As much as moving house is stressful for you, it can be equally unsettling for your dog. Dogs enjoy the familiar. They love routine. However, moving disrupts everything that they are used to. Besides, dogs feed on your emotions. If you are stressed because of the move, they are most likely to be twice as stressed. Thus, to help make your moving house with a dog easier, here are simple strategies you can implement.
Your dog will notice that something is happening because of the disruption caused by packing. So, put it in a quiet room to minimize stress.
Next, make sure you maintain your dog's daily routine. Meals, walks, and rest time should remain the same. It is also wise to delay packing your dog's dish, bedding and toys until the moving day.
Suppose your dog has a problem with travelling. Start taking him with you to the car every time you are going somewhere. Hopefully, by the time you'll be moving, your dog will be used to the car. If your dog gets car sick, it will be best if you talk to your vet. An anti-nausea prescription will help.
Make sure you update the details on the microchip and your dog's collar ID with your phone number and new home address a day before the moving day. Just in case you get separated because of the hassle associated with the move, someone can get in touch if they find your dog.
Lastly, check your new home's garden in advance if there are any holes in the fence. Given you'll be tied up when you move in, your dog might sneak out. Make sure your garden fence is intact.
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On the Moving Day
On the moving day, your goal is to make sure your dog is safe. Since there will be a lot of movement in both houses, here's how you can keep your dog out of the way.
Arrange with a family member or a friend to take care of your dog during the move. This way, you'll focus on the move without worrying about your dog's whereabouts. You'll also have a humble time unpacking in your new home. Arrange to get your dog back when everything is in place.
If you don't have anyone to stay with your dog, put it in a quiet room. You can put a sign on the door to alert everyone that your dog is there.
If all rooms are busy, use a dog crate. You'll have to train your dog in advance. Otherwise, it will be chaotic on the moving day.
Whichever option you settle for, strive to maintain your dog's routine. Give it food and water at the time it usually feeds. If possible, you, the friend or any other family member should take the dog for a walk.
You also want to reduce your dog's food intake on the moving day. This should start the night before. Again, don't feed it close to the moving time. Just like humans, dogs also experience motion sickness.
Remember to use a car harness or a crate as not restricting your dog can be dangerous. If you are travelling for a long distance, make stops along the way for your dog to eat, drink water, stretch and use the toilet.
Once you reach your new home, it will be best to unpack your dog's items (blanket, food, and toys) before taking the dog into the house. Your dog will be at ease when it recognizes and smells familiar things in your new home.
In Your New House
The most challenging part when moving house with a dog is over. Now, it's time for your dog to familiarise himself with the new environment.
Give your dog room to explore the rooms and sniff around the garden. You can also help your dog explore by taking it in every room. Do not wash its blankets, toys and beddings in the new home until it settles in.
Dogs are big on scent. You can help yours further familiarise with the environment by rubbing a soft cloth around its face and then rubbing the cloth on walls and furnishings at your dog's height. Smelling its scent around the new environment will be reassuring.
Try to spend time with your dog as you use to. Playtime and exercise can be fulfilling to your dog, especially as it gets used to the new environment. In addition, maintain rest and feeding time.
After the Move
As you settle in, there are a few things to look into to ensure your dog enjoys your new place better.
Don't wait until there is an emergency. Find a vet within your location.
Look for a local park that allows dogs to play and run around without a leash.
Find out about local laws that concern dogs.
Search for dog care in the area for when you'll travel.
On the first days of your move, your dog might have a toilet accident. Don't punish your dog. Show the dog the designated potty area.
Dealing with Your Dog’s Anxiety after a Move
Hopefully, these tips for moving house with a dog will help your dog settle in. However, if you notice your dog is hiding most of the time or stepping around carefully, your dog could be anxious. Other signs to look out for include flat ears, tucked tail, withdrawal and minimized activities.
There are also high chances that the dog is projecting what you are feeling. So, try to remain calm. If the symptoms persist, consult a vet. Perhaps pheromone products could help the dog adjust better.
Are you moving house with a cat and don't know how to handle the move? Read our moving house with a cat guide.