7 Quick and Easy Moving Tips for Dog Owners
Moving homes can be a really hectic, high-stress situation – especially when you’re moving with your dog. When you have a dog in the family, it can really add to the strain. And that stress eats at both you and your dog.
It doesn’t even really matter how big the change is – whether you’re moving cities or just over to the next block – it’s a big change for your pup. It will take some getting used to regardless.
What does all that translate to?
Stress and anxiety, of course. And that can easily manifest as health issues like a loss of appetite, diarrhea, general listlessness, etc.
Don’t be too worried, though…
Contrary to what you might be thinking – that you just have to grit it out until your puppy gets used to his new surroundings – there are plenty of things you can do to make both the moving and the adjustment process a lot less stressful on you both.
We’ve got the essential to-do’s down in 7 simple and essential tips for when you’re moving with your dog…
- Make Sure You Have Your Bases Covered Ahead of D-Day
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare ahead of moving day, so things go as smoothly as possible. Don’t leave things for the last minute.
I bet you’ve planned well ahead for stuff like packing, moving and the traveling. Likewise, keep an entire chapter in your planning manual just for your puppy.
For instance, here are some crucial things you should have a fix on ahead of time before moving with your dog to the new place:
- Are all your puppy’s veterinary records, certificates, licenses, etc. arranged and on-hand? You might need some or all of them depending on what the law is where you’re headed.
- Have you picked out a new vet for your dog near your new home? You’d better in case of any immediate emergencies!
- Is your pooch solid with his basic commands? Commands like “Sit”, “Stay” and “Quiet” are simple, but really powerful tools at your disposal to keep things under control during the chaos on Moving Day.
- Similarly, the foresight of what’s expected at your new home can make a big difference. Not barking too much in a smaller apartment, adjusting the potty-break schedule based on your new working hours, or whether you have a yard, and so on.
- If you plan to be on travel by road – getting your dog used to car rides, or crate training – which also works for flights.
- If your new neighborhood is close by, you really should try to introduce your dog to the area, and if possible your new neighbors and their pets…
- Making a Smooth Trip Over
If you’re flying out to your new town or city, there’s not a lot you can do with respect to your pup. They will likely be in a crate unless their small and well-behaved enough to be allowed in the cabin.
So apart from getting all the needed documentation ready, some solid crate training, and keeping them comfortable with toys and snacks, there’s not much to do.
As for a long road trip, however, that needs a separate plan in itself, being such a major event. And there’s a lot of things to do to prepare for that.
Not least of them is choosing a good, reliable set of car seat covers to spare your vehicle any mess that could incur en route.
Remember, for larger and senior dogs, or if your dog hasn’t been keeping well off late, a long, strenuous road trip can be a really bad idea.
- Keeping Things Calm on Moving Day
Apart from preparing your pup with some basic commands training or crating, you can also try to condition them for moving day by getting them used to the process a bit.
For instance, having boxes and suitcases around in the weeks leading up to moving day, packing and unpacking in front of them, etc.
And if your puppy is just too excitable for it all, and you know it, it’s probably most convenient for all involved for you to just hire a dog-sitter for the day. Or find a trusted doggy daycare until the house is vacated.
If you can’t keep them quiet, keep them busy and distracted. Simple.
- Hedging Against Trouble
Until your pup’s settled in and gotten used to her new environment, there will always be the risk of them trying to escape back to their old home. So be prepared for such things.
Having her new chip and ID in place, and latest pictures on hand in case she gets lost is crucial. Also, keep their leashed or crated when unsupervised for the initial few weeks until you’re certain they won’t bolt.
Check for problems like weak spots in your new fence, dangerous stuff like rat poison in the house or yard, etc. to doggy-proof your new place.
- Helping Your Puppy Adapt to Their New Home After Moving
The shift over may be a bit chaotic. But usually, the toughest bit when it comes to moving with your dog to a new home comes after.
You guessed it…
The first few weeks in the new home. Or as your puppy might know it, this weird place that’s definitely NOT home!
Having your new place set up more or less like your older one helps your puppy along through her process of readjustment. Keep their bowl, crate, bed, etc. in more or less the same place in the internal set up of your home.
One nifty trick is to keep the scents familiar too. Hold off on washing her and/or your blankets and linens to preserve the scents your puppy is accustomed to from your old house. You can also try to introduce a new scent like a particular essential oil a few weeks before moving, and use that same scent in your new home too.
Get your pup used to her new neighborhood gradually. Start with short walks around the place, and gradually increasing the distance and coverage.
- Be Patient
Patience is basically the secret to good puppy training. And it’s the same here. Spend some time potty training your dog at your home just like when they were a puppy, to avoid any confusion and big messes in your new home.
Accept it. Make your peace with it…
Dogs easily take a couple of weeks at least to get used to new environments. And you can’t really force it along. Be patient, observant and supportive.
Spend more time with them during this period. Increase your playtime together, and play in as many parts of the new house as you can to increase familiarity. Roll around on the floor. Scramble from room to room. Basically make the new home the exciting, fun environment you want your puppy to see it as.
- Routine is Everything
Set up their new routine and fall into it as quickly as possible. Routine can be the greatest comfort for your puppy in times of stress.
It’s simple, isn’t it…
When you have all these fun new things to do in this new home, there isn’t much room left in your head to mope and worry or miss the old one.
Include loads of playing, exploring and training in the first few days after moving. Your puppy will settle in fine.
Guest post by Nicole Brown, Bulldogology
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