Helpful Tips for Moving With Your Dog
While people may enjoy the excitement of moving to a new home, dogs—definitely creatures of habit and routine—often suffer stress and anxiety from changes to their routine. Their sixth sense that something’s just not quite right may manifest in behaviors or reactions that result from stress, including:
Lack of appetite
Whining or barking
Accidents in the house
Diarrhea or vomiting
You can help to reduce that anxiety by sticking to normal routines as much as possible, and as the big day approaches, taking additional steps to keep your pooch secure, safe, and as stress-free as possible for that big moment when the moving truck arrives.
Before the move
*Stick with the routines for play, mealtimes, and other activities to which your dog is accustomed.
*Have strangers “invaded” your house to clean or make repairs? Take your pup on an adventure or send him to a doggie daycare or a friend’s house away from the unusual hustle and bustle.
*If your dog isn’t crate trained, consider crate training her before you move. Crates keep dogs secure, and crate-trained dogs see their enclosures as their own little canine caves, places of sanctuary and safety—a welcome respite during a move. There are five basic types of crates; check out this site to learn more.
*Doing your own packing? Try not to cram all your packing into a day or even a weekend. The commotion of packing and seeing a houseful of unfamiliar boxes can spike your dog’s anxiety levels.
*Just prior to moving day, create a dog pack that includes her bed, food and water bowls, leash and collar, towels or blankets, an updated ID tag, microchip information, health records, treats, food, and bottled water. Keeping this package handy alleviates your stress—and your dog’s—when you’ve hit the road and you’re looking for a treat or her leash and collar when you’ve stopped for a stretch.
During the move
*Does your pup stress easily? Leave her with a friend or board her at the kennel while you’re packing up and moving out.
*Will your dog will be home when the movers arrive? Remind them about your dog (ideally, you will have told the company when you hired them) and then secure him in the backyard, his crate, or a room stocked with favorite treats and toys, that’s away from the chaos and will keep him safe.
*Crating your dog in the car? Secure a small crate behind the front seat. Thread the seatbelt between the bars to secure larger crates firmly on the back seat.
*If your dog’s not going to use a crate in the car, you’ll still want to make sure she’s safely restrained. While dogs love to hang their heads out a window, debris from the road can fly up and injure them. If an accident occurs, unsecured dogs become missiles, and a direct airbag hit can kill them. A loose dog at an accident scene may panic, escape, and become lost. The Spruce offers some more tips on protecting your pooch in the car.
*On the road for more than a day? Research pet-friendly motels ahead of time. Petswelcome.com specializes in finding pet-friendly hotels.
After the move
*Get that routine your dog’s already accustomed up and running quickly. Mealtimes, walk times, and playtimes—resume your old daily routine as soon as you can. Dogs thrive on routine, and resuming the familiar will go a long way to reduce their anxiety and ease their transition to their new home.
*Help your dog familiarize himself with your new home. Consider designating a room stocked with familiar items from your old home specifically for your pooch. Resist the urge to wash bedding and blankets because the familiar, comforting scents will go far to relieve a stressed dog.
The best stress relief for most dogs is attention. Be generous with canine cuddles, which will help relieve her anxiety, make moving day a little easier, and ease your dogs transition to your family’s new home.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Cindy is a freelance writer and dog lover. She started Ourdogfriends.org as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.