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Is the new house pet-friendly?

Swetha Nair, a software professional, dreads moving houses. It was after one such shift that she lost eight of her cats, one after another. She says, "As different from dogs, cats take longer to get adjusted to a new environment and for around ten days, they have to be kept indoors and taken care of." In fact, the tragic episode has made her alert if ever she has to hunt for a house and she not only ensures that the house fulfils her own requirements but those that are vital for her pets too.

Swetha's story isn't just an isolated one. According to a recent survey, millennials are more influenced by pets, while moving to a new home, than shifting with a new partner or a kid, and accommodating them in the most comfortable place is one of their main criteria now.

While landlords' hesitant nature is a put off for many pet lovers, who want to live with their dogs or cats, architect Aishwarya Prem, who has nine dogs in Kochi and 17 in her house in Chennai, says that in her experience, more than the owners, it is the neighbours, who need to be given a reassurance. "The entire process was time-consuming. Before relocating, we needed to look at how well they are going to adjust, as, for us, all the nine dogs are like our babies. There were instances when we had to tell them how things will turn out, as we did not want them to raise complaints against the pets in future."

Dogs have the capability to adapt quickly, just like humans do, she says, adding that it is lamentable that some just disown and leave them behind when they move houses or cities. "Dogs will start noticing little changes and also begin to feel totally at home with the new environment in no time. Even if it is a stray dog, once it feels secure in a homely atmosphere, it wouldn't ever want to go back to the earlier state again. Abandoning them is not an option at all."

Thankam Chondath who is part of a pet rescue group, is actively involved in fostering pets, and she points out that the main reason why millennials are prioritising pets is that most of them might be single children, and their family setup is such that both their parents are employed. "It is not often that you have grandparents around. The kind of affection that they get from pets is something inexplicable, unlike how it is when you come back to an empty home. Once you start experiencing their companionship, you will become addicted to being with them."

She says there are some important aspects that need to be taken care of, while shifting to a new place, and asks if people will ever abandon their kids, if the landlord shows disinterest in them. "While cats like the place, dogs love the owner and as long as they are with the owner, a change of environment does not really matter to them. Also, one must see whether there is enough space for them to move around, by taking into account the size of the dog.

"When it comes to urban settings, one must ensure that there is a poop area for them, wherein the dogs are given the required training as well, and the master should be responsible to remove it, without creating any trouble for the neighbours," she concludes.

-Original link by- The Times Of India Link- http://bit.ly/2fTWR70