Category Archives: Good Tricks

Making a Stress-Free Move with a Dog

by contributor Jessica Brody

Moving is a stressful time for anybody, and dog owners have the added stress of worrying about how their dog will cope with the move and adjust to the new home. They especially worry that their dog may wander off and get lost in a new environment. However, with careful and thoughtful planning, you can successfully move with your dog without causing too much trauma.

Safety First

Right before a move, your life can be a little out of whack. Everything is in disarray, and your routine is off. While things are being packed, located, and thrown away, the house is in constant disruption. It’s stressful, and that goes for dogs too. Their routine is off and the disruption unsettles them.

“All your dog has known and become familiar with, in terms of household objects and smells, changes dramatically, and it is not surprising that some dogs become stressed,” says Blue Cross for Pets.

Also, dogs pick up on our emotions. If you’re feeling anxious, your dog may be jumpy and extra sensitive. If you’re feeling scattered and chaotic, your dog may feel insecure. As a natural reaction, your dog may become focused on establishing his territory in the new home by chewing or urinating, or he may hide under a bed or in his crate. “Remember that difficult behaviors are a result of their discomfort with the change and a sense of not feeling in control,” says AARP.

While you’re packing boxes from the previous home, place your dog in a room with a sign alerting others not to open the door. This keeps your dog from escaping the home. Select one person to be solely responsible for your dog on the day of the move in case you can’t be. If possible, keep your dog on a leash or in a crate.

If your dog isn’t already microchipped, consider having this done prior to the move. It’s not unusual for dogs to get loose when moving into a new home, and having your dog chipped will make it easier to locate them and avoid the heartbreak associated with a missing pet.

Once you’re at the new home, transfer your dog to a room, again with a sign. Also, provide some familiar items, such his toys, bowl, and bed. You may consider placing your dog in a boarding kennel during the move so that he’s safe, or a friend or family member may also be able to watch your dog. However, if you really want to be the one to comfort your dog, consider hiring a professional moving service to take care of packing, moving, and unpacking for you (just don’t forget to compare prices and look for a good deal).

At the end of moving day, ensure all the doors are closed and the fence is secure, and then allow your dog to explore his new environment. To prevent him from becoming overwhelmed, accompany your dog as he explores so he knows where you are.

Settling In

In a new home, your dog’s scent will obviously not be present, and there will be various unknown smells, which could make your dog feel insecure. Your dog can feel more at ease if you spread your dog’s scent for him. To do this, take a soft cloth and rub it gently around your dog’s face to pick up his scent. Then go around the room at your dog’s height and dab the cloth on items in the room to help him bond to the territory. Choose rooms where your dog will initially be kept or have access to first, and repeat this daily to build up the scent within the house. There are also manufactured scents available which work in the same way.

Use food to help your dog settle in by offering small frequent meals. This will give you and your dog more contact and help to reassure your dog. Your dog will quickly pick up on when and where his feeding will take place, and he will anticipate the meal rather than worry about it, allowing him to feel more at ease.

Dogs need time to adjust to their new home just as humans do. You can help make this transition easier by planning ahead for the big move. The most important thing is for you to be patient and provide your dog with extra love and attention.

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How to Prepare Your Pup for the New School Year

6 Tips for a Smooth Transition

By Lyndsay Marvin

It’s that time of year: summer is ending and the school year is beginning. For some, school has already begun. It’s an exciting time for students, parents, and teachers, but it’s important not to forget our little furry friends. The beginning of the school year can be rough for dogs since schedules are changing and people aren’t home as much. It’s a big change and it’s imperative we take steps to ensure Fido is feeling happy and comfortable with the transition. BOGO Bowl has put together a list of things to get your pup on a schedule, leaving him (and you) happy and content.

  1. Feed him at the same time every day. It’s important for your dog to know when he is going to eat. No matter how many times you feed him a day (generally 1-3 times a day, depending on your dog), consistency is important both psychologically and physically.
  2. Walk him at the same time every day (or as close as possible). Being on a strict walk schedule lets your dog know when he should be ready to go potty. He knows to look forward to these times, which reduces accidents in the house. It’s best to walk him in the morning after you both wake up, after he eats, drinks a lot of water, plays excessively, and before bed.
  3. Schedule play and exercise. Most dogs need to exercise and have play time so they can get out their energy. They don’t generally like to be locked inside all day. Along the lines of having scheduled walks, you should also schedule play time. You can designate certain walks to be strictly potty time, and leave one (or two) walks to be potty plus playtime walks.
  4. Put Fido on a sleep schedule. Just like humans (and almost all creatures), dogs thrive when they’re on a specific sleep schedule. He will know when it’s time to wake up (and go on that walk he knows is coming) and when it’s time to wind down for sleep.
  5. Utilize his crate. Not all puppy parents use crates, so this one is geared toward the ones who do (or should). Giving your dog a specific safe place will help calm his anxiety and fear of you and the kids being gone all day. Even if you don’t use a crate, sometimes a designated area of the house is a great alternative.
  6. Hire a dog walker. This may not be for everyone, but for some families, hiring a dog walker can be very beneficial. If you work long hours or your kids are at school for a long time, your dog might need to go outside in between his morning and afternoon walks.
A girl reading a book little puppies

A girl reading a book little puppies

We hope these tips help you, your family, and your dog to have a smooth transition from scattered summer schedules to more strict school schedules! If you have any tips to share, please leave them in the comments below!

 

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It's National Animal Disaster Awareness Day

Sure, there's a day for everything now, but sometimes the point is to remind us about something we need to do... like be sure we have a p
lan in case the unexpected happens (think Fort McMurray).
It's not possible to anticipate every scenario, but there are some basics we can do to make dealing with a crisis easier on everyone. Create a "go bag" for each pet (or one large bag for multiple pets) to store important items so you don't have to collect them fImage result for kids and dog togetherrom all over the house in a rush. 
  • Don't leave home without collars on your pets, and make sure their collars have your current contact information and their tags attached. Be sure your microchip information is current, too! People forget this more often than you'd think.
  • Have current photos of your pets on your phone - and also printed out! Try to have photos from a number of angles to capture unique markings and physical traits. Include at least one photo of the pet with family members to make it easier to prove ownership should you become separated.
  • Keep a copy of pets' health records - particularly vaccination documentation. Also note the vet's contact information in case you're separated.
  • Make copies of any prescriptions your pets need so if you have to leave home without them, you can get more.
  • Extra leashes and collars can come in handy and are easy to forget when you're racing to the car. If they're already in the bag, it won't matter.
  • For kitties, a kennel is absolutely necessary. A scared uncontained cat can easily slip away and become lost.
  • For dogs, if you have a collapsible crate, keep it nearby. If you end up in a large facility like a school or church, your pet might be more comfortable with their own space.
  • For your kitty, keep a small jug or box of their favorite litter. An empty cardboard box can stand-in as a litter pan if necessary. A few plastic grocery bags and a scoop will make life more comfortable for everyone.
  • Keep jugs of water on hand (for you and for them!) for up to 5 days.
  • Food, bowls, a can opener. Let's face it - we're not likely to keep filling and replacing plastic bags of food for emergency situations. Consider purchasing a small size bag (5 days' worth) of your pet's food to keep on hand just in case. Even quality foods without artificial preservatives have a shelf life of a year or more.
  • Pet first aid kits are available at many pet supply stores. You can bookmark websites that tell you how to treat minor ailments, but it would be wise to have a paper guide, as well, since you may not have access to the internet, or loss of phone battery.
Know your options. During a crisis, the friends and family you'd normally turn to for a place to stay may be experiencing similar challenges, so have a Plan B (and C and D if necessary). 
  • Check ahead of time to see if your local shelter takes in animals during disasters. If they do, find out how pets are accepted and what information will be expected.
  • Know what hotels and motels in communities adjacent to yours accept pets, and what their rules are.
  • Make arrangements with friends who live an hour or two away to act as safe havens for each other should either area be under threat.

Do you have any other tips to add?

 

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