Settling in to a new home can be a daunting thing for the humans of your family let alone the cats and dogs. We've all seen those tear jerkers where the family pet hitches rides on freight trains and farmer’s trucks to find his way back to his beloved home. It’s certainly a worry, but “The Littlest Hobo Syndrome” can be avoided with a little forethought and some of the following tips:
- Set up your pet's belongings right away or, if possible, before Rex Ruther enters the new family home, so he will see and smell things that are familiar to him. His water and food bowls, his bed, and favorite toys will help him feel safe and secure. Take time and care to choose your pet’s areas as keeping them in a set place is an important part of creating security.
- When you both arrive at your new home, take the time to play with your pet and create positive feelings there. Provide a new toy along with the comforting old ones to create a sense of fun.
- Expect to have to have Princess Jasminka Von Paw Paw underfoot for a while as she ascertains that she is still part of her pack (family) even in this new environment. Be patient - as she gets used to her new surrounds she will become less clingy.
- Take your dog for a walk in your new neighbourhood a few days after you arrive if he’s ready. Coming and going from your new home will help him realize that this is his new home. There is a chance your furry friend will have some anxiety about leaving though so in that case, just let him get used to his own yard first.
- Getting into your daily routines soon as possible is good for everybody, including your pet. It allows Captain Fuzzy Trousers III to see that everything is normal here at the new abode.
Also, be sure to replace your pet’s tags with new ones that show your new home address. Introduce your pet to your neighbours, in case she escapes, and keep a recent picture of her handy.
Lastly, although it's catchy, avoid singing the Littlest Hobo theme song in your dog's presence. Something about it inspires us all to don a red neck scarf and silently, without notice or fanfare, hit the road...
Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on...