Category Archives: pets and babies

How to Help Your Dog Adjust to Change

By Langley Cornwell

Many dogs don’t respond well to change. Our skittish pup gets knocked out of her frame if we move furniture around, so I dread the day when we move into a new home – for that reason only. I’m really ready to move to a place with a bigger yard, but that’s another story entirely. Back to the dogs… when we do move we will have to take her sensitive nature into consideration. In preparation, I’ve studied up on ways to make the process easier for her. And looking ahead, there will be other changes in store for her as our lives progress. Here are tips for helping your dog adjust to changes that may come your way.

New Home

Before anything else, please remember to have your dog’s tags updated with the new address and telephone number, and keep the tags on them at all times. They may slip out the door and get lost in the new neighborhood. You have to do your part to keep your dog safe.

If it’s possible, take your dog to the new neighborhood before you move, and let them walk around and become familiar with the surroundings. The more you can do this, the better. During the move itself, determine where your dog’s bed or crate will be immediately, ideally before your dog ever enters the new house. Do the same with the food and water dishes. Have your dog’s food dish full of CANIDAE dog food and have their water dish full of clean, fresh water when they arrive. Make sure there are plenty of familiar smells around the new place, things that smell like your dog and things that smell like you and your family. 

When your dog comes to the house for the first time, talk soothingly to them and allow them to explore the place at their own pace. In the past, I’ve ‘seeded’ the house with CANIDAE TidNips treats for my dogs, putting some on the sofa, some in their beds and random other places for them to find. As the dogs explored their new accommodations, they happened upon a treat here and there – and got a sense that this new home was a good place.

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How to Help Your Cat Adjust to Change

By Langley Cornwell

Most of us have heard the old adage “the only thing constant is change” and we all know how true that is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the type of person who embraces change and looks towards different circumstances as a new adventure, or you’re the type that dreads change because you thrive in familiar conditions; change happens.

If you have the privilege of sharing your life with cats, change happens to them too. While you can intelligently process the reasons for the change, your cat(s) cannot. All they know is that things are different and they are not sure how to deal with the newness, whatever it may be. They need help managing the stress that comes with change. There are steps you can take to help your cat successfully adjust to new circumstances.

New Home

If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, when you move plan to keep him indoors for approximately a month so he can become familiar with his new surroundings. For an extremely sensitive cat, it may be wise to establish a single room as ‘his’ and confine him to that room until he becomes more comfortable with the new home. Make sure the cat has access to a clean litter box and fresh water at all times. Whether your cat has the run of the house or is limited to one room, keep all the doors and windows closed and locked. Additionally, make sure your cat wears an I.D. tag at all times. A fearful cat can easily slip out of an open door or window and run away.

Keep distractions to a minimum; restrict the access of other animals and children to the cat as he is settling into his new territory. When cats are transitioning, they need assurance that their sources of love, shelter and food are still available. Therefore, spend more quality time with your cat than you used to, as he is adjusting to his new home. Talk quietly and reassuringly to him, and be patient. Your cat may display behavior problems during the first few weeks after a move but these issues usually clear up over time.   

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How to Introduce a New Baby to Your Pet

By Suzanne Alicie

New babies and all the excitement they bring into your life also bring upheaval to your household. There are months of preparation, many new items brought in, and more than likely a lack of attention for your pet. In order to keep the peace when your new baby comes home, it is important to properly introduce the baby to your pet and include the pet as often as possible.

Pets are often considered and treated as the babies of the family. When a new baby arrives your pet could see it as a competitor for your attention. To get your pets used to a baby before the little one arrives, you can do some integration of the baby’s stuff within the house.

• Set up a swing and playpen, and work with your pet to train him not to make himself at home in these places. Allow the pet to sniff and explore the new items, and then promptly remove him. It may take several weeks to train your pet about these areas, so starting a few months before the baby arrives is a good idea.

• Let your pet visit the nursery and smell all the new things in his home. This will allow him to become accustomed to the smells and presence of the new items.

• Purchase a baby doll, and if you can find one that cries or moves that is even better. Practice around the house with this baby doll, letting your dog or cat see the movement and hear the cries. This will get your pet used to seeing you carrying a noisy moving item around so that when the baby arrives, the noise and movements won’t frighten them or make them nervous. Also consider a cat’s tendency to swat things that move, and train your cat not to play with the doll.

Even with all of this preparation you will still have to let your pet examine the baby when you bring it home. Hold the baby and have another family member hold your pet to allow it to gently nudge and smell the baby. Avoid letting your pet get in the baby’s face but don’t be forceful or nervous about it. Pets pick up on your emotions and if your animal feels that you are on edge, he will associate that with the baby and could become protective.

Don’t leave your pet with your baby unattended, but continue to allow the pet to be near you while caring for the baby. This will reassure your pet that he is still part of the family.

I had a cat when my oldest son was born, and family members threw a fit about me having a cat in the house with a newborn. But my cat fell in love with the baby; the worst thing I had to deal with was fighting to keep the cat from curling up with him when he napped in the playpen. She had no interest in the playpen until he went to sleep, then she wanted to sleep on his feet, just like she did on mine. She had adopted him as her pet. Every pet is different and each has their own personality.

If you have a pet that does not adjust to the baby or is in any way aggressive toward the baby you must remove it from the area. This does not mean you have to find another home for your pet, just that until your baby is older you may have to use a crate or gates to keep the two separated.

No matter how you handle the integration of a baby into your pet’s home, your pet will need some one-on-one attention and praise for being such a good friend. While that may seem to be asking a lot from new parents, simply consider your pet to be an older sibling and treat him the same way you would another child dealing with a new attention grabber in the house.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.