How To Help Your Dog Settle Into A New Home

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How To Help Your Dog Settle Into A New Home

by Rosie Harvey

One of the very first things you need to do for your dog when you have moved into a new house is to make them feel at home. As this is a new home most of the smells will be unknown to your dog and this may make your dog feel slightly insecure for a while.

The most effective way to do this is to furnish the new house with the animal?s scent as quickly as possible. Take a soft cloth and gently rub the cloth over your dog?s face then go round all the rooms your dog will have access to and dab the cloth onto surfaces at your dog?s height. This will provide your dog with its own scent and begin to make them feel at home and start to bond with their new territory. Do this on a daily basis until you have built up your dog?s scent around the house and your dog shows acceptance to their new surroundings.

For the first few nights surround your dog with familiar items, such as their favourite toy and something that smells of you like one of your old jumpers.

Another way to help your dog settle in is to initiate regular routine as quickly as possible. You can use food to do this by providing your dog with small frequent meals in the same place thereby giving your dog more contact with you on a regular basis. Instead of worrying when their next meal is they will be reassured and relax a lot easier.

Your dog also needs to explore its new environment outside so that it picks up all the new smells and learns about its new surroundings.

Before you let your dog outside ensure it has some form of identification. At the very least your dog should wear a collar with a tag that has your name, new address and phone number on it. You also have the option of getting your dog micro chipped (seek advice from your vet). If your dog is already micro chipped remember to inform the company that holds your details of your change of address and phone number.

For the first few days ensure your dog is exercised on a lead this can involve an extendable lead which offers a little bit more freedom for your dog to wander but has a restraint capability as well.

Whenever your dog goes out always ensure they are with a responsible person, preferably yourself as this will help build confidence in the dog and its new surroundings. If your new home is not too far away from your old one your dog may pick up some familiar smells or recognise some old routes and may use these to return to your old home. Warn the new residents of your old home that this may happen and ask them to call you of your dog turns up at their house so you can go collect the animal.

This may happen within the time it takes your dog to bond with its new home and environment and to break old habits.

To minimise this possibility maintain your routine with the small frequent meals and have signals concerning the food and feeding time which your dog cannot resist.

Also, whilst out exercising your dog maximise the time spent playing, this way your dog is far less likely to roam.

Most dogs associate grooming as being a pleasurable experience so as well as grooming at home groom your dog whilst out exercising. This will help link the pleasurable experience with the dog?s new surroundings.

Rosie Harvey runs a site on dog training and dog care. This site provides tips, advice, reviews, products and information all about training and taking care of your dog.

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