Moving with dogs can be a very tricky task. Since they don’t really understand what’s going on, this process is usually pretty traumatic, both for them and for the rest of your family.
Having been the man’s best friends for thousands of years, canines tend to develop a particularly strong bond with their owners. Because of this, they perceive every separation from their beloved humans, no matter how short it is, as something tragic.
That’s why it’s up to us to make the whole relocation process easier for our faithful companions. If you are preparing to relocate, here are several tips and tricks on how to move with your petsuccessfully and with as little stress as possible.
Moving with Dogs – General Tips
Your pooch will feel more comfortable during the relocation and preparations if you speak calmly about the upcoming move. Try to implement the following methods and your pup will surely appreciate it.
- Gathersome boxes and other supplies several days before the big day, so your pet has the opportunity to get used to their presence.
- Once you’ve moved, consider keeping your belongings in a storage unitand gradually bringing them into your new house or apartment.
- If you are planning to use a carrier for transport, let your puppy smell and inspect it before the move. Put their favorite toysin it to make it a cozier and more enjoyable experience.
- Make sure to take with you your dog’shealth certificate and copies of health records and give them to the new vet. The same goes if you’re moving with cats.
- Reduce your pup’s amount of food by one-third in the days leading to the relocation, so as to avoid stomach problems during the ride (or flight, if you’re using car shipping servicesfor your vehicle).
- Check whether your pet’s microchip is in order and update family information.
How to Prepare Your Dog for the Moving Day
Moving is exhausting and unpredictable for you and your family, so you can only imagine how stressful it is for your pooch. During these days, maintaining a routine and a well-known schedule is essential. Their meals, potty breaks, and walks should be a regular part of every day, as should games and other activities. The more you can stick to your dog’s usual routine, the easier the move will be for them.
Leave a Quiet Place for Escape
Remember what you usually do when feeling scared and insecure. Your first instinct is to find a peaceful place in the house to calm your thoughts and relax. Well, your dearest animal wants the same. Pick a quiet and noise-free corner during the packing process and after settling into your new house or apartment. Put all their favorite items in this place as well. With these familiar scents, your dog will naturally feel more relaxed.
Use All Resources to Facilitate the Relocation to the New Home
Aside from toys, you might consider using blankets and bones as anxiety-relief. There are treats made from plants that have a subtle calming effect and decrease the level of anxiety in stressful situations. Maybe your vet can prescribe calming medications if your puppy belongs to the more sensitive group. And if you prefer calming collars or stress-reducing dog clothes, you should test them before moving.
Have Patience and Empathy
Your pet will probably have bouts of barking, whining, neediness or other behaviors not typical for them. If you are encountering this for the first time, rest assured that it is normal. Your pet is just feeling a little confused and scared. The best way to prevent and mitigate these situations is to control your reactions and to be empathetic.
Exercise Will Make Your Pets Less Anxious
Being active is beneficial for your puppy’s mental and physical health. What does that mean? Simply make sure your furry friend gets tired throughout the day. By spending a couple of hours with your dog in parks, on long walks, or playing, you’ll help in keeping their stress levels down. If you don’t have enough time for these additional activities, you can always ask a friend or family member to help you amuse your four-legged companion, or simply hire a pet-sitter. Of course, you can always simply hire a relocation company to provide you with moving and packing services, so you have more free time to devote to your pet.
Keep Your Dog Entertained
Different forms of amusement will benefit your four-legged friend while leaving you to focus on other vital moving-related issues. Organizing brain games will be a good mental exercise and will occupy their attention for a while. Set up a hide–and–seek session with their favorite toys and items. During this game, your pup will enjoy searching and digging for their dearest things all around the house. And you should reward them with food any time they find a hidden item. To reduce your own anxiety about moving out, you can go for a bike ride with your canine companion. They will be grateful for the physical exercise.
Introduce Your Dog to Your New Home
Before you move in, visit the future living space with your four-legged companion. Show them all the rooms and let them explore the new home. If you can, spend a few hours together to help them get familiar with the strange environment and things. Introducing the outdoor area is also crucial since dogs like exploring and marking their territory to feel more comfortable. During this process, try to speak in a pleasant tone and stay calm. They can be confused by the new arrangement of rooms furnished with strange items without familiar odors. By staying calm, you are sending them a message that this is a safe space.
How to Introduce Your Dog to Other Pets
Maybe the most challenging part of relocation is confronting your pup with another dog. To avoid any risk or unpredictable moments, arrange a meeting on neutral territory before the move. Throughout the walk, organize a playtime to determine their similarities and differences. Also, use a leash and head halter to control them. If you’re getting a new dog, provide separate feeding and sleeping areas to avoid possible competition struggle, at least at first. During and after the initial familiarization period, the dogs will probably get used to each other.
Be aware that staying completely stress-free during the relocation is not possible neither for you nor your furry friend. What you can do, however, is to provide all the necessary conditions to reduce anxiety. To avoid panic and chaos, try to organize your time and make priorities when it comes to packing and other moving-related tasks.