Moving house can be extremely stressful for both humans and pets. It's an upset in routine, environment, and in certain cases it can be an entire lifestyle change.
This past September, Joe and I moved into a new home. Below are some tips on Moving With Dogs, based on what helped us ensure Rosie and Bindi had a stress-free move.
Our Top 7 Tips Include:
Move Them Last
Have a Go Bag
Stick To Routine
Mental & Physical Exercise
Scroll through these tips below to learn more:
Save some blankets and linens from your current home that are unwashed, and avoid washing crate mats or dog blankets prior to your move. Having multiple items that still smell like "home" can help east the transition into the new space.
Do a yard check prior to letting your dog loose in your new outdoor space. Check for any unsafe plants for dogs, holes/gaps in the fence, or any rodent traps/poison in and around the new house. Better safe than sorry!
Move Them Last
If you can, move your dog in after the majority of the actual "move" is over. This will help avoid your dog darting out the door between moving in boxes, and also avoids a chaotic introduction to the new place. If you don't have the option to leave them somewhere safe until after the move, bring them to your new home and set up a safe, quiet spot in the home with some of your dog's things. This way they have a quiet space away form the hustle and bustle.
Have a Go Bag
Your Go Bag should include important items that you don't want to worry about having to find last minute. After all, there's nothing worse than trying to tear through boxes when you're looking for something in a pinch!
Our Go Bag included:
Blankets that smelt like home
The dogs' favorite toys/chews
A dog towel
Stick to Routine
If you can, try and stay as close to your old routine as possible. Dogs are extremely routine oriented, and the new space may have them feeling off. Try and stick to the same feeding/ walking schedule that you would've had at the old place.
No matter where you move, there will be a TON of new stimuli for your dog. Whether it be new smells, the sound of a new neighbor, seeing kids rollerblade down the sidewalk, or hearing people in the hallway at a new condo - it's a lot for dogs to take in. Teaching and praising "calmness" is one of those things that will really help in the long run (for both you AND your dog!).
It's not easy, and can be daunting when your normally easy doing dog is suddenly uneasy and barky. Be patient if you have to re-train certain behaviors within your home, and realize that your pup is trying to navigate and understand their new space. Also, having lots of treats and chews on hand for training purposes is a huge help!
Mental and Physical Exercise
Exercising the body and brain is so important, and can be a great way for dogs to decompress. Walks, running in the yard, feeder puzzles, enrichment toys - you name it. Use these to your advantage! Physical and mental exercise can help expel pent up energy in your dog, and can also promote calmness in the home. Not sure which enrichment toys would be a great fit for your pet? Check out a list of food and non-food related enrichment toys here.
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