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How to Help Your Dog Adjust to Your New Home

How to Help Your Dog Adjust to Your New Home

Moving to a new home is exciting! At the same time, it also brings a lot of change to your current routine and environment.  As you plan for your big move, it’s important that you take the proper steps to make it a success for your pup, too.

We sat down with Christine Fox, CEO of Wag’n’Tails Dog Activity Center, to gather the best ways to help your dog adjust to their new home.

Preparing Your Dog for Your Move

Before you get the keys to your new house, follow the tips below to make sure you and your pup are ready.

Update your pup’s microchip. Unlike a collar, a microchip provides a permanent ID that can’t fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read. Make sure you update your dog’s microchip with your new address. If you have a brand-new puppy or a dog who hasn’t been microchipped, you can contact your local veterinarian to have one implanted. Many people choose to have this done with another procedure, such as when their pet is spayed or neutered.

Gather all their documentation. Keep all your pet’s documentation together so you don’t lose anything in the moving process. This includes your pet’s vaccine records, emergency contact information, county license and any other medical records you have for them.  This will be important to have on hand when you register your pup with the new county you’re moving to.

License your dog in your new county. If you are moving to a new county, you’ll want to make sure you get a new license for your pet as soon as possible. If you call your local county’s office, they will help you through the process. You typically will need to show that your pup has up-to-date vaccinations, along with providing your name and contact information.

Change their ID tags. Make sure that you’re prepared to change your pup’s ID tags as well, especially if your dog isn’t microchipped. This will give you peace of mind that if your dog ever gets lost, that anyone who finds them will know how to get in touch with you.

Moving Day Tips for Success

Now that you’ve prepared as much as you can for the move, it’s time to think about what you’ll do with your dog on the big day.

Leave the pet with someone while you pack and move. According to Fox, having a family member or friend watch your pet during the moving process is one of the most important things you can do. “As calm as you think the day might go, you’re under a lot of stress and pressure. It’s new for you, too. Dogs can pick up on that” said Fox. “The more worked up you are, the more worked up the dog will be. Always.”

Make sure your dog is confined. If you aren’t able to take your dog anywhere during the move, make sure they are closed in a bedroom or somewhere safe. You don’t want them running out the door or into the street as you’re moving all your belongings.

Turn everything into something fun with the use of food. Place treat containers all over your current house and your new one. That way, as you’re packing or moving things around, you show them that it’s not so bad. This turns a stressful situation into a positive one for your pet.

Introduce your dog to the movers. Make sure you introduce your dog to anyone helping you move. It’s a good idea to have your movers give your pup a few treats and be aware of where all the treat containers are. That way, your dog is less likely to get worked up or be vocal throughout the process.

Consider purchasing stress-relieving products for your pup. Talk to your local veterinarian about the use of a lavender collar, infusers, or other anxiety-reducing products. These items can go a long way in making sure your pet is relaxed and happy during such a time of change.

Have everything for your pet labeled and ready to go. Make sure your pet’s crate, bed, bowls, leash, collars, baby gates and any of their other belongings are clearly labeled so that you can easily unpack them at the new house.

Preventing Unwanted Behavioral Problems after Your Move

There are steps you can take to help make sure your dog doesn’t experience behavioral problems after you move, such as loss of appetite or (gasp!) having accidents in your new home.

Keep things the same. Until your pup feels safe and adjusted to their new surroundings, resist the urge to bring any new toys, bedding or other items to your new home. For example, if your pup is used to ringing a bell before they go outside to potty, make sure you bring that with you and replicate that same process as closely as possible. This will help them have a sense of familiarity and make their transition to their new home less scary.

Use plenty of positive reinforcement. Once you’ve moved and you’re ready to go back to work, have a plan in place to help your dog while you’re away. Having bones or Kong’s filled with treats ready to go will make the time you’re gone easier on your pet. This helps them to feel less lonely and isolated, especially in the first days you are away.

Consider enrolling your dog in a training and daycare center. One way to help your dog adjust to their new city is to help them make friends. Taking your pet to a dog activity center during the day will help them adjust better, get lots of exercise and play time and blow off steam which helps turn a stressful situation into something they look forward to.

Downplay your comings and goings. Once you get home, it’s important that you unwind for a moment before greeting your dog. Set down your keys, pick up your mail, go to the bathroom, or whatever it is that you typically do when you walk in the door first. If you make a big deal when you come and go, then you’re teaching your dog that when you’re there it’s wonderful and when you’re away it’s lonely and stressful.

Limit their access to the house.  A whole house, especially a whole new house, can be overwhelming to a dog. They don’t need access to it all at first. Try gating them in just one area – such as the kitchen or living room. Then over time, allow them to explore more rooms and areas. This creates less anxiety and makes it easier for your pet to adjust.

Think about how to make your new home pet friendly. There are ways you can help create a home that both you and your furry friend love. Now that you have a blank slate in your new home, check out these ways to make your home both stylish and dog friendly.

How to Know Your Dog is Happy and Healthy in their New Home

There are signs your dog will display to let you know they’ve adjusted to their new home. If you notice any of the following behaviors, you know you’re in the clear!

  • Less pacing, panting, barking and anxiety with comings and goings
  • Sleeping longer through the night
  • Looking out the windows less

Every dog will adjust to their new homes differently. Some may be comfortable right away, and others may need a little more time. Be sure to consult with your vet or dog trainer before moving day. They’ll be able to give you the best advice for your individual dog.


"No-Kill" and the Crisis at the Pueblo Animal Shelter

You may have seen in the news the recent stories about the crisis at the Pueblo animal shelter. MaxFund was pleased to be able to transfer 51 dogs and 25 cats from Pueblo to Denver, and they are now receiving loving care at MaxFund (some have already found foster homes).

Immediately upon hearing of the crisis, MaxFund Executive Director Nanci Suro dispatched to Pueblo a crew consisting of Shelter Manager Cheryl Stapleton, Veterinarian Erin Davezac, Vet Tech Jessica Ruiz, and other staff members. After an overnight stay, they were allowed to take every single animal who remained at the Pueblo shelter after other shelters had selected animals to rescue. We made sure that the Pueblo shelter was empty! These dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens, many of whom need medical care, are settling in knowing that they are loved and safe. We hope you'll visit when they're ready for adoption...and perhaps take home a new family member!

Dog and cat lovers know that "it takes a village" to rescue animals in need. We could not fulfill our mission without the generosity of the individuals and businesses that support our efforts. Thank you for the outpouring of help; we will need every dollar, every blanket and towel, every can of cat food, every bag of dog food, every volunteer, and every loving foster and adoptive home, in the coming days, weeks, and months!

We also know that rescue requires the efforts of many shelters and rescue groups, and we honor everyone who helped out in the Pueblo crisis. But we were dismayed to see that there were some direct attacks on the "no-kill" philosophy by some, who alleged that the Pueblo crisis reflects an "extreme version" of no-kill. We could not disagree more. That crisis may have stemmed from "no-care," but it was not the result of "no-kill," which we have lived by for 31 years.

We'd like to share with you in the below link a letter that was written by our Board President to the Pueblo City Council. We hope that it clarifies what no-kill is and isn't. The divisions that a few have sought to create among shelters and rescue are unnecessary. We honor and appreciate all who are in the fight to save homeless, stray, sick, and injured animals. Let's not allow petty human differences to divert us from our mission. 

You can read the full letter from Tami here or by pasting in your browser.


In 2019, MaxFund looks forward to realizing our dream of a sanctuary for our older dogs, to be named, "Old Dogs with Hearts and Souls". This project is under way thanks to another generous grant from Ron and Nancy Soule, and inspired by MaxFund supporter Sue Friest. The location for this sanctuary has yet to be determined, although we are looking for 5 acres. Please call the shelter to make a donation for this project: 720-266-6081, or send a check to MaxFund Animal Shelter, 720 W 10th Avenue, Denver, CO 80204. Just tell us, or write on your check, "Sanctuary 2019". We look forward to your support in the coming year!

How to Clean Up After Fido Without Spending an Arm and a Paw

Your dog is your family member, best friend, confidant, and giver of unlimited snuggles. You can’t imagine a world without your dog in it, but if you did, you’d probably see a home that is much cleaner. Pet dander, fur, and drool come with the territory, but you
 don’t have to spend a fortune to keep a clean home and have a happy pooch.
Stay on Top of Bathing
A visit to the groomer can quickly add up, especially if you take your pooch often to get the fresh scent you love. However, bathing your dog yourself can not only save you money, but it can also enable you to give your dog a health inspection. “It is a great
 time to assess your dog’s overall condition and also to wipe out her ears and eyes
 and check her teeth,” according to iHeartDogs. Brushing should be a weekly activity as well to cut down on shedding and improve your dog’s coat health by distributing oils and removing tangles. There are a variety of brushes to choose from, including deshedding
 tools, grooming gloves, and curry combs, and all are budget-friendly.
Don’t Get Furry
No matter how often you brush your dog, fur will always find its way onto floors, furniture, and you. Rather than constantly shelling out cash for expensive hair remover tools, opt for DIY pet hair removal methods. For example, instead of stocking up on lint rollers (which can add up), create your own using duct tape and a paint roller. For hair on the surface of carpets, furniture, and floors, a dryer sheet acts as a magnet and leaves behind a fresh scent as a bonus. However, pet hair and dander will make its way down deep into carpets and upholstery, which is why having a good vacuum makes the clean-up job a whole lot easier. When you shop around for vacuums, look for one that has a good HEPA filtration system, such as the Dyson Cyclone V10, to trap even the smallest particles. Vacuum at least once a week for a deep down clean, but use DIY methods for a quick clean up.
Fight Back Against Pet Dander
Not only does your dog shed fur but also dead skin cells in the form of pet dander. If you or anyone in your home has allergies, this can make your home a place of misery rather than relaxation. In order to remove it from surfaces, be sure to use a damp cloth as opposed to a dry one, which only swirls it around in the air. Anything that is machine-washable, such as drapes, bedding (yours and Fido’s), pillow covers, rugs, and blankets, should go through the laundry cycle. For those things you can’t toss in the wash such as upholstery and carpeting, a vacuum with attachments is an absolute must. If allergies are a serious issue or you’d just prefer extra peace of mind knowing the air you breathe is clean, consider investing in an air purifier, many of which can be purchased online for less than $100.
Clean Drool with Ease
Chances are, when you leave your dog home alone, they excitedly await your return. Perhaps they have a habit of squirrel and bird watching or simply enjoy looking out the window. This can result in smudges and drool all over your windows. Use a squeegee
and your favorite spray cleaner to save money spent on endless rolls of paper towels and cut down on streaks. You can create your own cleaning solution using equal parts warm water and vinegar. If the drool has dried and resists all your other cleaning efforts,
a magic eraser is a great buffing tool. Dogs can be messy, but you wouldn’t trade your furry companion for the world. To keep your home clean, make sure Fido stays clean too. Then, keep on top of dog-related messes such as fur, pet dander, and drool so that your home stays fresh and clean.

Jessica Brody

Man and Dog: A First Time Pet Owner's Guide to Choosing the Right Pet

The First-Time Pet Owner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Pet 

So, you’ve decided to adopt and bring a new pet into your home for the first time. Owning a pet can be a rewarding experience that can not only teach a little something about responsibility but also reveal another side of you that you might’ve never known before. When deciding what kind of animal to bring into your home, there are a lot of considerations you need to make. Here is a guide to help break down the ins and outs of ownership, so that you can find the right pet for you.

Choosing the Right Pet for Your Home

Before you bring a pet into your home, you should make sure that your home is the right fit for your pet. The size of your pet plays a big part. Cats will do fine in small homes and apartments, but some dogs may need a little more room than a meager single bedroom apartment. If you decide to go for a larger breed of dog, then you should also be prepared to take frequent trips outside to give them a chance to stretch out and exercise.

Besides floor space, you should also consider your neighbors, especially when living in an apartment. While your complex may allow animals, you should still be conscientious about what kind of pet you bring into the community. Talkative birds or yappy dogs won’t make you any friends in your apartment building. 

Once you find a pet that’s a good fit for your home, you will still need to make a few adaptations so that you and your pet cancomfortably coexist. For instance, cats and dogs will love to sleep on your comfy couches, but if you’d rather not have to deal with pet hair, then you might buy them their own cozy little bed to call their own. Of course, if you decide to go for a pet gerbil, fish, or reptile then you will need to buy the right kind of tank, bedding and a prime location in your home for them to reside.

Choosing the Right Pet for Your Lifestyle

Everyone lives their life differently, and if you’ve ever shared a living space with a roommate, then you already know that when lifestyles don’t mesh well together, problems are bound to arise. The same goes with bringing a pet into your home, which in a way is a lot like taking in a new roommate. If you decide to bring in a new puppy, then you should expect to take on the role of parent. Some animals demand more attention than others. Dogs may want to play games. Cats may want to sleep on your keyboard while you’re using it. 

Athletic breeds of dogs such as retrievers will always want to get up and get out. If you’re content with spending the weekend holed up in your living room, then maybe a young energetic dog isn’t the right pet for you. In other words, you need to find a pet that fits your personality—an animal that gets you and can roll with your daily habits.  

Choosing the Right Pet for Your Schedule

Another consideration to make is how often you will be away from your pet. Some pets won’t mind but others can get a little antsy when being left alone all day. Dogs can become especially anxious whenever they are home alone. If your work consistently keeps you away from most of your day, then you might consider hiring a professional dog walker to tend to your dog’s needs. They will make sure your dog is properly fed, hydrated and exercised.

Being a pet owner is a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of fun. It will take a little time for you to bond with your pet. In the first few weeks, you’ll learn a lot and have to make a few adjustments. Be patient, and soon you and your new pet will be living in perfect harmony.

Stretch out and Exercise
Yappy Dogs Comfortably Co-Exist
Fits Your Personality
Bond with Your Pet

Jessica Brody

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