Helping Your Dog Settle Into Their New Home

Resident Vet Dr. Angus provides his top tips to help your dog adjust to your new home

This is a good news story.  The moment your dog sees you, or another family member, on arrival from their ride on the big jet plane then suddenly all will become clear as why they just did what they did. And, dogs being dogs, they’ll be so overcome with the joy of seeing you (as they always are), they’ll forget almost completely about what just happened.

Don’t get us wrong, flying isn’t generally a scary experience for dogs – I can say with confidence that after quite a few years of seeing dogs off on flights that dogs who have travelled by air before are always quite happy to do it again. Somewhere in their canine brains, among the info about where they buried all those bones and the TV remote, what time the postie comes past and how many cats to this day are still stuck up that tree, there’s a memory about going in this weird car-like thing where they couldn’t stick their head out of the window but at the end of the ride, that’s right, they were reunited with YOU!!

So all that explaining you did before the journey (where actually all they heard was “blah blah blah blah car, blah blah blah blah walk, blah blah blah blah no we are not leaving the cat behind”) now all makes sense.

Unless you happen to own a Border Collie…, they’re different and will have understood every word you said, in fact just give them this electronic device now and they’ll read this themselves.  And you know that middle-of-the-row seat you landed?  In between the yoghurt covered toddler and that bloke who just won’t stop talking about the Collingwood Football Club?  Well, your Border Collie has dipped into those frequent flyer points you were saving up to buy that smoothie juicer (mmmm, kale…) and upgraded you!  After all, they’re going business class (with the lie-flat bed and friendly good-looking Jetpets pet handlers pouring the iced waters and telling you what a good boy/girl you are) so why shouldn’t you travel business class too?  What, you didn’t know that Qantas sent their premium cabin staff to us for training?

So, to cut a long story short your dog will still think you’re no less super-awesome than you were before the big trip.  And, really, settling in is pretty much a done deal.

What you should do though is take care of few canine personal health and safety issues

1. Make sure your new home is escape-proof

If they’re one of the minority who might leave your side for more than a few seconds then it’s essential to make sure that your new home is escape-proof – so is the lock on the back gate functional, are there any holes/gaps in the fence?  If they don’t necessarily get on with other dogs then make sure any neighbours’ dogs can’t make contact with them either by getting some or all of themselves through fences.


2. Keep your dog on a lead

This may be obvious, but even though you and your dog might be totally free spirits, please keep them on a lead – at least for the short walk between the front door of the Jetpets Transit Lounge and your VW Kombi.  Nothing gives us the heebie-jeebies more than a loose dog in the car park with cars whizzing past.  We want you and your dog to get away safely on your surf trip, those seagulls won’t chase themselves.


3. Visit your local vet

Once you’ve finished unpacking all those sparkly tops, black winter coats (if you’ve moved to Melbourne), beach gear (if you haven’t moved to Melbourne) and the hairdryer (and also once you’ve unpacked your own things – but that’ll only take a couple of minutes right?) it’s a good idea to drop in at your friendly local vet.  Apart from being the smartest people on the planet, vets are also good for some more mundane practical things; they can update your dog’s microchip registration details so that if by some dark misfortune your pooch is facing ‘doing time’ down at the pound, your current address and phone number can be looked up and you can be down there in a jiffy to bail them out.  We know it’ll be an awkward conversation in the car on the way home but it’s still best the possible outcome at that point in time.

Also ask your professional superhero (the vet) about any prophylactic treatments (such as Heartworm prevention) and vaccinations that they recommend for dogs living your area.  Either there might be treatments or vaccinations that weren’t necessary where you used to live or they weren’t available.

Above all we wish you and your best friend the safest and happiest of travels.  And if they do the full body wag, or that silly run they do when they’re really happy, then that’s a bonus!