When you visit us at the Maine Source office (and visitors are always welcome), you’ll be greeted by our four-legged goodwill ambassador, a black Lab named Max. Don’t be fooled by his bark, he’s just happy to see you and wants to make sure that you know it – and that you say hello to him.
Dog ownership is common in Maine. In fact, a completely unscientific random survey of visitors to our office indicates that almost everybody who walks in our door is a dog owner. Some will soon be moving to a new home. Moving can be just as stressful for a dog as it is for people. Here are a few suggestions on how to make that transition a little easier on our canine companions.
Before the move:
- If feasible, take the dog to visit the new house and walk in the new neighborhood.
- Try to keep your dog’s usual routine as normal as possible.
- Identify any possible escape routes in your new garden that your dog might find and ensure they are fenced securely.
During the move:
- Keep your dog in one room of the “old” house while all the furniture and belongings are taken out .
- Keep your dog in one room of the “new” house with its toys and other familiar items (bed, etc.) while all other furniture and belongings are moved in.
- When moving locally, a good alternative is to let your dog stay with a friend or neighbor while the move takes place. Then introduce him into a room that contains familiar items.
After the move:
- Allow the dog to explore the new environment one room at a time.
- Maintain a strict routine for feeding, walking, playing, etc.
- Introduce your dog to your neighbors, postal delivery people and any other regular callers as soon as you can.
Of course, not all dogs are alike. Some may seem comfortable in a new environment almost immediately while others may require a little extra TLC to make sure that their new home is a happy one. Don’t worry; dogs are generally resilient and even those that need a gradual introduction to their new environment should be able to feel right at home within hours.
If you are interested in adopting a dog (or even a cat or other pet) we highly recommend visiting – and supporting – the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.