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Making a move with Fido

Dogs are creatures of habit, so any big change in their life has the potential to shake them up.

It is fair to say that moving from one house to another is a big change not only for your dog, but your entire family. By taking a few steps you can make the big move easier on your pooch.

Not only does a move take Fido out of his environment, it takes him totally out of his routine.

Dogs like to know what is going to happen next. They like to eat in the same place, sleep in the same bed, and pee in the same spot.

The first way to make your dog comfortable with the change is to take him to visit his new home ahead of time. At first only stay an hour or so and then head back home. Then stretch out the time at the new home a little more each visit. Dogs do best with smooth transitions.

While Fido is checking out his new house-to-be, give him tons of praise and tasty treats to build his confidence.

During the transition give Fido lots of attention and stability. As soon as possible maintain your dog’s old schedule, habits, and activities.

When I say lots of attention, I mean positive attention and not nervous comfort. What I mean by nervous comfort is telling your dog over and over, “It’s OK, It’s OK, don’t be scared.”

It is best just to act normal and happy. It would be like taking your child to get a shot at the doctor and the entire way to the office telling him, “When we get there, you will get a big shot, but it is going to be OK, don’t worry.”

By the time your tot gets there he is shaking and ready to throw up. But if you act normal, like it is no big deal they don’t get any more worked up than usual.

Another good idea is to create Fido his special place in your new home.

One of the first things you should do is get his crate out, complete with his bed, blanket, and toys.

Try not to wash the items prior to the move, that way they keep their familiar smell and feel. Put his crate in an out-of-the-way spot. That way he can relax away from all the chaos.

With a little effort Fido will settle right in his new home with little or no stress.

Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony and Kate Barker are certified pet groomers who own and operate The BARKer Shop in Ironton. For questions, call 740-532-0088.