Tag Archives: stress

How to Move With Dogs Without Stressing Them Out

wp march 26 2020

Abby, “Mom, I think that’s your glove!”

In January we moved from MA to Maryland, and to say that Abby was excited about our move would be an understatement.  She loved “inspecting” the boxes we were putting together to pack our things; she dashed between Cynthia and yours truly as if to “help” us pack; she watched Cynthia like a hawk while she taped the boxes; and when she was tired she’d take a nap near one of us or go to bed.

wp march 26 20202

Abby, “Aha!  I told you this was your glove mom.”

Abby seems to enjoy moving, but she is the exception rather than the rule.  Because dogs enjoy having a routine, moving could be stressful for them so I’d recommend the following:

  • Walk/run your dog at least once a day.  Exercise is paramount at this time
  • On moving day, make sure that your dog is in her crate while things are being loaded to a truck/car
  • Once you get to your new place – assuming you took her for a long walk/run in the morning – put on her collar and leash and walk with her through the entire house
  • Afterwards, put her in her crate while your things are being unloaded
  • Take her out of the crate once unloading is done, but limit where she could go and explore for the first week or so

Dogs love routine, but if you plan ahead of time perhaps moving doesn’t have to be very stressful for your canine companion and you.  How did your dog(s) do on your last move?

Roxy, Treats, And Her Bed

Roxy comes very often to stay with us and for some reason she used to shake uncontrollably when it was time to go to bed.  She loves treats so I decided to use that and see how she responded.

IMG_5474We started by doing the following:

  • Lured her to bed by showing her a treat
  • Once in bed, she got a treat
  • While Cynthia put a leash and collar I continued to give her treats.  We had to do that otherwise she’d walk our bedroom the entire night and this only adds to more anxiety
  • I then said to her, “good night,” and gave her one last treat

IMG_4436We did this every time she stayed with us and you know what?  It worked.  About 2 days ago, I went to brush my teeth and as I was exiting the bathroom I saw something small and dark curled up in her bed, the bedroom is right next to the bathroom, and to my surprise it was Roxy.  Wow!  She went to bed all by herself.

If your dog has “issues” like cute Roxy, remember the following:

  1. First, figure out what she loves/likes best and use that to train her
  2.  Do not train her when you are angry or anxious, and make the experience pleasant and short.
  3. She was tethered to a 6 ft leash allowing her to move comfortably.  Do not leave a dog unattended.  We do this because she is in the same room with us just a few feet away from our bed

My next goal is to teach her to use a crate.  Just like with the bed, if Roxy is put in a crate she shakes like crazy.  I wanted to teach her to use a bed before using a crate.  Train your dog little by little.  There is no point nor need to stress your dog out.  Every dog is different, therefore please remember that when training or teaching your dog a new trick or behavior.  Go slowly, and take my word for it, it’ll pay off.  Have fun training your canine companion.

My Chaotic Home: A Laid Back Tuesday

chaotic1

I had a pet parent a while ago say, “Your house must be very noisy and chaotic when you have dogs staying with you.”  Well, yes and no.

Yes, my home is chaotic when: a pet parent is dropping off or picking up her furry kid because the other dogs can smell and hear this person; someone rings the bell and all the dogs want to know who this person happens to be; and when we are getting ready to take a walk because they are all excited to go out.

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Other than that, my home is pretty quiet and not chaotic at all.  I like to have the TV or radio on because, and I learned this from experience, it muffle the noises going on outside and all the dogs are able to nap in peace.  The ones that come to stay with us often have a favorite place and many times forgo their bed.  One perfect example is Walter.  He is either under the dining room table or in the kitchen rather than his bed.

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There are two things or goals, I should say, that I aim for when living and boarding dogs: provide a stress-free environment for the dogs that stay with us, and enjoy each other’s company.  A couple of years ago, I had a friend of mine tell me that she was very stressed out since she got a dog and that once her dog passed away she was not planning to get another one.  I believe that living with a dog(s) should be an enjoyable and enriching experience, but we, pet parents, need to do our part in order to accomplish that.  Do you enjoy having a dog or does it stress you out?