|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on April 28, 2015 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Why adopt a rescue pup or dog? Why not buy one from an ad on the Internet or from a pet store? Why not buy one from a breeder? There are many reasons -- all of them humane.
The growth of the Internet has spurred the growth of ads selling pets. But it also provides anonymity to a more insidious growth: that of puppy mills and so-called “backyard” breeders. It helps them avoid accountability when they sell unhealthy or mistreated pets to unsuspecting, over-eager buyers. And it only serves to confirm the axiom: “buyer beware.”
Each time a dog is bought from an ad on the Internet, a homeless dog is left without a home.
Many pet stores rely on both puppy mills and “backyard” breeders. Like the Internet, they rely on impulse buying. A child ogles a playful puppy through a pane of glass, and that old song, “How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?” begins. Few parents can refuse the insistent “Please! Please! Please!” of their children.
Each time a puppy is bought from a pet store, a surrendered dog languishes in a shelter.
There may be thousands of legitimate breeders throughout the country but there are just as many unscrupulous ones. There are no laws regulating who can and cannot breed. There are no inspections of their facilities. Even a certificate from a recognized kennel club means only that the breeder has “agreed” to its code of ethics. A piece of paper is simply that: a piece of paper.
Each time a dog is bought from an unscrupulous breeder, an abandoned dog moves closer to death in a pound.
Why, then, adopt a rescue dog?
There are tens of thousands of healthy, happy and balanced dogs available from thousands of rescue organizations across the country. Contrary to popular belief, they include purebreds as well as crossbreeds and mixed breeds. And for people intent on a specific breed, there are rescue groups devoted exclusively to a single breed of dog.
Adopting a rescue dog is saving that dog’s life. Rescue organizations are usually the last refuge for abandoned and abused dogs, surrendered and senior dogs. They are often a dog’s only escape from a puppy mill, shelter or pound. These rescued dogs are placed in loving and experienced, volunteer foster homes, where they are socialized with people and other animals.
They are spayed or neutered, de-wormed, updated on all of their vaccinations and microchipped. They receive whatever veterinary care they need, and are either trained or re-trained before being put up for adoption. And everything is included in the rescue’s modest adoption fees.
It is said that saving a dog makes that dog doubly grateful. By extension, then, anyone who saves a dog will be doubly blessed.
What better reasons could there be to adopt?
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on April 21, 2015 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
How many times have we humans heard the expression, “You’re only as old as you feel”? And why is it that some days, despite our actual age, we feel younger than we are, while other days, we feel older, much older?
So it is with our canine companions. What constitutes a senior in one breed may be an adult in another – with plenty of room for peppiness in both. Although most veterinarians agree that a dog is considered “senior” around the age of 7, what matters more is the size, not the number. Small dogs mature slower, tend to live longer than large dogs, and become seniors later in life. Dogs weighing less than 20 pounds may not show signs of aging until they’re around 12. Fifty-pound dogs won't seem older until they’re around 10, while the largest dogs start “showing their age” at around 8.
But if wisdom comes with age, so do benefits. And in the case of those lovingly dubbed “gray muzzles”, the benefits of adopting a senior dog are many. Think puppy at heart without the puppy problems. Because in adopting a senior dog, you CAN judge a book by its cover. What you see is what you get: a mature animal whose physique and persona are fully formed -- no baby teeth to gnaw on your furniture, no yappy energy to wear you out – allowing you to see, within moments, if yours is a mutual match or not. Although, as with everything else, there are always exceptions to the rule, opening your home to an older dog means opening your heart to an experience akin to instant gratification.
Calmer than their younger counterparts, older dogs are house trained and have long since mastered the basic commands of “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “come.” And contrary to popular belief, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs are trainable at any age, and older dogs are just as bright as younger ones, with a greater attention span, making them that much easier to train. Older dogs are loyal, loving and experienced companions, ready to walk politely on leash with you, run gaily off leash (with good recall) in the dog park, and play frisky games of fetch with your new tennis ball or their own, well-worn one.
Less demanding of your attention than younger dogs, they are content with their own company for longer periods, then will lavish you with all of their adoration and affection when it’s cuddling time. Due to their lower energy level, senior dogs are easier to care for and make superlative companions for senior people. They also make friendly and gentle playmates for children -- particularly if they were once some other family’s cherished pet.
One common misconception about older, adoptable dogs is that they are “problem dogs”. And yet, most of them have lost their homes, not because of their behavior or temperament, but because of changes in the lives, lifestyle or circumstances of their original owners.
Sadly, for many senior dogs awaiting adoption, age IS seen as a number, even if that number is only 5, and even if that same dog has 10 years or more to live, to love and be loved. More difficult to adopt than younger dogs, and just as deserving of a permanent home, they are all too often overlooked and for all the wrong reasons.
Senior dogs seem to sense when they receive a second chance at the rest of their lives. And anyone wise enough to adopt one, will not only reap the benefits, but will be the lucky recipient of a love as unconditional as it is enduring.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on April 13, 2015 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sadly, in the world of dog breeding, some dogs are bred simply because they are thought to be beautiful -- by breeders and buyers alike. So it is with the double merle.
Merle refers to a color pattern, not a color in and of itself. Merle dogs come in many colors, the most common of which is blue merle, found most often in Australian Shepherds. Blue merles are, in fact, black dogs with the black broken up into irregular patches by lighter shades of gray. In some “circles”, the lighter, the better; the whiter, the prettier. This has led to the irresponsible breeding of male and female merles in the hope of producing as many light merles as possible. The unintentional result: the double merle.
Whether they are called double merles, lethal whites or homozygous merles, these dogs are born carrying the MM gene, leaving them unable to produce pigment. Some of the most popular breeds affected by this so-called MM genotype include Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Collies (Rough and Smooth), Dachshunds (known as dapples), Great Danes, Old English Sheepdogs and Shetland Sheepdogs.
The unethical practice of breeding double merles is generally condemned worldwide, not only because so many are considered defective and put down at birth by their breeders, but because of the health problems that plague them, namely, partial or complete deafness and blindness.
Numerous myths have arisen concerning double merles. If deaf, blind or both, they are reputed to be aggressive, unpredictable, untrainable, prone to other health issues, even a shorter life span. According to studies, however, none of this is true. Double merles, despite their deficiencies, are generally quite healthy dogs capable of living long, otherwise normal lives. And they are no more aggressive, unpredictable or untrainable than hearing and sighted dogs.
To dispel another myth, there are homes more than eager to adopt, train and love such special needs dogs. Experts stress the importance of not viewing them as “handicapped.” While they do have certain limitations, they themselves are not aware of this, and can be as active and affectionate, playful and pleasurable as any other dogs.
Families adopting double merles first receive their own training, and what they learn is promptly passed on to their dogs. Deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs are trained through the use of sign language or hand signals. Lights and vibrations can also be used. Deaf/blind double merles are trained by touch signals and scent cues placed throughout the home. Blind double merles are trained through the use of both sound and scent cues. All sharp edges at eye level are either bubble-wrapped or cushioned by towels for added protection. All stairways are baby-gated, and either a textured mat or a scent placed before each one to alert the dog to the gates’ proximity.
And, so contrary to popular misconception, double merles can and DO lead happy, balanced and productive lives. In fact, to the delight of their proud and loving owners, double merles excel in many areas and numerous arenas. They often compete at the highest levels in agility, win ribbons at kennel club showings, participate in K9 nosework, and become therapy dogs – to name but a few.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on April 8, 2015 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
For generations, the pit bull’s affectionate nickname was the "nanny dog." Today, the pit bull is the dog most likely to be shot by the police. For generations, families wanting a loving, dependable and protective babysitter for their children chose a pit bull. Today, the pit bull is considered by many to be the most dangerous and ferocious of dogs. For generations, the pit bull was known for its gentleness, loyalty and reliability. Today, the pit bull is the prime target of so-called Breed Specific Legislation.
What has changed yesterday’s beloved family pet into today’s object of hatred and fear? Perception.
While “pit-bull type” dogs are the ones most commonly labeled “dangerous,” many other breeds have been labeled dangerous as well, including the Alaskan Malamute, American Bulldog, Boxer, Cane Corso, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard and Siberian Husky.
Why then, is the pit bull being so strategically targeted? Is it because their ancestral roots lay in fighting, when breeding for aggression was considered essential? Is it because some of today’s unscrupulous breeders have selectively perpetuated these aggressive traits for their own nefarious purposes? Is it because they have become the stereotypical “poster pets” for fighting dogs, mistreated dogs, abandoned dogs? Is it because too many mixed-breed dogs look like, and are, all too often, mistaken for actual pit bulls?
Sadly, choose any or all of the above, and you would be right.
What about the responsible breeders who breed pit bulls with good temperaments? What about the mixed-breed dog with that “certain look" which has absolutely no bearing on its real personality? Once again: perception. The foundation of which is built on half-truths, anecdotal accounts, word-of-mouth and hastily, if faultily, drawn conclusions.
Perhaps the most telling of all is the assumption that “pit bull type” dogs are, in fact, actual pit bulls. Studies have shown that people who report either witnessing a dog attack or having been attacked themselves could NOT positively identify the dog as an actual pit bull. The truth is that any breed or mixed breed of dog can be aggressive. Labeling a breed as dangerous can be just as dangerous as the label itself. All too often, it gives people a false sense of security around other, supposedly, safe breeds. Everyone should, instead, be educated about responsible dog ownership and proper bite prevention measures.
In most shelters across North America, the majority of dogs are mixed breeds of unknown parentage. Nonetheless, it’s commonplace for the staff to GUESS at a dog’s breed based solely on appearance. Guessing at a breed is -- again -- as dangerous as labeling a breed dangerous. Why? Because of its serious implications. Because it impacts the welfare of hundreds of thousands of dogs in regards to the law, landlords, insurance companies, and service providers. It even affects the policies and adoption practices of humane societies and the animal shelters themselves.
Animal experts and behaviorists have cautioned for years that neither visual identification nor DNA test results can accurately predict a dog’s future behavior. For that, they conclude, “we must look at the individual dog.”
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on April 1, 2015 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
Are you hesitant about planning a vacation because of your dog? Are you stopped by images of your cherished family companion in a boarding kennel run by well-meaning strangers?
Consider another possibility: your dog, safe and snug at home, cared for by someone who’s qualified and experienced.
Consider a pet sitter.
Pet sitters are paid professionals who come to your home and spend quality time with your pet. The best ones are those who not only feed and play with them, but hold certificates in First Aid and CPR.
Consider the benefits.
Your dog remains at home, with the same diet and daily routine, and receives both attention and exercise while you’re away.
You can feel more secure knowing that, not only is your dog safe, but your home is too. Pet sitters can take in your newspapers and mail, water your plants and provide your place with that lived-in look.
To begin, ask your vet, trainer or groomer for recommendations. Ask your friends and neighbors for the names of their own pet sitters.
Interview each candidate over the phone, then in person, and ask the following questions: Can they provide written proof that they’re bonded and carry commercial liability insurance? What formal training have they received? Are contingency plans in place if an accident or emergency prevents them from fulfilling their duties? Will they provide extra services like grooming, dog walking or playtime with other dogs? If they provide live-in services, what are the specific times they agree to be with your dog? Will they give you a written contract listing their services and fees? Will they provide you with the phone numbers of clients who have agreed to be references?
If you’re satisfied with the person’s answers and if the references have checked out, it's imperative that your dog first meet and interact with prospective sitter. Monitor them closely. Does your dog seem comfortable with the person? Are they a good fit? Are there any issues that need addressing?
Once your decision has been made and you, yourself, are comfortable, you can begin to plan that long-delayed vacation: whether for a weekend, a week or longer. Then, before your date of departure: Walk the sitter through your home, pointing out all the essentials needed to make the agreed-upon routine run smoothly and well. Prepare a comprehensive list of emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your vet. Store all of your dog’s food and other supplies in one place, along with extras in case you're away longer than originally planned. Give a trustworthy neighbor copies of your keys and have that neighbor and the pet sitter exchange phone numbers. Show the pet sitter any important safety features, such as fuse boxes, circuit breakers and security systems.
With everything firmly in place, all you have to do now is leave. Secure in the knowledge that your precious dog is in good hands and is, after all, a mere phone call away.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on March 16, 2015 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
Their bodies may be imperfect, but their spirit remains intact.
So it is said about the special needs dog. Although caring for one can be challenging, more and more people are opening their hearts and their homes and adopting them. For this reason, more and more dogs who might otherwise be euthanized are being given a new “leash” on life.
Experts stress the importance of not viewing special needs dogs as “handicapped.” Although they have certain limitations (including partial paralysis, three leggedness, blindness or deafness), they’re not “aware” of them, and can be as active and affectionate as any other dog.
Adopters of special needs dogs insist the rewards outweigh the work. Many use social media to share their experiences, to interact with owners like them, and to encourage others to adopt. They don’t see these dogs’ medical or physical problems as a shortcoming, and don’t believe it makes them any less of a dog.
Those interested in adopting a special needs dog should first fully inform themselves about that dog’s condition, limitations, and maintenance. This includes meeting with their vet, requesting a tutorial on administering medications, and asking if they will make house calls. If not, they should ask to be referred to someone who will.
The quality of life for special needs dogs has been greatly enhanced by the growing number of products available to their owners. There are pet diapers, no-slip boots, orthotic braces, prosthetics, and front, back, combination and amputee harnesses. Ramps, pet steps, pet stairs and pet carts. Adjustable pet wheelchairs that can accommodate dogs weighing up to 180 pounds. And because partially paralyzed pets frequently get carpet burns when out of their chairs, there are washable, heavy-duty “drag bags” to protect their back ends.
Sadly, dogs who are blind or deaf have been characterized as aggressive, unpredictable, untrainable, prone to other health issues, and even a shorter life span. Studies, however, have proven otherwise. They have shown that despite their obvious deficiencies, these dogs are generally quite healthy and capable of living long, otherwise normal lives. And that, whether blind or deaf, they are no more aggressive, unpredictable or untrainable than sighted or hearing dogs.
Blind dogs are trained through the use of both sound and scent cues. By relying on their highly developed sense of smell, their noses let them know where and what things are, and when combined with their owners’ reassuring voice and touch, helps them live as normally and comfortably as possible.
They quickly learn and “map out” their surroundings, and for added protection, have their own “go to” place, created by putting their food and water bowls, doggie bed, kennel, and several favorite toys (squeaky toys or ones with bells inside are best) on a distinctive mat, and never moved. A carpeted runner or large area rug provides them with safe play area because the traction is good and the edges clearly discernible.
Sharp edges on furniture can be padded with bubble-wrap or foam pipe insulation to help prevent injury. Any stairways should be baby-gated, and a textured mat laid before each one to alert the dog to the gates’ proximity. And all outside activities, from pottying to playing, should be done either in a securely fenced yard or securely on leash.
Deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs are trained through the use of sign language or hand signals with treats as reinforcement. Vibrations are also used, such as walking with a “heavy foot” if their attention is elsewhere, and stomping close to their bed or near their head to waken them rather than touching and startling them. Lights can also be used as a teaching tool to get their attention, but, of course, this works best as night.
Since they bond instantly with their owners, placing their trust and safekeeping in their hands, deaf dogs always look to them for guidance and follow where their owner leads. As with blind dogs, all outside activities, from pottying to playing, should be done either in a securely fenced yard or securely on leash.
Because there is nothing inherently “wrong” with them, deaf dogs can do almost anything hearing dogs do. Many of them excel at agility and obedience, and make excellent therapy dogs.
As the owners of special needs dogs readily agree, their own lives have been irrevocably changed. By the sweetness and determination of the animals they adopted. By the smiles they elicit and the kisses they distribute. And most importantly, by the inspiration these dogs provide, not only for them, but for everyone around them.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on March 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
Millions of dogs go missing each year. Unfortunately, very few of them are ever reunited with their owners. Many of them become and remain strays. Others are taken to pounds or shelters, where they are either adopted out to new homes or, all too often, euthanized. Now protective pet parents, no longer content with relying on collars and tags alone, have begun microchipping their dogs.
It’s a simple and safe procedure. A veterinarian injects a microchip designed especially for animals -- the size of a grain of rice -- beneath the surface of a dog’s skin between the shoulder blades. Similar to a routine shot, it takes only a few seconds and most dogs don’t even seem to feel the implantation. Unlike other forms of identification, a microchip is permanent and, with no internal energy source, will last the life of the dog. Once it’s implanted, the dog must immediately be registered with the microchip company (usually for a one-time fee), thus storing his unique, alpha-numeric code in the company’s database.
Whenever a lost dog appears at a shelter, humane society or veterinary clinic, he/she will automatically be scanned for a microchip. If there is one, the screen of the handheld scanner will display that dog’s specific code. A simple call to the recovery database using a toll free 800 number enables the code to be traced back to the dog’s owner. But in order for the system to work efficiently, all owners are cautioned to keep their contact information up-to-date.
The most complete microchips comply with International Standards Organization (ISO) Standards. These standards define the structure of the microchip’s information content and determine the protocol for scanner-microchip communication. They also include the assignment of a 15-digit numeric identification code to each microchip; 3 digits either for the code of the country in which the dog was implanted or for the manufacturer’s code; one digit for the dog’s category (optional), and the remaining 8 or 9 digits for that dog’s unique ID number.
As with anything else, however, problems can and do arise. Not all shelters, humane societies, and veterinary offices have scanners. Although rare, microchips can fail, and even universal scanners may not be able to detect every microchip. Accurate detection can also be hampered if dogs struggle too much while being scanned or if either long, matted hair or excess fat deposits cover the implantation site. And because there are an ever-increasing number of pet recovery services, there is, as yet, no single database that links one to the other.
Since no method of identification is perfect, the best way owners can protect their dogs is by being responsible owners. By always keeping current identification tags on their dogs, never allowing them to roam free and microchipping them for added protection.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on March 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
Dogs may nip or bite for a variety of reasons. The following are the most common:
When these dogs bite, their likeliest targets are the ones nearest to them: members of their own human families. The expression “Let sleeping dogs lie” is never more true than in the case of an owner stepping over a dog napping in an inconvenient place or brushing one off a chair, couch or bed. Push down too strongly on a dog’s rump to reinforce the “sit” command or attempt to stare down a dog who seems oddly unsettled, and a warning bark may all too quickly be followed by a bite.
This response is usually directed toward strangers. Much like people, dogs are, by nature, fearful of unfamiliar and potentially threatening situations. In old cartoons and movies, it was always the postman who was at the receiving end of a bite. But, in reality, it can be anyone. Anyone the dog doesn’t know, anyone innocently “invading” a dog’s space, or anyone who seems particularly menacing. If a series of cautionary barks doesn’t fend off this perceived danger, a lunge and a bite may result.
Well-intentioned, but ill-advised attempts to break up a dogfight often cause the referee in question to be bitten. When two angry dogs are squaring off against each other, baiting, barking and air snapping, and a hand reaches in to seize a collar or a coat, either dog may suddenly whip round and lash out with his mouth at the “intruder.”
Even the sweetest and gentlest dog can -- if the pain is severe enough -- bite the hand that’s trying to help. Whether a novice owner, an experienced trainer, or a seasoned vet. Every dog has his own particular threshold and tolerance for pain. Cross it with a normally soothing touch or a tender pat of reassurance, and that nursing hand will need a doctor.
This category is reserved for people who either don’t respect a dog’s boundaries or don’t understand that every dog has his limits. Thoughtless behaviors, inconsiderate overtures, constant pestering, poking or prodding – and the perpetrator will be punished with a bite.
PROTECTION OF “PROPERTY”
Dogs chosen by families either for personal protection or for the protection of their property may find themSELVES the unwitting target of their dogs’ over-zealous guarding. Trained to defend everything of value – from the family house and car to the family itself – from outside threats, some dogs will even “protect” one family member from another by biting the one they considers a threat.
Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at greatest risk for dog bites. To minimize these risks, they should be taught to:
Report a strange dog wandering through their yard or neighborhood to an adult.
Never approach a strange dog.
Never approach an eating or sleeping dog, or a mother caring for her pups.
Never look directly into a dog's eyes.
Stand as still as a statue if approached by a strange dog.
Never scream at or run from a strange dog.
Roll into a ball and not move if knocked down by a strange dog.
Never play with a dog unless in the company of an adult.
To help reduce the incidences of dog biting:
All responsible dog owners must learn about and understand fully the complexities of canine behavior.
All responsible dog owners must obedience train and socialize their dogs – the sooner, the younger, the better.
All responsible dog owners must teach their children to respect ALL dogs, starting with the ones in their own homes.
It’s said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In the case of dog biting, however, a little knowledge is less dangerous than no knowledge at all.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on February 23, 2015 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
A puppy-proofed home is a pet-safe home whatever the age of your new dog. Before that first front paw crosses your threshold for the first time, your home must be a health zone, not a hazard zone. Be especially attentive to the sensibilities of former puppy mill dogs or “outside” dogs. They may never have walked on wooden floors, carpets or tiles, or been exposed to so many new and unfamiliar sights before.
Begin the process of pet-proofing by walking through your home, room by room, searching methodically for things a dog might climb, knock over or pull down, and either secure, remove or store them. Keep all trashcans behind closed and latched doors and wastebaskets (covered if possible) out of sight. Ensure that all heating/air vents have covers. Snap specially designed plastic caps over electrical outlets. Tie electrical cords together and tuck them out of reach.
Install childproof latches to keep inquisitive paws from prying open cabinet doors in kitchens and bathrooms, and always keep the toilet lids closed. In bedrooms, keep all medications, lotions and cosmetics off accessible surfaces such as bedside tables. Store collections – from buttons, bottle caps and coins to matchboxes, marbles and potpourri – on high shelves, while keeping breakables on low surfaces to an absolute minimum.
Most chemicals are hazardous to dogs and should be replaced, wherever possible, with natural, non-toxic products. A partial list of toxic chemicals includes: antifreeze, bleach, drain cleaner, household cleaners and detergents, glue, nail polish and polish remover, paint, varnish and sealants, pesticides and rat poison.
Many indoor plants, however pretty, can prove poisonous to a dog. Since dogs are, by nature, explorers – not to mention lickers and chewers – protecting them from harm is essential. A partial list of such indoor plants includes: aloe, amaryllis, asparagus fern, azalea and rhododendron, chrysanthemum, corn plant, cyclamen, Dieffenbachia, elephant ear, jade plant, kalanchoe, lilies, peace lily, philodendron, pothos, Sago palm, schefflera and yew.
Seemingly harmless “people” food can potentially be lethal to dogs. A partial list of these includes: alcohol, avocado, chocolate, caffeinated items, fruit pits and seeds, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts and onions.
Although prevention is the key to your new dog’s well being, accidents can and do happen. The truly protective pet parents are prepared pet parents and know to keep a list of vital numbers handy:
• 24-hour veterinary emergency clinic
• ASPCA Poison Control: 1-888-426-4435
• Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680
Hopefully, these are numbers you’ll never use. And as long as you remain vigilant, both you and your new best friend can rest, assured.
Article written by Nomi Berger
|Posted by saskatoondogrescue on February 17, 2015 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit. Once comfortable in their surroundings, they are unnerved by change. And trading a familiar home for an unfamiliar one can cause fearfulness and stress. Unless you, the conscientious dog guardian, plan ahead with all the precision of a successful military campaign. Logically, then, moving from one place to another should consist of three stages: preparing for the move; moving day itself; and settling into your new home.
PREPARING FOR THE MOVE
Purchase a large, comfortable carrier and give your dog sufficient time to adjust to being in it. Leave it on the floor with the door open and some treats inside. Keep replacing the treats after your dog has retrieved them.
Set out your cardboard, moving boxes a few days before you actually begin to pack so that your dog can get used to the sight and scent of them.
Maintain your dog’s regular routine for feeding, walking and playing, and quality together time.
If your dog becomes anxious as you start packing, place him/her in a quiet room with some toys and treats and keep the door closed. On the other hand, if yours is an especially nervous dog, boarding him/her in a professional kennel the day before and after the move may be the best solution -- for all of you.
Make certain that your dog’s identification tags carry your new address and telephone number. But the best precaution -- and the wisest investment you can make -- is an updated microchip implant.
MOVING DAY ITSELF
Even before the movers take over the premises, tuck your dog safely away from the centre of the storm by closing him/her in a bathroom, together with food, water, some toys and his/her bed.
To ensure that your dog doesn’t panic and try to escape if the door is opened, put a sign on the door stating that it must remain shut.
Your dog should always travel with you, secure in the carrier, and not in the moving van.
SETTLING INTO YOUR NEW HOME
Put your dog in a room that will remain relatively quiet for awhile. Before opening the carrier, lay out your dog’s food, water bowl, toys and bed, and place some treats around the room.
Keep your dog in this one “safe” room for a few days, spending time together, soothing and cuddling, and sharing some low-key activities like reading, listening to music or watching TV.
Dog-proof your new home as soon as possible. Included in your “must do” list:
tuck drapery, blinds and electrical cords out of reach; ensure all windows and screens are secure; install child-proof latches on your cabinets – particularly those containing cleaning supplies; cover unused electrical outlets with special plastic caps, and keep all toilet seats down.
Begin gradually walking your dog through the rest of the place, one room at a time, constantly praising and reassuring him/her as you make the rounds. Over and over again.
Restore your dog’s former feeding, walking and playing routine so that, hopefully, it will seem that nothing has changed much at all.
Dogs may be creatures of habit, but they are highly adaptable as well. And so, whether familiar or unfamiliar, old or new, for them, there is still no place like home.
Article written by Nomi Berger