Fencing in Fido and Other Ways to Keep Your Dog at Home in a New House

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Pet parents love their pooches so much they forget their four-legged family members are… well, inhuman. We mean that in the best possible way. You see, part of keeping your dog safe is looking at the world from her perspective. This is especially the case when settling into a new home. Here’s what you need to know about life from her point of view:

  • You may have heard that dogs see things in black and white, but this is a misconception. In reality, they’re color blind, according to LiveScience. This makes them less able to pick up on color-coded cues than human beings.
  • On the other hand, dogs are far more acute than homo sapiens when it comes to detecting motion, especially at a distance. This makes sense when you recall that dogs developed from wolves, which are predatory carnivores.
  • A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000-100,000 times as sensitive as ours, according to Nova. That subtle garlicky scent coming from your plate of pasta? Your pet experiences it in a way you or I could never imagine.
  • Dogs interpret their environment in ways that would make more sense to our cave-dwelling ancestors than we moderns. To see what we mean, just step outside for a moment and look around. You notice traffic signs, property lines, and other abstractions. These things are part of a grid our mind imposes on the world around us. Your dog has no such grid. She sees wide open spaces, smells all sorts of yummy things, and spots a cat scurrying across a distant yard. All of these are invitations to go exploring.
  • At the same time, she sees changes in her surroundings as potential threats, not as opportunities for new friends or increased income. To her, freedom is always good and change is always bad.

The point of this study in canine perception is to help you understand the obstacles you face in helping your dog settle in after a move. Here are some tips for meeting this challenge:

  • Bring with you the smells of home, such as familiar toys or bedding. Use the same laundry powder, fabric softener, cologne, deodorant, etc., as you did before you moved. This will give her nose a reassuring sense of continuity.
  • Keep your schedule as close to that of your old residence as possible. Of course, this may present challenges if you’re working a different job or facing other lifestyle changes. Still, maintaining meal, play, and walking times consistent with your past home can ease the transition to new surroundings.
  • Take her to fun places like dog parks and other puppy-positive facilities. This will build positive associations in her mind, helping her to adjust faster.
  • Fence her in. Building a fence costs approximately $2,718 for the average installation, a small price when compared to the financial and emotional costs of losing your best friend. A solid wall fence will block her view of tempting sights like cats, squirrels, and the UPS guy’s legs.
  • Fill your yard with chew toys, doggie puzzles, a spacious dog house, and other perks. These will keep her canine mind focused on where she is now instead of where she’s not. Spend time with her in the enclosed area so she knows you haven’t banished her from the pack for some misdeed. Always bring her in at night and during cold or stormy weather.

Using the tips in this post will help your dog to stay healthy and happy for many years to come, which is no less than she, and you, both deserve.

Author: Cindy Aldridge
www.ourdogfriends.org

 

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