Acclimating Your Pet to Its New Home

Practical and insightful tips for pet owners by Charlotte Reed

1) As soon as you move into your new home, return your pet to its daily feeding and exercise schedule. Your pet will adjust more quickly.

2) Set up your pet's bed, toys and bowls in a location similar to your former home. This will provide the animal with a reference point while you arrange your new living space.

3) Introduce your dog to the neighbors. Place the animal in a sit/stay position and ask neighbors to lower their hand so that your dog can sniff them prior to being petted. Ask them to avoid direct eye contact and speak in a positive, pleasant voice when addressing the dog. If possible, have them reward the animal with its favorite treat.

4) If you work during the day, hire a dog walker so your pet can eliminate, exercise and have stimulation.

5) If your pet is having a problem barking/meowing excessively, confine your pet to a crate or room. The bedroom is usually best and will be most comforting to the animal. If this does not solve the problem, call in an animal behavior specialist.

6) Before returning to work, take a few days and pay extra attention to your pet. It will adjust more quickly and feel comfortable in its new home.

7) Allow your pet to exercise and eliminate before you leave home. Create a soothing atmosphere -- dim the lights, put on soft music and leave out your pet's favorite toy. Never make a big deal about going out.

8) If neighbors complain or your animal engages in destructive behavior, immediately call an animal behavior specialist.

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