Cheryl Alleyne
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Making your 'old friend' comfortable in your new home. You may not know this, but dogs and cats can encounter many of the same problems people have, in moving into a new home.

They must become used to a new house, neighborhood, unfamiliar sounds, strange postal carriers and other service people. They may need to get used to different water, that does not agree with them, and even colder or warmer climates. But with a little help from a friend, your pet will soon settle down and enjoy their new surroundings!

Although it may seem wrong, or even cruel, it is advisable to keep your pets confined for a few days - even a few weeks, until they realize that this is their new home, and that the family is going to stay. Otherwise your pet may wander off and try to return to their old home. This is especially true of cats - they should be confined for several weeks.

To speed up that "at home" feeling, use familiar food and water dishes, your pet's bed, blanket and toys etc. Also, try to put things in the same sort of location, as they were in your old house - like putting their water dish in the kitchen, or at the back door. As for birds, keep them in a quiet room, where they will be undisturbed until they become used to their new surroundings.

Other small pets, like gerbils and rabbits, usually have few or no adjustment problems other than becoming used to a change in their water supply. This is also true of tropical fish. To avoid harming them, test the water for similarity to that of the water in your old home, and adjust it to the particular requirements of your fish.

With a little bit of care, and some 'TLC', your pets will soon enjoy their new home as much as you!

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