Moving is one of the most stressful life events. Just as you prepare yourself for a new home and neighborhood, you need to prepare your dog for his new surroundings. Dogs can be territorial and need to feel safe and secure in their home, so doing all that you can to ensure a smooth transition to a new place is a good idea for you and your pet. We offer three tips for making a move with your four-legged friend more of a joy and less of a challenge.
You probably know exactly which items you are taking with you, when you need to call the movers, and how many boxes you need for your move. Planning ahead to move your stuff is a no-brainer. So, planning ahead to prepare your dog for the move should be a priority too. Know exactly where you will place your dog’s bed, crate, food and water bowls, and toys in the new home. You also should make sure that your dog has a safe place to play in the yard of your new home; if your new home does not have a yard, find a dog park or other dog-friendly location nearby.
You also should plan ahead by finding a dog walker in your new area. You will be extremely busy when you move, and securing a friendly, reliable dog walker who can exercise your dog when you can’t will benefit both you and your pooch. Exercising your dog will also help him to get into a routine in the new home and keep his energy levels low so he will be less likely to be destructive while transitioning to the new place.
If you are moving to a nearby location, take your dog to the new house prior to the move to help him recognize it as his place. Consider taking one of his toys ahead of time so he feels comfortable playing in the space. The planning phase is also a good time to set a reminder to yourself to be sure to update your dog’s microchip and tags with your new contact info once you’re all settled into your new home.
Show your dog around the home, property, and neighborhood
While you may be excited to let your dog find his way around the new house, do not expect to let him run free and watch him love his new surroundings. Your pet may be nervous or anxious and unsure of what is happening, and he may have an accident in the home. Avoid these potential issues by explicitly introducing your dog to the neighborhood and new property. Before showing your dog the house and property, take him for a quick walk around the new neighborhood. Introduce him to the neighbors and speak in soothing tones to help him understand that everything is okay.
Enter the home by leading the way in and keeping your dog on the leash while showing him around. Ask the movers or friends and family members to take a break and allow you to show the dog around without any excitement or loud noises. Show him where his bed, food and water, and toys are. If he seems to be nervous or anxious, leave him on the leash while you continue to lead him around. Guide your dog through the home and into the yard. Keep in mind that it may take your dog some time – from a few hours to a few days – to feel comfortable in the new home. By remaining calm and helping him through the process, you will help him transition more smoothly and successfully.
Avoid negative feelings before, during, and after the move
While it may seem impossible to remain positive before, during, and after the move, making it a positive experience will be well worth the effort when you help your dog remain calm and feel secure in his new surroundings. Your anxiety and guilt will negatively impact your pet and make them feel insecure. If you are rushing around and create a chaotic atmosphere, our animal will not feel comfortable in his new home. Try to be patient, consistent, and positive so your animal realizes that the move is not something to fear.
Moving is a stressful time for everyone, but you can take some steps to make the transition easier for your four-legged family members. Be proactive, guide your dog through the move, and strive to be positive and patient to make the move as easy as possible for everyone.
Aimee Lyons is passionate about DIY projects and sharing tips about them. Visit her website, diydarlin.com.