Moving can feel more like a burden than a gift.
Make the move easier on your dog by taking these steps
by Guest Blogger Cindy Aldridge
Although it can lead to a fantastic new chapter of your life, moving can feel more like a burden than a gift. For one thing, it’s expensive — from buying a home to paying for movers — but it also takes a huge emotional toll on us. If moving is one of life’s most stressful events for humans, imagine how it feels to dogs. Your dog doesn’t understand that you’re just changing houses. All he sees is his humans leaving — and in your dog’s mind, he’s getting left behind. Make the move easier on your dog by taking these steps before, during, and after moving day.
Before the Move
Planning is key to minimizing stress during any move. Before moving day arrives, take these preliminary steps:
1. Contact your veterinarian
For out-of-town moves, arrange for your pet’s records to be sent to a new veterinarian. For local moves, update the address on file with your current veterinarian so you continue to receive important notices about your pet’s health care.
2. Update vaccinations
Pet ordinances vary across cities and states. Make sure you’re in compliance with the laws regarding pet vaccinations and licensing in your new locale. Update your dog’s microchip information with the manufacturer. If you’re not sure what brand of microchip he has, find out at Petmicrochiplookup.org. Microchipping your pup will cost around $45 if you have done it yet.
3. Stock up on supplies
Check one errand off your to-do list by making sure you have plenty of your dog’s food and medications. That way, you won’t have to run to the store in the middle of moving chaos.
4. Pack discreetly
Dogs get stressed out by moves, and if your pet sees you packing, separation anxiety may start well in advance of moving day. If you’re doing some of your own packing, start with areas your dog won’t notice, like closets and guest rooms.
During the Move
Whether you’re hiring movers or braving a DIY move, moving day is going to be hectic. The last thing you want is for Fido to escape as you navigate a sofa through a doorway, so take these steps to keep him safe (and keep you sane):
1. Let your movers know
Check out estimates for movers in your area (for a local move, you can expect to pay around $25 an hour per mover), and be sure to let them know in advance you have a dog. The company can inform you of policies or preferences regarding pets, such as keeping dogs restrained while movers are present. Try to avoid scheduling the move on a company’s busiest moving days (call to ask when those are) so that your movers are rested and able to give you and your dog their full, undivided attention.
2. Crate your dog
When movers visit to make an estimate, don’t just lock your dog in a bedroom. If the moving company can’t see everything in your house, they can’t provide an accurate quote. Ask someone to walk the dog or crate him in a quiet area instead.
3. Board your dog
Crating your dog during moving day will leave him cramped and anxious. Not only that, but you’ll have to pause packing for walks and bathroom breaks. Limit his stress and yours by arranging for your dog to stay at a kennel or with a private pet sitter.
After the Move
The battle isn’t over when moving day ends. Big changes equal nervous pets, and your dog will need some extra attention to ease his nerves. Here’s how you can make the transition smoother:
1. Keep him fenced in
Curiosity about the surrounding sights and sounds, coupled with the anxiety of a new environment, can result in multiple escape attempts. Keep your dog safe by having a proper fence installed in the yard. A wood fence is an affordable option and can be made into a solid or picket fence. The cost to get one installed in Blacklick usually ranges from $2,300 to $3,000.
2. Have his stuff ready
Instead of packing your dog’s bed, bowls, and toys with the rest of the household items, keep them in a separate, easy-to-find container. That way, you have his stuff ready as soon as you get to the new house.
3. Set up a cozy room
Rather than immediately give your dog full reign of the house, set him up in a quiet room. Once he seems comfortable, gradually let him explore the rest of the house. According to VCA Hospitals, the adjustment could take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s temperament.
4. Give lots of love
Just because your dog is secluded doesn’t mean he should be lonely. Give him extra love and affection in the first days following the move. You’ll also want to monitor your pup to make sure he doesn’t develop any allergies in his new environment. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, vomiting, or sneezing, consult your vet on any necessary dietary changes.
5. Take slow walks
Your neighborhood is a strange new place for your dog. Let him learn the lay of the land by allowing plenty of sniffing when you go on walks.
We can’t promise that these tips will make moving completely stress-free for your dog, but they’re sure to make it a whole lot smoother. Despite your preparations, your pet may still seem out-of-sorts for the first few weeks. Give him plenty of love and patience, and it won’t be long before he’s settled into his new home.
Image via Unsplash