I recently moved with my family and two cats from a house to an apartment. While it was a significant change for the people involved, it was clear that our feline friends had some difficulty adjusting, at least at first, as well. This week the NCSPCA would like to bring up some issues and solutions regarding moving with your pets.

When you first bring your pet into your new home, choose a small room to be the "pet room," where dogs and cats can feel secure as you move in furniture and belongings. As much as possible, have furniture, bowls, and toys in place before you let your pets out of their crates. The chaos of constant activity around them can cause anxiety and stress.

Don't let pets outdoors without a leash until they've adapted to their new surroundings-several days to a week for cats; dogs adapt more quickly.

Continue giving your pets water from home for the first few days. The fewer changes in their routine, the better. If your pets misbehave, consider ways to reduce their stress. If you suspect they may be ill, make a veterinary appointment. Don't punish your pets for initial misbehavior. Cats especially will not understand, and punishment will only increase stress and stress-caused behaviors. Finally, clean up "accidents" immediately. Animals tend to repeat behaviors in the same areas.

Our featured pet this week is Sasha, a German Shepherd mix who loves to have her tummy rubbed, and will happily whack you with her waggin' tail. She loves people, dogs and even cats! Sasha likes to play, cuddle up on a cold night, and of course, what she'd like most of all is to get that coveted chance to be a part of somebody's life and family. If you are a family who already has other pets, Sasha would be a great addition to your home.

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