pet-haw aii_b_3858342.html
The first 30 days are key - https://www.petfinder.co m/dogs/bringing-a-dog-home/tip s-for-first-30-days-dog/
So establish a routine - https://fearfreehappyhomes.com /setting-routines-schedules- new-dog-puppy/
So dog-proof it - https://www.petful.com/misc /dog-proof-your-home/
Costs an average - https://www.homeadvisor.com /cost/fencing/install-a-fence/
If you adopt, - https://www.peta.org/living /animal-companions/8-reasons- adopt-buy-dogs/
Photo: Pexels - https://www.pexels.com/photo/d og-91243