Transitioning your dog from a house to a condo

Be patient while your dog adjusts to the change

Many Pooch Potty customers call me to ask for tips on how to best prepare their dogs for moving out of a house (where the dogs are used to having a backyard) into an apartment or condo. A lifestyle change such as this one is going to affect both of you and if you are proactive about how you intend to handle the change, you should have a successful transition. 

Make an immediate plan for walking and exercising your dog

The first thing is that you must absolutely plan for walking and exercising your dog. Even though we live in a house, I still walk my dogs twice a day - it benefits all of us because of the exercise and fresh air.

Find an appropriate place for using the Pooch Potty as a back up

The second thing is that you will want to plan for is an appropriate place that will serve as a back up potty. Some people will have a terrace or patio, while others will only have the option of using a balcony. You should dog proof any area where your dog could possibly get out and also make sure you have selected an area that has protection from the rain or snow. If you don't have a roof, you may want to do some creative thinking to figure out a way to install a canopy or an awning.

Have the Pooch Potty set up before moving day

Measure the area to make sure the size Pooch Potty box you get is going to fit. If you are going to have access to the new residence before you move it, it would be ideal to have it set up ahead of moving day. 

Moving day

Arrange to have your dog go with a friend or with the dog walker for the day.  You don't want to stress out your dog by seeing all of the movers come and start removing everything.  When you are all moved in - the first thing you will want to do is to unpack the dog's things and make a little area that is dog friendly.  The water bowl, his bed, his favorite toys. 

The next thing you want to do is to show him his Pooch Potty - he may not understand yet that he has your permission to use it, but at least he knows that it exists and where it is.  As stressful as it is for you to move, it is important to assure your dog that he is safe, that you aren't leaving him and that you are making this move together (a good time for extra hugs and kisses).

Be positive, gentle and encouraging.

Introducing your dog to their new potty place should be done with gentleness and encouragement. They will already be stressed out by the changes and you don't want to make them afraid to go potty on the Pooch Potty box. (believe it or not, one former customer locked her dogs outside on the balcony overnight - her poor dogs were so traumatized that they associated the Pooch Potty box as some sort of punishment and never used it)

The first potty of the morning, when you first wake up, is generally the easiest time to introduce your dogs to their Pooch Potty box. Maybe put on their leash, hold your keys and poop bags in hand and "walk" them out there. Gently encourage them and if they use the box, praise them like they are the most genius dogs who have ever walked the earth! Clap, say "good dog! good potty!" whatever you have to do to communicate to them that you approve.

Your dog is looking to you, for permission that this is an acceptable place to go potty

Once your dog gets the box "started" it should be easy sailing from there on out. If they don't use it right away, see if you can borrow a friend or neighbor's dog to get the box started. A male dog's urine is preferable and it could set off your own dog's instinct to cover it up with their own urine.

If you are putting the Pooch Potty box out on a balcony or patio where the access has a sliding glass door, check out the easy to install dog door panels at Pet Safe Warehouse or check out your local Home Depot or Petco , they sell these as well.

It is important to let your dogs know that in no way are you going to take away their walks. One smart customer dog figured out that if he used his Pooch Potty box, his owners were going to skip his morning walk. When he suddenly stopped using his Pooch Potty, much to his owners' chagrin, they couldn't figure out why. I suggested they add his morning walk back into their routine again and what do you know . . . it worked! Now their dog will use his Pooch Potty while his owners sleep in on Sunday mornings, and he knows that he will still get his walk later on when they get up.

Funny how much smarter our dogs are than we give them credit for!

If you are looking for a pet friendly rental in the Los Angeles or Southern California area, check out Pets and People Homefinders . I love pet friendly places! Also check out West Side Rentals , even though they are not specifically geared towards dog friendly places, I have found a good selection of rentals there that do allow dogs.

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Warning:  This product has been known to cause wagging tails!