For most pets, changing homes, even if they are with the same family, can be scary.
We brought Buddy home one month ago last Sunday. It seems much longer, except maybe for the dog. He is still finding his place here in household. As he learns about us, we learn about him.
This happens in every household with pets, whether just adopted from a shelter, adopted through family like Buddy, or when a move for the entire family is involved. Adjustment takes time and patience.
Yesterday it rained, come to think of it has rained a lot since we got back. Buddy does not like rain, especially heavy rain, and he definitely doesn't like thunder. He has lived the past few years in Arizona, a state not known for thunderstorms. But when they had rain, he didn't like it there either.
I put Kodi's thunder vest on him to see if he too would be comforted. Much too large for Buddy, but it seemed to help. Guess there's a trip to the pet store in my future.
Even if we had enjoyed nothing but sunny days in January, there would still be adjustments. He spends a lot of time curled up on pillows on the couch, looking particularly pitiful. But that's his look. We have no idea of his background, as he was “adopted out” through a pet supply store in Orlando with no formal application, and from what I have gathered, the rescue is no longer in business.
He has a crate in the bedroom, a blanket “nest” in the family room, and of course, he has the couch.
When introducing a dog or cat to a new situation it is important to bring scents from the former home if possible, ergo the blanket. If you are moving to a new home, even within the area, the first rooms I recommend setting up are the kids rooms, and the pet areas.
Pet areas should be somewhere you can close the door while furniture is being moved in, somewhere they are away from additional strange noises and people, and in a place where they can't escape. If there is no available spot, use your crates with blankets and toys.
Explore the backyard before they do, looking for areas they could escape. The best way to find these spots is to take your pup out on leash and let him explore. He will take you to them. It's always a good idea to supervise your dog when he is outside, even in a fenced area.
Getting used to new surroundings won't happen over night. Your pet needs to have the time to learn that they are safe, and loved, and most importantly, home.
Don't forget to send in your pet's picture for a guest spot in Pet Dish. Please include the name, age, your name, and a story about him, or her. Email them to [email protected]