By HELEN PALMER
People in this country move a lot. Young people move away from their homes to find a job and possibly a spouse. Mid-aged people move to “better themselves” through a new job or a larger house. Seniors also move around usually to a warmer climate or to a place where they can indulge themselves in their favorite activity.
How about the canine members of these individuals or families? They need special consideration in order to make the move smoothly and without stress. There are steps that can be taken during the preparation and actual move that will relieve any possible fear producing situations.
First, after you have selected the house and are having it redecorated or remodeled, take your dog with you, on leash, and walk him around the yard, followed by going through the house as you inspect the progress of the work being done. Be careful to avoid rooms where there are nails scattered on the floor or spilled chemicals and of course, stay clear of the workers so they are not distracted.
The next time you visit the work site, check with the local post office and ask if they know of any loose neighborhood dogs in your area. If they say no that there is a leash law that is well enforced, then plan to take your dog on a stroll up and down the block before going home. Remember to pick up after your dog.
Consider the yard fencing, is it in good shape and strong enough to hold your dog? Make sure the fence is firmly attached to the corner posts as one of my pups found that he could push against the fence and squeeze out.
Second, check with your current veterinarian especially if you are moving out of state. Make sure your pet is up to date on all the vaccinations required for a Canine Health Certificate. While you are there, ask if he/she could recommend a veterinarian in the town (city) where you are moving. Make sure you get your animal’s health chart before you move.
As time passes and you and your dog have visited the new place together so many times, you will notice that your dog is calmer and is starting to act like this is a part of his territory, which it will be eventually.
Now is a good time to visit the veterinarian in your new town. You might want to make an appointment to introduce yourself and if the doctor and staff are not under pressure, you might have an invitation to bring your dog in to get acquainted. If they are too busy to meet your dog at that time, make an appointment to bring your dog in when it is not too rushed and the dog can meet and greet the personnel. Bring some treats to give the staff so your dog thinks that this is a fun place to visit and will leave with a good taste in his mouth.