Moving with Dogs – Tips on How to Move Man’s Best Friend
Moving with dogs can be a very tricky task. Since they don’t really know 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 most faithful 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 the leave is, as a sign of something tragic.
That’s why it’s up to us to make the whole relocation process easier for our dogs. If you’ve finalized the reasons why you should move, and you’re planning your moving budget, checking the safety of your future neighborhood, and preparing to relocate and leave a familiar residence, here are several house-hunting tips and relocating tricks you should know on how to move with your pet successfully and with as little moving 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. Just try to implement the following methods and training and your pup will surely appreciate it.
- Gather some boxes and other supplies several days before the big day, this way your pet has the opportunity to get used to their presence before you leave.
- Once you’ve moved, consider keeping your belongings in a storage unit and gradually bringing them into your new house or apartment.
- If you are planning to use a carrier or a crate for transport, let your puppy smell and inspect it before the move. Put their favorite toys and treats in the crate to give it a cozier feel and a more enjoyable experience for your pets, they need it.
- Make sure to take with you your dog’s health certificate and copies of health records and give them to the new vet. The same goes if you’re moving with a cat.
- Reduce your pup’s amount of food and treats by one-third in the days leading to the relocation, so as to avoid any sign of stomach problems during the ride (or flight, if you’re transporting a vehicle across the country and using car shipping services) and on the relocation day.
- Check if your pet’s microchip is in order and update family information. If your canine gets lost, this is the easiest way to search for them.
How to Prepare Your Dogs for the Moving Day
No matter if it’s planned or last-minute moving, it can be exhausting and unpredictable for you and your family, so you can only imagine how stressful it’s for your pooch who is going to be in a crate or a transporter for the whole trip. During these days rely on moving day tips that suggest that maintaining a routine and a well-known schedule and training is something they desperately need. Take care that their food, potty breaks, and walks should be a regular part of everyday training, as should games and other activities because they too can get relocation depression. The more you can stay true to your dog’s usual routine, the easier the move will be for them. The same goes if you are relocating to another state alone with a cat.
Leave a Quiet Place for Escape
Remember what you usually do when feeling scared and insecure. Your first instinct is to search for a peaceful place in the house to calm your thoughts and relax. Well, you should know that your pets want the same. Take care that you find a quiet and noise-free corner during the packing process and after settling into your new house or apartment. Put all their favorite things in this place as well. With these familiar scents, your dog will just naturally feel more relaxed.
Use All Resources to Facilitate the Relocation to the New Home
Aside from toys, you might need blankets and bones as anxiety-relief when you are putting your pooch in a crate. There are treats and food made from plants that have a subtle calming effect and decrease the level of anxiety in a stressful situation. There are also some stress-relieving scent-toys. You would want to scatter them in a few places at your home like a few “safety checkpoints” throughout your place. Maybe your vet can prescribe calming medications if you know that your puppy belongs to the more sensitive group, thus requiring special care. 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 and that is a sure sign of stress. If you are encountering this for the first time, know that it’s normal for them as well as for a cat. Your pet is just feeling a little confused and scared in the unfamiliar house or yard. 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, playing, or training, you’ll help in keeping their stress levels down. This will be especially easy if you relocate to big cities like San Francisco, Washington, or one of the five boroughs of New York City because they have vast green spaces you can run around together. If you don’t have enough time for these additional activities because you’re trying to find a job before moving to another state, you can always ask a friend or family member to help you take care of your dog, or simply search online for a pet-sitter. Of course, you can always simply hire a recommended relocation company to provide you with moving and packing services, even though that’s not the cheapest way to move out of state. That way, while movers who know all packing tips and tricks are packing your furniture and clothes, you will have more free time to devote to your pet, whether it’s a pooch or a cat. If getting professional services doesn’t quite fit your budget, you can always opt for the cheapest time of the year to relocate because that’s the best time of the year to move and reduce costs when moving by selling or donating unwanted items. Don’t forget to create a household inventory list and make a photo inventory of the items you’re relocating – it will help you remember what you’re bringing with you.
Keep Your Dog Entertained
Different forms of amusement will help your dog 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. If you are moving with kids they can help by setting up a hide–and–seek session with dog’s favorite toys and items. This way, your pup will enjoy searching and digging for their dearest things all around the house. And you would want to reward them with food any time they find a hidden item, this is one of the easiest forms of training. To reduce your own anxiety about moving out, you can go for a bike ride with your dogs. Pets will be always grateful for physical exercise.
Introduce Your Dog to Your New Home
Before you move in and start unpacking things, visit the future living space with your dog. Show them all the rooms and help them explore the new home. If you can, spend a few hours together to help them get familiar with the strange environment and things. Are you relocating to the suburbs to a house with a big backyard? Introducing the outdoor area is also crucial since dogs like exploring and marking their territory to feel more comfortable. During this training, try to speak in a pleasant tone and stay calm. They can be confused by the new arrangement of rooms furnished with strange things without familiar odors. Moving into a smaller home might also be confusing for them, so make sure your pet gets its corner as soon as possible. This is especially important if you own a cat as well because those are all the common moving mistakes pet owners tend to make. By just staying calm, you are sending them a sign that this is a safe space.
How to Introduce Your Dog to Other Pets
Maybe the most challenging and stressful part of relocation is confronting your pup with another dog. To avoid any risk or unpredictable moments you would want to arrange a meeting on neutral territory before the move, like a park. 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 any sign of 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 dog. What you can do, however, is to provide all the necessary conditions to reduce anxiety in your future home. To avoid panic and chaos, try to organize your schedule and make priorities when it comes to packing and other moving-related tasks.