7 Tips For Moving With Your Dog
Moving house is a stressful experience for most people. But perhaps even more so for your dog, who doesn’t understand what’s going on.
From the comings and goings of the move itself to living in a new, unfamiliar environment, it’s important to consider your dog’s needs and plan how to approach the situation carefully.
Here are some tips on how to keep your dog calm and happy when you’re moving:
1. Get her ready for the journey
Chances are, you’ve got a ride ahead of you, and it could be a long one.
If your dog isn’t used to long car journeys, it will make both of your lives easier if you start to acclimatize her well in advance of the big day.
Dogs should always be secured in the car, either with a seat belt harness or a crate, so you will need to get her used to this, too.
You can start with short trips at first, and gradually increase how long she is in the car by 5 minutes each time.
If her only experience of being in the car has been for a trip to the vets, you will probably need to create a positive association for her.
Take her on trips to the dog park, the forest, and the beach. Seeing that the car has more to offer than an unpleasant check up with the vet will soon make her feel much more comfortable about traveling.
2. Keep up her routine
During a time of disruption and upheaval, it’s important to continue with your dog’s usual routine.
Take her for walks, feed her the dog food she’s used to at the usual time of day, and ensure she has her favorite toys and a sleeping area around her.
This familiarity will help your dog feel more comfortable in a changing environment.
3. Take her to stay with friends or family on moving day
If possible, it’s a good idea to take your dog to stay with friends or family on the day of the move. This will prevent her from getting stressed by constant movement, noises, and unfamiliar people, not to mention keeping her out of harm’s way.
If this is not an option, you can keep her in a closed room in the house. Providing her with water, a comfortable sleeping area and some familiar toys will help her feel less anxious.
Putting these measures in place will not only keep your dog calm but also stop her from getting under everyone’s feet or even running away while people are distracted loading up the moving van.
4. Keep it consistent
Once you have moved into your new home, try not to change her environment too much from the previous one.
For example, if her crate was next to the door in the living room, place the crate in the same position in the new house. Put your dog’s usual bedding inside it and fill it with her favorite toys.
A similar setup and familiar smells will help her settle into her new home much quicker.
5. Ensure she is safe in the new home
Just as packing up can stress out a dog, so can unpacking, especially in an unfamiliar place. So, once you arrive, it’s a good idea to keep her confined to one area as you did when moving from the previous house.
Keeping her out of the way will also prevent her from chewing on or knocking over objects that have yet to be put away.
Once you’ve unpacked, you can allow her to sniff and explore her new abode, but you should supervise her at first to ensure the house is safe for her to roam in. This is especially important if you have a yard, as you’ll want to make sure it’s “escape proof.”
Dogs can sometimes try to run back to their old homes. So, until you feel she has fully settled and adapted to her new home and surroundings, keep your dog on the leash when you let her outside or take her for a walk.
6. Stay calm
Dogs very quickly pick up on our feelings, so if you are tense or nervous, it’s likely that your dog will be, too. Packing and moving can indeed be a very stressful experience, but to keep your dog at ease, you need to try to stay as calm as possible.
If you plan thoroughly, you will be prepared and in control, and everything will go smoothly – for you and your dog!
7. Update her tag and microchip
While it sounds obvious, updating your dog’s ID tag and microchip could be something you overlook during a busy time. It’s important to do so, especially during a period when your dog could potentially become nervous and get away from you.
While you’re transitioning from house to house, you may want to make a temporary tag with the contact number and address of a friend or family member, just in case.
Dogs can find moving stressful, but by putting measures in place, you can make the transition much smoother for her.
Remember to get her ready to travel in the car well in advance of moving to save you both stress on the big day. When you start the packing and organizing process, keep her calm by continuing with her routine as normal. On moving day, it’s a good idea to take her to stay with a friend or family member, or, if this isn’t possible, confine her to a room in the house with her bed, toys, and water.
Once you’re in the new place, keep her confined to one room as you did when moving from the previous house, and, when you’ve unpacked, supervise her as she explores the new environment. It’s also best to try to set up her crate or sleeping area in the same way as they were to give her a feeling of familiarity.
Lastly, make sure you update her ID tag and microchip with her new address and contact number.
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