For pet owners, there are many kinds of change that don’t come easy. From bringing home a new baby to moving into a new home, some dogs don’t take kindly to things being different, and it can lead to behavioral issues and even stress, which can affect every dog differently. However, change is a part of life, and just about every family must face it at some point. If you’re moving and your dog is easily stressed or becomes anxious, it’s important to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible for him.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can achieve this while making the move less stressful. Planning well beforehand will help, but you’ll also need to be prepared as much as possible for your pet’s needs. This means keeping him safe and comfortable on moving day, creating a packing room in your home so that there aren’t boxes everywhere to cause anxiety, and going over training techniques so that he’ll mind his manners when there are strangers in your home.
Here are a few tips on how to make moving day go smoothly when you have a dog.
Create a packing room
It’s a good idea to designate an area to keep packing supplies and finished boxes, not just for your pet’s sake, but for the safety and comfort of everyone in the house. If possible, pack up one room completely and use the empty space to keep all your extra boxes, packing materials, tape, scissors, trash bags, and cleaning supplies. Leave the door closed so your dog won’t explore and possibly get hurt.
Plan on doggy daycare
Moving day comes with a lot of details and activity, and your pet can become injured or lost in the process. Consider boarding him while the movers get everything in order. This way, he can play and have fun while you’re taking care of business, and you won’t have to worry about his safety (especially since you already have enough to worry about). If you can’t send your pup away for the day, you can hire a dog walker to take him for a long walk while you’re moving.
Keep his favorite things
Pets can become very attached to their belongings, and changing them or removing them from the home can be traumatic, especially for rescue dogs who spent time in a shelter. While it may be tempting to buy all-new items for your pet to bring to the new home, think about holding onto the old ones—at least for a little while—to help make the transition smooth for him. This means bringing his bed, favorite toys, and food dishes and putting them in a place similar to where they were in the old house.
Introduce your pet to the home ahead of time
If possible, introduce your pet to the new home before moving day. This way, he can explore the yard, get used to the new smells and sounds, and take a look at his new digs so it won’t all be a giant surprise to him.
It’s important to go through your new home as soon as possible and pet-proof it to make sure it’s safe for your dog. Not only could there be slip or trip hazards on the unfamiliar floors, the backyard might have plants that are poisonous to dogs, or access to a pool or other body of water that could prove dangerous. Look at your house the way you would if you were preparing for a child’s safety, and get it done before moving day for your own peace of mind. Go here for more tips on pet-proofing.
Making a move into a new home is a lot of work, so planning ahead and finding the right people to help on the big day are imperative. Reach out to friends and family for help and support, especially if one of them can take care of your pet while you’re getting settled in, and remember to give your pup lots of love and attention to ease his fears about all the change.