Moving can be very stressful for our pets. However, with a little pre-planning and consideration of your furry family member’s needs, you can help him and yourself make the transition a cinch.
Here are a few tips to help you and your pup with the transition:
Prior to moving in, if at all possible take your dog to the new home for a visit before the big moving day. Let him explore the new home however, do not let him explore alone to avoid any accidents. Do deliver some delicious treats while inside or play his favorite game, and take walks with your dog in the new neighborhood. Decide before moving in, the best place for your dog to have some “away from the action” time and place his favorite bed there.
On moving day, have a dog walker take your dog for an outing and deliver the tired pup at the new place. Alternatively, have a friend keep your dog with them and pick him up at the end of the day. Regardless of the prior sleeping arrangements for your dog, allow your dog to sleep with you in your bedroom until you can observe that he is relaxed and his normal self.
During the first couple of days and weeks following the move, play it safe while unpacking, make sure your dog has no access to medications, household products such as snail bait etc. Do keep his routine as intact as possible. Use the same bed, crate, and schedules – dogs thrive on structure and routine. Spend some quiet and play time with your dog regardless of how hectic things are, and keep him busy with an appropriate chew toy. Consider your dog’s mobility issues and age requirements. For example, if your prior home had no stairs but your new home does, make sure your dog can use them safely and without pain.
Don’t assume that your dog knows where you want him to do his business. Even if your dog is house-trained, you must teach them where you want him to eliminated. Take him outside regularly depending on his age to avoid any accidents. Once outside, give him a treat immediately after he has eliminated in the area you have selected for him. If accidents occur don’t punish your dog. See it as a mistake in your management, clean it up and re-direct your dog to the desired location.
Keep in mind that even confident dogs can be afraid of new sounds or sights. Do not assume that he is being difficult or stubborn by not wanting to go outside on his own when its dark, for example. He might just need time getting used to his new surroundings. Avoid leaving your dog in the backyard until you have made absolutely sure he cannot escape. If any of your neighbors have a dog and there is the possibility of the dogs fence fighting, bite the bullet and make arrangements to have the dogs meet preferably off leash in a neutral area.
If after a few weeks your dog does not appear to be at ease or is developing behavioral issues, contact a REWARD based dog trainer who can give you additional management tips or training advice.