Dear Porky and Buddy,
I am planning to move to a new house a little later this summer and I have been thinking about how it might affect my pets, Bowzer, my black lab and Virginia, my elderly cat. Do you have any advice about how to make this move a little easier on them?
Pretend that Bowzer and Virginia are human toddlers. What would it take to make such a move easier for little kids?
Consistency – Stick to your usual routines at your new home for everything – feeding, walks, playtime, lap time and bedtime.
The less change for them to have to get used to the better.
You may be tempted to get all new stuff for Bowzer and Virginia, especially if their old stuff is ugly and stinky.
But they love that ugly stinky stuff, so haul it all to the new place. Bring their favorite bed, crate, toys, food and water dishes, treats and other pet stuff. Put them in similar places as they were in your previous home.
Those ugly stinky favorites will help them feel in control and at home more quickly.
Patience – Let Bowzer and Virgina take their time checking out their new home.
Let them explore and if they decide to hide for a while, that’s OK as long as they know where the doggy door or litter box is.
Allow them to come out when they are ready.
Their behavior may change for a while, including eating and “potty” habits, barking, pacing or protection behaviors. They need time to get used to their new home, just as you do.
Security – Give Bowzer and Virginia all the attention they are used to (and richly deserve). Extra attention and affection will go a long way as they come to feel at home in their new surroundings.
Remember that difficult behaviors are a result of their discomfort with the change and a sense of not feeling in control. You don’t like not feeling in control and neither do they.
Difficult behaviors don’t mean they are bad and can’t change. Get help from a professional trainer or veterinarian if difficult behaviors don’t subside.
Safety – Plan carefully for their safety during the packing stage, the actual move and the transition in the new home. They may be upset and scared once the boxes and suitcases take over.
They may hide or try to run away. Set aside a safe place during the move where they can’t get lost or hurt.
Maybe they could stay with a familiar friend on the actual moving day and come into the new house when everything is finally there.
Make sure they are wearing their identification with your contact information, and that you have copies of veterinarian records handy.
Don’t forget to follow these same precautions during the transition in the new house.
Things will settle down eventually, but in the meantime, be careful. Pets, like toddlers, need you to look out for them.
Speaking of moving. The Oswego County Humane Society has moved to a new location, 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego.
Watch for the announcement about our open house.
OCHS provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.
And speaking of animals in need, don’t forget to enter the 2016 Shop and Play in Oswego County Raffle.
Lots of cool prizes to win and your donation helps us help animals.
You can download tickets or buy them online at www.oswegohumane.org.