Wednesday, May 4, 2016 / by Sarah Hunter
Moving can be stressful for people, so just imagine how anxious it can make your pets. They can easily get stressed out when they're introduced to a new environment. Most dogs seem to take moving in stride, but for some dogs the loss of their familiar home and routine can be traumatic, and settling in to the new home can pose problems for owners and dog alike.
So how do you make the move as comfortable for your dog as possible?
Below are some guidelines that might help you and your fur babies from the chaotic process of moving.
1. Prepare an easily-accessible 'overnight kit' that has enough dog food, toys and grooming tools to sustain your pet and keep them comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.
2. Notify your vet regarding the moving so you can take records and other prescription medications with you. Check for referrals or recommended vet in your new neighborhood as well.
3. Any changes in diet, treats, or basic routine should have happened at least 2 months prior to the move. If you want to make changes, WAIT until at least 2 or 3 months after the move to introduce anything new.
4. During the move itself, the best way to reduce stress on an animal is to keep them in the quietest area possible. This could mean emptying a bedroom on another floor and closing the door, or putting them in their carrier or kennel in the garage or car. Make sure you check in on them regularly, and try to feed or walk them at the time you usually would; having some sense of a routine in the midst of all the changes will help a lot.
5. Move the house before you move the pet. Set up as much as you can, even just in aroma, before you introduce the animal to the new home. Confine them to a section of the house while they slowly adjust to their surroundings. Give your pet lots of attention and introduce familiar objects like toys or blankets as soon as possible. If the new environment is making him anxious, have a human he knows sit with him and distract him with some playtime or petting.
6. Make sure your pet has up to date ID tags with your current phone numbers and the new address. If you are unsure of a number where you can be reached, make a tag with the number of a friend or family member that could be responsible for your dog in case of an emergency.
7. Don’t allow your dog to fully explore without being supervised until you are sure that the house is “dog proof”. Unpacking is often a lengthy process and half full boxes can contain items that your dog may chew or consume. Also, if you have a fenced-in yard, be sure to walk the perimeter while checking for holes or weak spots.
Moving is a big change for everyone involved. Your dog doesn’t understand why he isn’t in his usual surroundings anymore. Keep him safely leashed whenever you are outside. Discipline and proper training will help you big time. Like humans, it takes time to really get used to your new "comfort zone". So the calmer you are and the more you are willing to guide your dog, the easier it will be… for you and your BEST FRIEND.