With every new year comes change and growth within our lives. If you’re thinking of moving or already have plans to do so in the coming year, it is important to remember that the move will not only affect you and your family, but your furry friend, too! However, the good news is that if you take the time to prepare your dog for the transition, this can make the move a lot easier on them! Continue reading for helpful hints to keep your dog calm during what can be an extra stressful time!
Familiarize Your Dog with the Moving Supplies
It would be in your best interest to purchase most of your moving supplies at least two weeks prior to when you begin to pack up your belongings. Leave them in a spare bedroom or in the corner of your living room and just be sure to avoid loading them into a room that your dog uses for rest and relaxation. Be sure the moving supplies do not interrupt your dog’s play space, napping area, or impede their ability to eat and drink!
Create a Positive Relationship with the Moving Supplies
If you’ve ever noticed your dog acting nervous every time you dig out the suitcases, it is most likely due to them remembering the times in the past where you’ve packed the suitcases up and left them behind or dropped them off elsewhere. Never leave your dog unsupervised around these materials, however, begin to assemble some of these packing boxes in front of them while rewarding them for their calm, positive behavior. Play with your dog near these items and even toss treats into the boxes and let them sniff them out!
Allow Alone Time in Their Favorite Space
Be sure that the room your dog spends the most time relaxing in is the last room to be packed up. Leave this space for them to rest comfortably, away from all the moving chaos. You can even turn on a fan or other comforting sounds or music to help your furry friend relax and give them a treat-filled toy to keep them occupied.
Even though there is so much to get done when it comes to moving, don’t forget to make time to keep your dog busy during this process to keep them from getting bored or anxious. Take advantage of your house being cluttered and set up games such as hide and seek, where you can hide your dog’s favorite toy and let them run around and enjoy themselves while hunting for their toys and trinkets.
Moving day will be busy, therefore, it's important that your dog is still supervised and well cared for. Plan ahead and think about leaving your dog with trusted family, friends, or a familiar pet sitter that they’re comfortable with for the day. This is important especially if there will be unfamiliar faces coming into your home to move out your things, as this can stress your dog out very quickly. If keeping them out of the house for the day is not possible, keep your dog in a quiet room where movers will not go and with enough food, water, and familiar belongings.
Before letting your dog run free and explore your new home, do an initial check for any health hazards that could be potentially dangerous. Keep an eye out for any electrical cords, holes in cupboards or walls, or cleaning products lying around. Don’t forget about outside and checking the perimeter of your new yard to be sure there is no way for your dog to get out! Once you’re settled into your new home, contact your local Dog Guard Dealer to learn more about the installation of an Out of Sight® pet fencing system to keep your furry friend safe and happy in their new yard!
Keep Up Your Regular Routines and Schedule
Even though your schedule may be chaotic directly after the move with setting up your new home, don’t relax when it comes to your dog’s walking or playtime schedule. If your dog goes for a daily 5 p.m. walk, continue taking them at this time each day. If your dog likes to play fetch with their tennis ball after dinner, continue with this routine after the move. Additionally, their feeding schedule should remain the same as well as trying your best to keep the placement where they eat their meals the same. If your dog ate in the kitchen in your last home, have their new eating spot be in the new kitchen!
Leaving Your Dog Alone for the First Time
It is possible for even the most easy-going dogs to suddenly develop separation anxiety due to moving to a new home. With this being said, leaving them alone in the new house for the first time must be handled carefully. When the time does come to do so, plan to only be away for a short period of time. Try to plan your departure for when your dog is most likely to be resting or asleep and associate your leaving with something positive like giving them a treat. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to keep the goodbyes short and sweet and not to make your departure long and drawn-out. Your dog is highly adept at picking up on your feelings so if they see that you are worried or anxious about leaving them alone, they will be too. If you’re not familiar with the signs that indicate separation anxiety, we encourage you to learn more to be you’re able to recognize these behaviors and know how to reduce the anxiety.
The bottom line? Slow and steady wins the race! Moving with your dog should be a carefully thought out and planned process. Remember to start preparing your dog in advance of the actual moving day so that you’re able to turn a potentially traumatic experience into a fun adventure of exploration! If you still have questions or wish to continue learning helpful tips and tricks to make the move easier on your furry friend, check out these articles: