How to Help Fido Settle Into His New Digs

posted in: Blog Articles, Moving, Pets | 0

Article Written by Cindy Aldridge. Photo via Pixabay.com

Moving into a new home is an exciting opportunity, but it can be stressful for a pooch who has no clue what’s going on.  Imagine going to bed one night and waking up the next morning to strangers in your home, moving your stuff and shuffling it out the door.  This can be a scary situation for your dog, but he will eventually grow to love your new home as much as the old one. If you’re wondering how to help Fido settle into his new digs, just remember… it may take a few weeks to adjust — these tips should help.

Pet-Proof Your Home First

Before you let your dog walk through the front door, you need to spend some time pet-proofing your home.  Like children, dogs tend to get into everything, so look at your home from their point of view and make the necessary adjustments.  In the bathroom and laundry room, make sure cleaners, detergents, bleach and medications are locked away or stored out of reach.  If you haven’t done so already, you might also consider revamping your cleaning routine with pet-safe products, especially if your pooch tends to lick and investigate while you clean.  Wires and cords in any room in your home should be tucked or covered to avoid chewing.  If you have children, make sure they stay vigilant about putting away small toys that can become choking hazards.  Don’t forget to pet-proof your yard as by repairing holes in fences and be sure to look around for plants that are poisonous to dogs too such as azaleas, daffodils, ivy, and wisteria.

Bring the Old Home to Your New Home

Moving is the perfect time to get rid of old items and free up some space, but now isn’t the time to throw away your dog’s favorite blanket, no matter how chewed up and smelly it is.  One of the first things you should do when unpacking is set up a comfy area for your dog filled with familiar items such as his bed, blankets, toys, and crate.  If Fido shares your bed with you (or hogs it), moving might be a good time to leave that old mattress behind and get a new one.  The general rule of thumb is that you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years, and having a dog snuggled up with you each night probably shortens that lifespan.  Shop around to find a mattress you’ll both love or use the new mattress as a reason to transition your dog to his bed and cut down on pet dander and restless nights. However, it’s best to wait several weeks before making any big changes to your dog’s regular routine.

Ease Everyone’s Anxiety

Some dogs get a little more nervous than others and when you throw a new environment into the mix, it could increase their separation anxiety.  It’s impossible to stay at home 24/7 and bringing your dog with you isn’t always an option, so consider investing in some products to help ease separation anxiety.  Swaddling jackets that provide gentle pressure are often an easy way to reduce your dog’s anxiety.  Dogs can’t resist treats, so a Kong dog toy filled with their favorite snack is a tasty distraction while you’re away.  You can even get a pet camera that allows you to see, talk and play with your pooch, giving you both peace of mind.

Another area of anxiety you may experience when moving is how your neighbors (and their pets) will get along with your dog.  After you’ve had a day or two to settle in, introduce your dog to the neighbors.  By doing so, you can learn about any pet courtesies, as well as if there are any neighbors who are fearful or not fond of dogs.  Be cautious when introducing your dog to other pets.  Don’t forget to ask about any dog parks in the area and maybe schedule a play date.

When you move, your dog has no idea what is going on, so it’s your job to help them acclimate to their new home.  Pet-proof first, then begin the home and neighbor introductions.  It’s a slow process, but you will both enjoy settling in together with these helpful tips.

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Budget-Friendly Cleaning Advice for Dog Owners

posted in: Blog Articles, Pets | 0
Article Written by Cindy Aldridge. Photo courtesy of Pexels

Dog owners have a deep and lasting bond with their pets.  Our dogs become our best friends, our faithful companions.  They remain loyal and provide a lifetime of unconditional love and friendship. With all that love and companionship, there’s also great responsibility.  As a dog owner, you must care for and clean up after your pet each and every day.

Here’s a list of budget-friendly tips that will help you keep your home clean and you and your best friend happy and healthy…

 

Invest in a Good Vacuum

If you have a breed of dog that sheds, you have a few different options for removing dog fur and keeping your home clean.  One option is to keep your dog’s fur trimmed and groomed on a regular basis, if possible.  Another option is to move into a home that has hardwood flooring, which is easier to clean for most dog owners.  If you fall into the category of dog owners who have carpeted homes, you may want to look into a good vacuum cleaner.  Vacuums remove pet dander and fur from your home and they don’t cost a fortune.

However, it’s important to remember that your dog doesn’t understand what a vacuum is or what it does.  All Fido knows is that there’s a strange being in the living room making loud noises, and that can be terrifying to a dog.  Because the sound of your vacuum can excite or scare your dog, it’s important to look for a quiet vacuum cleaner.  Vacuums might cost you some money up front, but they’ll last for years to come, so take your time to compare different models.  Look for a vacuum that’s within your budget and still has the features that work best for your unique needs.

 

Clean the Air

Our dogs have adorable personality quirks — but they also have odors.  The last thing you want is for your home to smell like wet dog.  Air fresheners can go a long way in hiding the smell of dog in your home.  But of course, there are other ways to reduce pet odors.  First, bring nature into your home with some houseplants that are safe for dogs.  Next, consider an essential oil diffuser.  Essential oils are natural, safe, and an inexpensive way to improve the air quality in your home.  In addition to soothing your mind and masking pet odors, essential oils and aromatherapy can help clean the air with their anti-microbial properties.  The best oils for cleaning the air in your home include four thieves: eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon and clove or peppermint oil.

 

Obedience Training and Housebreaking

One of the most proactive ways dog owners can maintain a clean home is to properly train your pet.  This starts with housebreaking your dog and enrolling him or her in some obedience training.  Housebreak your puppy early and use puppy pads or newspaper in the home in case of accidents.  When your puppy is young, you need to take him or her outside more frequently to avoid accidents in the house.

Experts recommend using a piece of dog kibble or other food as a treat to reward the dog for displaying behaviors upon command.  After your puppy starts to learn basic commands, you can move on to more advanced activities.  For instance, once your pet has mastered the “drop it” command, you can begin teaching the dog to play fetch.

 

When All Else Fails

If you find yourself shaking your head in frustration because you’ve tried all these tricks and you’re still dealing with pet odors and accidents from a stubborn dog, don’t give up.  In addition to the tips listed in this article, you can look into common, low-cost sprays that will discourage your dog from marking territory in the house.  If all else fails and nothing seems to be working, take your dog to see a vet or a dog trainer.  It’s possible that your dog might have a medical condition that’s causing the issue.

After resolving any health concerns and spaying or neutering your pet, you might be surprised at how quickly most dogs are housebroken.  This means you’ll invest less stress and money into cleaning up after your dog, freeing you up to enjoy quality time together while bonding with your dog.

3 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in Your New Home

posted in: Blog Articles | 0

Moving to a new home is both exciting and stressful. It’s a chance to experience a new location, decorate, meet new people, and make new memories. On the flip side, moving into a new home is a lot of work. You have to unpack and make sure everything is safe and secure. It also entails an adjustment period for everyone in the family, especially pets.

As you get settled into your new place, remember to take extra special care of your dog. Below are three suggestions that will help you protect your dog and ease him into the transition of a new location.

 

Install a fence

According to ASPCA, nearly 3.3 million dogs arrive at U.S. animal shelters every year, and only around 620,000 are returned to their owners. These numbers are drastic, so it’s easy to see why it’s important to have a fence that can keep your dog safe within the confines of your property. Your new place may already have a fence, but if it’s broken in places or not tall enough, there’s the risk your furry family member will get hurt, or even worse, will run away.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wood fence is between $1,400 and $2,000. This may be more money than you want to spend, especially after making the purchase of a new home, but consider this: Would you rather invest in a fence that will keep your pup safe, or would you prefer dealing with the possibility of your dog escaping and not knowing if you will ever get to see him again? An escape is much more likely to happen if you don’t have a proper fence in place.

Store dangerous household and outdoor items in safe locations

Sure, it takes a lot of time sorting through everything after a move. You first have to figure out where everything is, and then, you have to decide where its location will be at your new place. Keep in mind that physically this can be hazardous, especially when boxes are stacked in several places, and cleaning products or items like rakes and other tools are left out in the open. Your pup will want to play in or investigate his new surroundings, so make sure to keep him in areas where he can’t accidentally consume laundry detergent or stumble upon fertilizer or pool chemicals out in the backyard. In addition, when you’re making decisions about where things should go, be sure to choose a locked location both inside and outside to store poisonous items and unsafe equipment.

Recreate the familiar and add new things one at a time

Familiarity can be very comforting to your dog as he adjusts to his new home. It’s helpful to set out toys that he enjoys playing with and to organize his crate or bed the same way as before (the way it was at the old house). It’s also equally important to keep identical feeding and walking schedules to maintain a sense of routine. Since the neighborhood will be new to your dog, try to introduce him to nearby places, people, and other pets little by little. The idea is to pique his curiosity and excite him without making it overwhelming.

Dogs are the happiest when they’re with their families. As your pup gets to know his new world, spend as much time with him as you can. Play old games and introduce other activities like hiding food around the house to get him used to his surroundings. You can never go wrong with food and fun!

Article Written By: Cindy Aldridge, info@ourdogfriends.org, Ourdogfriends.org

Photo Credit: Pixabay