Moving is a stressful experience, both for us and our dogs. Imagine how it feels among the chaos of boxes and shouting humans for someone who can’t be told what is happening. There is no exact science on how to make moving day seamless, but you can follow these tips to keep your stress levels down and your dog’s anxiety under control.
Have a special dog box
Keeping your pet comfortable during the processes of loading up boxes and moving out belongings means you should have items readily available that your dog will need. Have a dedicated box for your dog’s travel items, including:
- Dog food
- Water bowl
- Favorite toys
- Familiar bedding
- Any necessary medication
The bedding and toys will smell like home. When you’re ready to climb into the car, you can readily unpack them and nestle them next to your companion to keep him comforted.
Keep your dog away from the action
Moving day can be overwhelming for a dog watching movers and his family scrambling around to pack boxes and load them onto a moving truck. Consider having someone look after your dog for the day. A pet sitter will cost you between $10 and $65 for the day, depending on your location and what services the sitter offers. You can also recruit a family member or friend to watch him. A loved one may not accept payment for dog sitting, but a thank-you note and a gift card is always a welcome token of thanks!
If your pooch must stay with you on the big day, dedicate a room that they are able to stay in while the chaos ensues. Give them their favorite blanket, some toys, a water bowl and a few treats so they know this is their safe space. Put a sign on the door that says “Do not open” so that strangers in the house (your movers, for example) don’t accidentally open the door and let your dog run out into the uncontrolled environment. Finally, as busy as you might be, check up on your dog regularly during moving day.
Prepare for the drive
The drive is often the most difficult part of moving day. Many dogs are unaccustomed to car rides and will feel anxious during the trip. Make sure you purchase anti-car sickness medication ahead of time. If your pup is especially prone to anxiety, talk to your vet about a sedative that can make the journey as smooth as possible. This type of medication will help your dog relax and feel more at ease with all the activity going on around him.
You should also purchase safe, sturdy travel equipment for your dog, like a harness and seat belt or a crate that can easily be strapped in the car. Barkpost.com suggests that you put together or purchase a doggy first-aid kit as well.
Be cautious upon arrival
When you arrive at your new home, don’t just swing the vehicle doors open and let your dog run out. Make sure you have a plan in place to let him out of the car. He could very easily get overexcited or overwhelmed, make a break for it, and get lost in his new, unfamiliar surroundings. Monitor your dog to watch for any allergies he may develop in his new environment. If you notice your dog is itching or has red skin, he could be allergic to something in or outside the home. If this is the case, your vet may recommend medication or even a diet change.
If you’re able to, hire a maid to deep clean your home before you move in. This will help remove the scents of the people and things that were in the home before, which can be confusing to your fuzzy friend. A prescreening service like HomeAdvisor can help you find trustworthy help in your area so you’ll have one less thing to worry about during your move. For example, a deep cleaning in Anaheim, CA you can expect to pay between $109 and $217. Throughout the process, make sure your family members, your movers, and anybody else lending a hand are on the same page with regards to your dog and his safety. Moving is stressful for people and pooches alike, but with some careful planning, you can make the journey a successful one.
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