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Your pooch wants more than anything to spend time with you. So, he will be comfortable wherever you are, right? Well, yeah. But because you adore your pup, you want a home that’s as inviting to him as it is to you.
If you’re moving to a new area, a good place to start is by looking around at the area’s maps. Are there parks nearby for good, long walkies? Are there lots of dog parks where your dog can run free with his new canine friends? With 35 percent of Americans owning dogs, there are more and more facilities available for dog lovers these days.
Do you need a fenced yard? Your dog will be happier if he can run and explore his yard when he goes out for a bathroom break. And you won’t have to stand there in the rain and cold holding his leash. If getting a fenced yard isn’t a possibility, make sure there are sidewalks, nice areas for walking and dog-loving neighbors nearby. Your first clue should be if there are lots of dogs in the neighborhood. If you see lots of pups out for their daily stroll, that’s a good sign. You can also ask those dog owners and other neighbors about the area. Plus, it’s a chance to make a new dog-loving friend.
Check if there are pet-friendly businesses nearby. Are there boutique pet stores, groomers, doggie day cares, boarding kennels? Some other businesses allow dogs to visit, too. If you walk around a business district and see lots of water bowls sitting out on the sidewalk, that’s a good clue that they care about your pet.
Check for stairs. Can your dog navigate stairs and if not, can you install ramps? Take a look at the windows: Does your dog like to watch the world go by? Or does your dog bark incessantly if he can see out the window? What kind of floors does it have? Carpets aren’t the best idea for dogs that could have accidents, such as puppies or elderly dogs. Also, they hold smells, so you might need to shampoo them often.
When you’ve found a dream home for you and your dog, take him for a leashed walk around the home and let him sniff it out. Put his bed and toys in the spot you plan to keep them, so he can settle down in his new home. Don’t wash his blankets, toys or bed because he will want to enjoy the same scents he knows from his old home. Arriving in the morning is better, too, because dogs are more anxious at night.
Get started walking him around the neighborhood as soon as possible, so he can get the lay of the land and meet his new neighbors. If you can take the first week off work so you can spend time with him and reassure him that you’re always going to be there. You can spend this time taking small trips away from home and allowing your dog to feel more safe in his new environment.
Establish your new vet right away. If an emergency happens, it helps to be established as someone’s regular patient. Your new vet can also let you know of anything that’s unique to the area that you should be aware of.
Taking a little extra time and care, while making the move as stress-free as possible, your pooch will soon feel right at home. You and your beloved cuddly companion will be making new friends of the two-legged and four-legged variety.
Cindy is a freelance writer and dog lover. She started ourdogfriends.org as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.