Things to consider when moving house with with your dog
Animals are sensitive to change and can be very territorial. This can make moving difficult. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make it easier for them. Follow these tips to make the move as stress-free as possible.
Keep them away from the moving zone
Moving day will be chaotic. There will be boxes, a moving van and an empty house. These changes could be stressful for your animal. Keep them away from the moving zone. Ask friends or family to look after your pet for a few hours as you move. There’s also the option of dropping your pet into a kennel for the day.
If this is not possible or you prefer your pet to stay with you, consider putting them in an empty bedroom while you pack up the rest of the house. Just remember to check on them regularly, leave them food and water, adequate ventilation and toys. Put them into their crate and into the car for transport only once the rest of the house has been cleared.
Pet Relocation Companies
Pet relocation companies are incredibly helpful for the big move and deal with animals on a daily basis. This will take the stress off getting your pet to your new place.
Try to book a direct flight to your new home if possible to minimise travelling time and the stress on your animal.
Your pet’s travel container will need to be approved according to international standards. Be sure that your pet has room to stand up and turn around inside their crate.
Tune into your pet’s emotions
Pets, like us, also show emotions. They can feel fear and anxiety but might portray these emotions in different ways to us.
Learn about how your animal may think or the behavioural traits behind their moods. This will help you figure out what they’re feeling and how you can make them feel more comfortable during periods of dramatic change.
Prepare an overnight kit
Keep everything your pet needs in one bag. This will make it easier for you to access their food, treats, lead and grooming equipment.
Moving is time-consuming, and you may have to prioritise unpacking certain items. So, having everything your pet will need for a week. This will cover the move itself, as well as a few days before the move and a few days after.
Keep their belongings nearby and accessible
Their belongings will have a familiar scent, a scent of home. Keep all their belongings nearby and accessible to them following the move. It will be a new environment, so make sure they are familiar with where their belongings are stored. This way, they will know where to find their bed, toys, water etc. when they need it.
Keep to their routine
The familiarity of their regular routine will make moving easier on your pet. You may be able to adapt to the change well, but your pet will be more tied down to their routine.
Stick to their regular mealtimes, potty times and exercise schedule. This familiarity will give them security. When the routine is as close as possible to what your pet is used to, they will become more comfortable with the change and adapt to their new lifestyle.
Acclimatise your dog to his new territory
If you’re not moving too far away and have the time, take your dog for a walk around his new neighbourhood to get him used to the new sights, sounds and smells of his new area. This will also give you an opportunity to check for any potentially unfriendly or aggressive dogs you might want to avoid.
Crate training can help your dog settle in
Getting a dog used to being in a crate has many benefits, one of which is stress-free travel. Once your dog is happy in a crate, it doesn’t matter if he is at home, in the car or on holiday, he will feel safe and secure in his own space.
Once you are safely at the other end, it will be a bit chaotic until you get some basics set up so leave your dog in his crate and put him in a quiet spot away from all the comings and goings. If he is happy in his crate it will give him a chance to get used to his new surroundings from a place of comfort and safety until you are ready to devote some time to settling him in.
Dog proof your new home
Check your new home for any potential dangers to your pet such as sharp edges, splintered floorboards, loose wires/cables and hazardous chemicals. Here is a useful room by room guide to dog-proofing your home.
Make sure the outside area is secured with no gaps in fences or walls where he could escape. It takes a dog a few weeks to get used to new surroundings and in that time, you need to be sure that he is as safe as possible without you having to be vigilant during a time when you will be busy also.
Take care of yourself
Pets are in tune with their owners’ behaviour. They can tell if you’re excited, stressed or upset. Take care of yourself after you move. There will be a lot to sort out, including unpacking, changing addresses and finding a new vet.
If you’re having trouble adjusting, your animal will pick up on this sense of upheaval. Maintain the healthy habits you had before the move. Get enough sleep, don’t skip your meals and exercise regularly.
Main photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash
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