By Laurie Darroch
A move to a new home can be disorienting and traumatic for a dog. The surroundings, smells, sounds and sights are all different. Everything is not in the places they are used to having them. Being uprooted may also make your dog anxious and clingy.
You may notice odd behavior in your dog immediately after you move to a new home. They may follow you everywhere like a shadow, or even act up in inappropriate ways that you may not realize are related to being in new surroundings. A move can make a dog feel insecure and unsure of what is happening. Thankfully, there are some ways you can help your dog adjust and settle in to his new home.
If possible, stay home with your dog for a few days so they begin to understand that the change is not temporary and you are not leaving them somewhere. Set up their bedding, water, CANIDAE food and toys right away so the dog can see familiar things around them even if the rest of the house is still in boxes or the mess of unpacking.
Take your dog for a walk on a leash to get them used to the sights, smells and sounds of the new neighborhood. This will help them become oriented to the new area. If you have a yard, spend some outside time there with your dog. This will help them realize that the yard is their space too. With you present while they explore, they will feel more secure.
By Laurie Darroch
A larger dog can be more difficult to bath than a small dog that you can simply pick up to put in the water. If a large dog is resistant to bathing, it can be quite the ordeal convincing him that he needs a bath. Dealing with bathing can turn into a unpleasant task if they aren’t cooperating. Make bathing an enjoyable experience for both you and your big dog with these tips.
Set everything out ahead of time that you will need to give your dog a bath. That way, you won’t be darting out to get the things in the middle of bathing and wrestling a resistant dog. Put the shampoo and towels in easy reach. A dog can have an allergic reaction to shampoo made for humans, so be sure to use a shampoo specifically made for dogs.
Choose an Appropriate Bathing Area
A walk-in shower, regular bathtub or large portable bathing tub that can be used indoors or out, work well for a large dog. In warm weather, an outside bath might be the best option. If it is very hot, a nice cool dip in a bathing tub or quick scrubbing with a garden hose will help the dog stay cool in the heat. It is more difficult to contain a squirming dog outdoors though.
By Laurie Darroch
Eventually most dogs adjust to being left home alone, but puppies and even grown dogs can feel insecure, disconnected from their human family pack members, or even be very nervous and agitated when left behind with no company. You can’t explain to a dog that you will be returning. They have to learn this over time and trust you enough to know it is true and part of the routine. You can, however, make the experience of being home alone more comfortable and less traumatizing for your dog.
A silent empty house can make humans feel alone and frightened. That can happen to dogs too. Home should feel warm, familiar and comforting to a dog. A frightened dog can be nervous and even destructive in their fear. To help your dog feel more at ease while home alone, try some of these tricks that make the house feel less empty and provide security and entertainment for him.
Boredom can make a dog look for something to do, and their choices may cause damage to your home and to them if they have no alternatives. Puppies in particular are prone to chewing whatever is appealing to them. Chew toys provide an outlet for the boredom and for the instinct to chew. Pick chew toys that are sturdy enough to withstand the chewing strength of your particular dog.
Leave the radio on to provide verbal or musical company for your dog. Pick a radio station that is soothing for the dog. Their ears are more sensitive than ours. Set the volume at a reasonable level to make your home feel less empty but not so loud that the dog can’t relax. A talk radio station may do the trick. An added bonus is the noise inside an empty house will help keep intruders away.
By Laurie Darroch
When you need to be away from home for any length of time, it is necessary to find care options for your dog to ensure they are safe, taken care of and fed properly. Kennels are a definite option, but they can be quite pricey. Also, your dog may not be comfortable staying in a kennel with the constant stimulation of other dogs in neighboring pens, strange or uncomfortable surroundings and unknown caretakers. Thankfully, there are some alternatives to kennel boarding.
Your dog might be most comfortable in your home. Even with you gone, everything is familiar. They may be much more at ease staying there rather than going to a kennel. If this is the option you choose, you will need to have someone you can rely on to take care of your dog while you are away.
You can advertise for a home care person, but it’s important to make sure they are legitimate dog care specialists. Get full background information and verification of their services, whether or not they are insured. One possibility is to go through an agency that hires professional dog sitters.
By Suzanne Alicie
For most pet owners, our dogs are a part of the family. We do everything we can to provide them with a happy, healthy life and a secure area to play outside, but there are people out there who steal animals. They take dogs right from their yards if they are left unattended. Or if a dog gets out of his yard, instead of attempting to find the owner they simply keep the dog.
Some pet thefts are for nefarious reasons while some people take pets to “adopt” them, and others will sell pets to make money. No matter what the reason, it is heartbreaking for you and your family. While there is no absolute guarantee besides never letting your dog out of your sight, there are a few things you can do to help prevent pet theft.
Secure Your Yard
The first thing is to make sure your yard or play area is secure, where your dog cannot get out and where people are not tempted to go in. While it may look unsightly, a bit of barbed wire across the top of your fence can be a good deterrent. A tilted ledge can keep people from being able to reach in and grab your dog’s collar or climb in to take your dog. A locking gate is also important, as well as a “no trespassing” sign. Believe it or not, thieves feel that if it’s not posted they are free to wander in as they please.
No matter how secure the area may seem to be, always check on your dog frequently while he’s playing outside. Never go away for the day leaving your dog in the yard; put him inside where he will be safe from thieves and from any outside dangers while you aren’t there to keep an eye on him. If you go to a dog park, keep your dog on a leash to avoid giving thieves an opportunity to make off with him when he goes to fetch a ball. Keep unleashed play restricted to your yard.