Help your Pet Adjust to a New Home
by Aaron Hill
Before the big day
Site survey. If it’s a local move, take your pup over to the new place a few times before you officially move in. Let them sniff their new digs and get the lay of the land before changing addresses.
Make a plan, hire a pet sitter. During a move, doors and gates will be left open and it can be very easy for Fido to slip out unnoticed. So make a plan and if possible hire a professional service take your furry kids for the day.
When you arrive
Pet-proof the home. Before your pet first enters your new home, take some time to look around from a dog’s perspective. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around at your dog’s height.
Look for electrical wires, nails or other sharp objects sticking out of floors or walls, etc.
This also applies to your yard, make sure there are no holes in the fences, decks or other small spaces that dogs can get trapped in or under, etc.
Potty patrol. Immediately establish an acceptable place for potty breaks and reinforce when done properly.
While you’re getting settled in
Make it “home”. Quickly create a familiar environment in your new place with favorite beds and toys.
Stick to your schedule. Keep the same schedule you had in your previous home (if you didn’t have a feeding and potty schedule, get on one asap!)
Give praise. Use positive reinforcement/reward going to the bathroom outside with treats, scratches, playtime, etc. Never punish bad behavior, instead use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior.
Aaron Hill is a certified professional animal trainer and the owner of Pets in the City (www.petsinthecity.com) a premiere Dog Walking / Pet-sitter service in Los Angeles. He is certified in pet first-aid and CPR and is a member of Pet-Sitters International.