Tips for Moving House with Your Dog
Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful situations any of us will ever go through. But if its stressful for you, just imagine how it feels for your dog. After all, everything they know and love just changed apart from you.
The world is full of new sites, sounds and smells, and each of those has the potential to be as scary as it is exciting. We, as humans, understand the process of moving house, but many dogs require as much encouragement as possible to make the transition smoothly.
To make moving house as painless as possible for your pooch just follow these simple steps…
1. Keep Familiar Items
If your dog is anything like mine, then they have a number of favorite belongings. From his bed to his toy monkey (I kid you not) to “his” chair there are certain items that he’d be lost without.
When moving home be certain to not only bring these items, but to also make them easy to access on arrival. Additionally, this is probably not the time to carefully wash all those toys so they’re sparkling clean. Instead, clean them well in advance so that they have time to take on that familiar smell before moving.
In such a way you’ll be able to immediately make your new home feel rather more familiar, and to help your dog feel at home sooner.
2. Maintain Routine
Dogs are creatures of routine, and changes to their normal daily pattern can lead to stress. No matter how inconvenient it may feel for you, trying to follow these same patterns can be very reassuring for your pet.
A good example is the timing of walks. If, for example, you always take your dog for a walk at 7am then try to keep this pattern even on move day. If possible aim to walk him or her before the move, at the usual time.
Doing so not only helps your dog to feel “safe” that their normal routine is being met, but it’s also a lot easier to move house with a dog that has been exercised, than one which is full of pent-up energy and excitement.
Furthermore, be willing to get up again at the usual time the following morning (no matter how tired you are or how much you ache!) to go walkies.
3. Where to Stay During the Move
Generally speaking having your excited, nervous dog running around your feet while you’re carrying boxes is unlikely to end well. All the noise, mess and excitement are only likely to wind your dog up further.
Instead it can be wise to decide on a safe place for your dog during the physical move. Perhaps there is a friend or family member they know well (and love). Worst case scenario your dog can be left with a professional dog walker or kennel for a short while. They can then be brought around to the new house a day or two later when the worst of the commotion is over.
If you’re moving a fair distance, you might want to consider using the services of a professional pet transport company, that is well-versed in safely and sensitively transporting dogs over long distances.
This pet travel firm can then deliver your dog on the appropriate day, once all the fuss of the move is complete.
4. Give Them Their Own Territory
Dogs can be sensitive creatures, and can take time to adjust to a new home. A concept which can speed this up, however, is giving your dog their own area that they can retreat to as required.
Ideally this should be a quiet room of the house where you can situate their bed and toys. Leave the door open so they can come and go as they desire, retreating to “their” room when they’ve had enough for the day.
As life starts to quiet down you can slowly let your dog get familiar with the new home as you gently move their possessions to their more permanent location.
5. Offer Reassurance
Your dog looks up to you as “pack leader”, and many pets can be surprisingly sensitive to their owner’s moods.
It’s important, therefore, to “put on a show” when arriving at the new house. You’ll need to be calm and confident, gently talking to your dog and offering physical contact regularly. In this way your dog will feel safer, knowing that their leader is comfortable in these new surroundings.
6. Locate a New Vet
Your to-do list after moving house is normally extensive. From redirecting post to moving utility accounts it’s all too easy to forget something.
When making your list, therefore, don’t forget about your dog. One of the most important elements of all is the identification of a new vet. This way, as and when your pet should require care, you can be certain that you’re on the books of a suitable vet.
7. Update Identification
Lastly don’t forget to update any contact details which pertain to your pet. If you pet is microchipped, for example, be sure to update the address. The same goes for your pet insurance and any collar tags that your dog may have.
About the author:
Paige is a relocation specialist with PBS, helping caring dog owners to move abroad with their pets. At present their most popular destination is Australia.