Tips to help your dog adjust to town life
You might be considering getting a puppy from upcountry to bring to the city now that the festivities are over. Or over this year, there is a chance you might move with your pet from a house with a compound to an apartment.
Moving a pet to a smaller house with less or no green space has challenges but with a few adjustments, it can be fulfilling for both of you.
On the first days, your dog may take time to adjust to the noises and not-so-easy walks on town pavements. Chances are dogs from the countryside have never experienced the incessant hooting of buses or ambulance sirens. It can be jarring at first. Canine experts recommend that before the move, if you suspect your pet will be nervous around loud noises, introduce them to city sounds.
You can do this by searching for the sounds on YouTube and playing them on a speaker while the dog is playing or eating. If your dog is pretty comfortable with the noise, make it a little louder. While the YouTube simulation is not the same as being in a city, the noises certainly register in the dog’s mind and will ease their transition.
Once you move, keep the dog’s early exposures laid back. Do not rush to take the dog for long walks unless they show clear signs of being comfortable. Instead, stick to areas around your home for a few days as it acclimatises to the area.
During rainy days the dog has to spend time cooped up indoors which may make them feel bored. Have plenty of games on hand in your apartment to keep them busy. Make sure to include brain-stimulating activities or have training sessions and work on new and interesting tricks.
Later, you will need to get them into a routine. Knowing what to expect at what time is calming even for us human beings. So, a schedule in the new place will create a sense of normalcy in an otherwise unfamiliar environment.
Start by setting up an area that is their own in the apartment. It could be a space for their bed or a warmly lined crate. Then stick to a consistent walk and feeding time. Walks will have some potential challenges at first, especially if you have moved to a busy place.
Have plenty of patience and the right gear for it. To make it fun, bring treats to the walk. It helps dogs build a positive association with new sights and sounds.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]