- Here are 11 tips to make moving house less stressful for your dog
- 1. Familiarize them to the packing material
- 2. Maintain your normal routine
- 3. Move it, move it
- 4. Create a quiet space for your dog
- 5. Pack your dog’s things last
- 6. Pack an essentials box for your dog
- 7. Have a friend take care of your dog on moving day
- 8. Clean up
- 9. Visit your new home with your dog
- 10. Move your dog separately
- 11. Be patient
- Once you’ve moved into your new home
Moving house is never a walk in the park. With dogs, it can get trickier. So how to make moving house less stressful for your dog?
Whether it is to a different city or in the same town the level of stress is the same for dogs. They sense your anxiety and with their fondness for routine, they can easily become upset at the changes around them. The process of moving involves a long list of things to organize before moving day. When the big day does finally come, something or other is bound to go wrong.
You can make life easier for yourself by preparing in advance if you follow these simple tips, but what about your dog? The good news is, your dog loves you—because home is where you are. So why not make life—and your moving house—easier by preparing?
Here are 11 tips to make moving house less stressful for your dog
1. Familiarize them to the packing material
While you might be at ease with stacks of cartons and duct tape, your dog, not so much. Dogs are super-sensitive and if they think a packed suitcase is a sign of you going away, this can upset them. So, to make moving house less stressful for your dog, let her get used to the packing material – leave some around. This will ensure that she does not freak out when the actual packing begins. Make sure you don’t leave your dog alone with the boxes and bubble wrap as it can harm her.
2. Maintain your normal routine
The days preceding your move can be erratic, which means messed up bedtimes and mealtimes as you get everything done. While this may be okay for you, dogs prefer routine as they know what to expect. That’s how they build trust. Try and keep the same schedule for them even if yours is disrupted and this means, their mealtime, walks and potty breaks. Make time for playtime and walks even if you are busy. They’ll be happier for it and handle the move better.
3. Move it, move it
Dogs need exercise to stay happy. They need to expend that extra energy to stay stress-free. Make sure you take them out as usual and if you can’t ask your friend for help. A restless dog is not a happy dog.
4. Create a quiet space for your dog
Since your house is likely chaotic with all the packing and people going in and out, make sure there is a quiet space for your dog where she can rest and relax with her bed, toys and other favorite things. This will make her feel safe and at home even when there is so much going on. Better still, to make moving house less stressful for your dog, limit her access to the packing area.
5. Pack your dog’s things last
This will keep them happy while the rest of your things are being packed. Avoid washing your dog’s toys, bed and blankets – the familiar smells will make it easier for them to settle down in your new home. Remember to keep your dog’s health records handy.
6. Pack an essentials box for your dog
When you are packing your own things, you will probably pack an essentials box for yourself with all of the things you will need as soon as you arrive, like cleaning products and basic cooking equipment, provisions, etc. Do the same for your dog, so she can settle in right away. Get her favorite blanket and some of her favorite toys, as well as her food and water bowls and her bed.
As soon as you get to the new house, get all of her things out and set up an area for them. That way, she can settle in and feel comfortable because she has familiar items and smells around her. Putting toys around the house will encourage her to explore and get used to all of the different rooms in the house, so that she can settle in much faster.
7. Have a friend take care of your dog on moving day
Moving day can especially be full of stress for you and for your dog. Imagine your dog getting in the way of the packers and movers! Not safe for you or for your beloved pets. It is better that they are not around. So have a friend or family that they are comfortable with look after them until the moving is done.
8. Clean up
Inspect your new home for any health hazards and have it thoroughly cleaned, to clear it of any smells. This will help your dog establish her new territory.
9. Visit your new home with your dog
Going to a completely new environment is scary for a dog, so you should try to prepare her beforehand. When you get the keys to your new home, take your dog over there and bring some toys and treats. Let her explore the house and play with the toys. Hide treats for her to find to make it an enjoyable experience for her. That way, they know that it’s a safe place and they are already used to the new house.
10. Move your dog separately
When you have a car full of stuff and everything is chaotic, your dog will be distressed and confused. They also won’t have much space in the car, so they won’t be comfortable during the journey. To make moving house less stressful for your dog consider moving her separately instead of bringing her with you.
If you use services like Shiply, you can compare quotes for dog transport services and have somebody move your dog for you. Alternatively, if you aren’t moving that far, see if there is a family member or friend who can look after your dog for a night. Then, you can pick them up and bring them over the next day when things have calmed down a bit.
11. Be patient
While moving house is definitely a crazy time, at least you are aware of what is going on. Your dog – not really. They’ll pick up your own stress and find it tough to settle down for a few weeks. So be kind, be patient. Yelling won’t solve anything. Talk to your pet about moving, what it will be like at the new place. Your dog may not really understand but your voice will soothe and calm them.
Once you’ve moved into your new home
- Help your dog acclimatize by sticking to your old routine.
- As you unpack, keep your dog on a leash so that she’s safe.
- If there is a fence around your new home, check it for security so your dog does not escape.
- Set up their corner for them with their things. This will help keep them safe while you unpack your stuff.
- Avoid buying new stuff until your dog is well-settled. Stick to your dog’s old bed, blanket and toys for some time.
- Cuddle your dog as much as you can.
- Even if your dog is used to being left alone, leave treats around when you have to go out.
- Introduce your dog to the area around your house to help them mark their territory.
- Explore the neighborhood gradually as too much can be overwhelming.
- Meet your neighbors with your dog.
- Invite your family and friends to visit you after you settle in, especially those your dog likes.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should update your contact information on chips and tags, identify a new veterinarian in your area, check the local laws, and make sure your dog has ID and a leash.
The good news is, dogs are great at adapting to new things but moving house can be overwhelming. While you cannot wave a magic wand and make the move entirely stress free for your dog, you can certainly make things easier for them to adjust to what is happening.
Also read: The Zen of Being Moe Dog