Moving to a new home isn’t only stressful for people. It’s just as stressful for dogs too. Like you, dogs need to adjust to their new environment. While moving to a new neighborhood can be exciting, your dog may balk at the idea of leaving its familiar territory. But with patience and a few tricks, you can make your dog love your new home as much as you do – or even more.
Here are some dog-friendly moving tips to help your dog adjust to your new home and make him feel like a king or queen again in no time.
Getting your dog ready before the move
Call your vet.
Your vet knows what’s best for your dog. Before the big day, be sure to inform your vet and ask for recommendations. This is especially important for dogs who are under prescription medications. So say hi to your vet and drop by the clinic to get your dog’s health records. And, don’t forget to thank him for keeping your dog healthy too!
Get your dog familiar with moving supplies.
Dogs get anxious when there’s a sudden change in environment. Moving supplies may surprise them and trigger anxiety so you’ll want to make moving a positive experience for your dog before the moving day comes.
You can start by placing boxes in a corner and let them explore. Dogs are obsessed with treats so toss them their favorite treats when they explore the boxes to create a positive association. As soon as your dog becomes more familiar with what’s going on around him, he’ll start enjoying the move and avoid making a getaway during the big day. And don’t forget, dogs can have anxiety attacks with loud, screeching noise from packing tape.
Keep your dog’s regular routine.
It’s important to keep your move as minimally disruptive as possible for your dog. While activity increase as the big day gets closer, keeping your dog’s regular routine will help him relax.
Take your dog to his usual potty breaks, neighborhood walks, and playtimes. This will keep him entertained while you prepare for your move. If you don’t want the hassle of moving your own items, hire the services of our professional movers at The Padded Wagon to get the job done. Less hassle on your part and more time with your dog, that’s a win-win!
Make your dog’s crate training a positive experience.
For dogs, space means freedom. Being in small crates may cause your dog to have anxiety. But there are ways to make your dog more comfortable! Start by putting your dog’s food inside an open crate. Once your dog becomes comfortable with that, then you can let him have his meals in the crate with the door shut.
Next, take your dog around the house in the crate or take him for 10-minute drives. This will help lessen the anxiety that comes with moving.
Update your dog’s ID tag.
Unfortunately, losing your dog during a house move isn’t an unfamiliar story. Be sure to put an ID tag on your dog’s collar or have your veterinarian microchip your dog for permanent identification with your new address and phone number.
What to do with your dog during moving day
Keep your dog away from the hustle and bustle of moving.
Dogs tend to panic when they realize that your house is being packed up. To keep them away from the action, you can leave your dog at a pet sitter’s home for a few days. You can also leave your dog with a friend for the day. If you don’t have those options, try and put your dog in the quietest area possible.
Plan in advance where you want to put your furry friend during the move. This could be an empty bedroom with food, water, and your dog’s favorite toys. Don’t forget his favorite treats too! Be sure to check on your dog regularly and stick to your routine as this helps with the transition.
Bring your dog in your car.
On moving day, bring your dog in your car. If you’re moving long-distance, plan stops along the way to give you and your dog a break. If your trip will take multiple days, make sure the hotel that you book is pet-friendly.
Helping your dog adjust to your new home
Pet-proof your new home.
It’s tempting to set your dog loose in your new home to explore. But first, pet-proof your new house to make sure it’s safe. Check every part of your new home for exposed electrical cords, poisonous plants, and other hazards.
If your new house has a fence, check for places your dog can escape. Dogs can easily get lost in a new neighborhood so you’ll want to prevent that when you arrive.
Keep your dog in a safe room.
Your new home is a new environment for your dog. It will take some time before he can adjust. So it’s a good idea to keep your dog in a room that will serve as his safe space. Provide him with food, water, and his favorite treats and toys.
Once your dog has settled in, you may begin introducing him to other parts of the house while keeping other doors shut. Slowly, your dog will become more confident in his new environment. You’ll know it when his usual personality comes back.
Explore the neighborhood safely.
Dogs are always wary of new sounds, places, and people. Anything they’re unfamiliar with, they associate with danger. So it helps with your dog’s adjustment period to explore the neighborhood bit by bit. Introduce your dog to your neighbors so he knows who’s around the block.
Adjusting to a new home can take some time. But with your attention and a little bit of fun, your dog will eventually settle in your new house like a boss.