Moving is no easy task, moving with a dog can prove to be even harder. Here are the top tips for moving with a dog to help make this transition easier.
Top Tips for Moving with a Dog
My family has moved quite a bit in the last few years because of my husband’s job. Although the move has been interesting with children, moving with a dog has also presented itself with some obstacles. Most of us will move home at some point in our lives, and it is fair to say that moving is one of the most stressful life events most of us will experience. Unfortunately, when you have a god, it can be even more stressful for you, and especially for them.
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to make the process of moving with a dog less stressful than it might otherwise be….
Expose your dog to moving supplies
Dogs are sensitive creatures. They can get very stressed out by seeing new things in their environment. If you want them to be as calm as possible when the time comes to move, one of the best things you can do is to get them used to various moving supplies like cardboard boxes, for example. Place a box or two in the room your dog spends most time a few weeks before the move and they will come to see them as being a normal part of the home so that when you are packing up your belongings for real, they are less likely to be too disturbed by it.
Visit the new place as often as possible
This may not be possible if you are moving cross country or even to a new country completely, but if it is possible to do so, taking the time to visit your new neighborhood and letting your dog go for walkies in his new environment, will be a really good way to ease him into the idea of moving to another location. So, when you do eventually make the move, it will not be quite as disruptive to him as it might otherwise be.
Try to maintain your pet’s routine
When moving day comes around, it is a good idea to, as far as you possibly can, stick to your pet’s routine. So, if she usually goes for walkies at 6 a.m., set the alarm for six and take her out as you usually would even if you have a million other things to do, the same goes for feeding and play times too. The less disruption your dog experience, the easier it will be for her to stay calm.
Get your dog out of the house
Of course, if it is likely that your dog will be stressed out by the chaos of all the boxes and activity that comes with moving house, then it might be a good idea to see if a friend, family member, or someone else your dog knows and trusts, can have him for the day of the move. Not only is this likely to lead to less stress for him, but he’ll get to have a fun day out with lots of attention from someone different, and you won’t have to worry about him potentially escaping in the chaos either.
Create a safe space
If you are keeping your dog at home before the professional movers come in to help you with your move, try to create a safe space for your dog. Find an area of the home that is quieter than other places and pack everything up in that room before moving it to another part of the house. Place your dog’s crate and a few favorite toys in that room, and place a do not disturb sign n the door. Let the movers know your dog is in there and that they are to stay away and your dog will always have a nice calm place to stay no matter what kind of moving day chaos is going on elsewhere in your property.
Ensure your dog has a collar and tag
It is really important that you ensure your dog is wearing his collar and tag when moving day comes around. Although it is unlikely he will escape, if you are careful about providing him with a safe and secure space, this will ensure that, if something does go wrong, and he does make a break for it, you will be able to find him more quickly. The last thing you need when you are already under the stress of moving is a missing pet and if he has his collar and tag on, anyone who comes across him will be able to get him back to you much more effectively.
If your dog is not already microchipped, you might even consider having that done before your moving day comes around as that makes it even more convenient for people to get your dog back to you because dogs have been known to slip their collars when they are off on an unexpected adventure.
Create a safe space in your new home
When you and your fog get to your new home, before you do anything else, no matter how tired you are, take the time to set up another safe space for your dog in a quiet room with his crate. Your dog will undoubtedly be stressed out, confused, and possibly even a bit scared about being in a new place after so much excitement. Having a quiet place in his familiar crate will really help him adjust to the chances.
Go on a long walk
It is also a really good idea to go on a really long walk in your new neighborhood as soon as you are able. This will get your dog used to his environment and show him that there is nothing to fear about being in the new place, It is also a good way for you and your family to get acquainted with the neighborhood too – dog walking is a great way to meet the neighbors.
Give her a Kong
Kong toys and dog puzzle games provide dogs with a great distraction. Fill a Kong with peanut butter or another tasty treat and your dog will be so focused on getting to that delicious food that they will barely spend any time worrying about the chaos of moving boxes and all of the time you are all taking to unpack it, which means your pet will be far less likely to get stressed out.
Helping your anxious dog
If your dog does get anxious about being in a new place, you may need to step back a few paces on her training. She might not feel comfortable being left alone for long periods, even if she was fine with it before, so you will need to gradually up the amount of time she spends alone while also making alone time seem more fun with toys and treats. Don’t blame your dog if she has a tough time, it is natural and it is not her fault. Just reassure her and make life in your new home as enjoyable for her as you can and she will soon be back to her old self again. But, of course, if you’re really worried about her, taking her to see the vet is never a bad thing, as they may be able to offer suggestions or even medications that you have not thought about before.
As you can see, although moving with a dog is not the simplest of experiences for many families, there are lots of very effective things you can do to make it easier on your pet, and your family, and we suggest that you do as many of them as you can if you want your move to go as smoothly as possible for all involved. Good luck!