Now that all the kids have left home – well, all except for your youngest one, your dog – you’re considering selling the family home and downsizing to a cozier, more manageable place. The question is, will your beloved canine companion be able to adapt to a smaller dwelling?

photoMore and more baby boomers are looking to move and wanting to take their pets with them. Additionally, there are retirees and singles who are thinking about getting an animal companion but uncertain if their home and lifestyle are appropriate.

The Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS) recommends getting ready in advance. As long as you are realistic about your pet’s living environment and make preparations beforehand, he should happily make the move to a smaller home. Very energetic dogs may have trouble acclimating to a limited space, however.

Planning the Move

Review local government regulations. There may be some restrictions on pet ownership and how many pets you can have depending on the size of the property.

When looking at new residences, check for nearby dog-friendly walking routes and parks. Also make sure you can keep your dog securely on the property with suitable gates and fencing, and if there is an area that can be used as an indoor toilet, e.g. a balcony.

If your pooch is toilet trained he will usually manage well if you walk him three or four times every day. Remember to be a responsible pet parent and clean up after your dog. If he is not yet housebroken and you are downsizing, it is better to start housetraining as soon as possible.

After the Move

Maintain your dog’s exercise routine. If there is less outdoor space to play in than your previous home, go for longer daily walks.

If there is an outdoor area, keep your dog inside the building until he is comfortable with his new environment.

See to it your dog has a window he can look out of as well as lots of toys to play with.

Most folks who have downsized say that their pets have adjusted very well to their new living arrangements, and one of the reasons their kids keep coming home is to visit the family pet.

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