Move House Without Stressing Your Dogs: Are you planning to move soon? Are you worried about how your pup is going to react to all of the chaos of moving to a new home? It’s a valid concern since pets experience stress in similar ways as humans. The good news is that, with over 76 million dogs in America, many pet owners have experience with moving with dogs.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you and your pooch have a seamless transition to your brand-new home. You’ll find everything you need to get started down below!
Preparing to Move
Moving with a dog takes some preparations to keep the entire process stress-free for everyone involved. The following four steps are sure to put you on the right path to smooth sailing!
Introduce Moving Materials
Dogs have keen senses that alert them to anything strange and new. When you start to pack away your entire home, your pup will notice sooner or later.
Plus, sometimes dogs are freaked out by all the new smells and sights coming into the house via boxes, packing tape, and movers. It breaks up what the dog perceives as normal and he’ll begin to act out because of it.
The best way to counteract this is to show your dog the different materials you’ll be using before you start packing things away. Let the dog sniff and investigate to his heart’s content. This allows the dog to feel more comfortable around those materials and he’ll be able to recognize the smells and sights once you start packing.
Keep a Normal Routine
It’s difficult to keep up routines when you’re packing away your home, but try to keep things going as normal as possible for the sake of your pup. If he always goes for a walk at three in the afternoon and eats dinner at six, keeps to that schedule.
This helps calm your dog and keep him from becoming stressed. Even though the house is in disarray, he can rely on old routines to keep him going.
Update Pet Identification
If you’re moving out of state with a dog, it’s good to get all of your ID and chip information updated before you leave. This includes your new address, phone number, and other kinds of contact information.
If the worst should happen and you’re separated from your pup during transit, you want all the right information to be available for his rescue.
Get Comfy With the Travel Crate
Unless you’re using excellent budget-friendly pet transportation to help move your pup to the new home, you’re going to need a travel crate for your car. This keeps both you and your pet safe from driving hazards as you move from one house to another.
Make sure to splurge for a high-quality crate so that your dog stays comfortable the whole way through. At least a week before you plan to move, start getting your dog used to the new crate. You don’t want the first time he goes inside to be on moving day!
Place some of his favorite toys inside of the crate to entice him to go in on his own. After a few days of investigating, he’ll be far less suspicious of this new addition.
During the Move
Moving to a new home with a dog takes a little extra care, even more so if you’re moving far away. You’ll want to take some precautions to ensure that your pup doesn’t panic during those long traveling hours. Keep reading for the best ways to keep your pup happy during the move!
Reduce Food and Water
Did you know that dogs can get motion sickness? After hours of traveling in a car, you may have a nauseous puppy on your hands which only raises stress levels for the whole family.
To offset any car sickness, reduce the amount of food and water your dog eats by about a third. This isn’t so much that he’ll be hungry during travel but it’ll make a big difference in keeping his stomach settled.
Keep this reduced diet going until you’ve reached your new home. Then, slowly start to raise the amount back up to normal once things have calmed down. Keeping the increase slow ensures that you won’t cause a new wave of nausea since motion sickness can linger for a while after long travel times.
Present a Calm Exterior
Your dog loves you as much as you love him. That’s why he knows when something’s wrong, which will stress him out in return. Even if things feel rough and frustrating, it’s best to try and present a calm exterior so that your dog feels calm as well.
This is extra important when you’re traveling since you need your dog to remain calm so that you can focus on driving. A lot is happening right now, and you’ll need to keep your focus.
Exercise is a great way to blow off some steam for both humans and dogs. After being cooped up all day in the car, it’s good to go out and stretch your legs for a while. This is even more important for your pup.
Going out for a long walk is a necessary tool for anyone moving with a dog. It not only keeps him feeling normal and calm, it also helps to get rid of any excess energy. Instead of barking for hours or trying to get your attention, he’ll sleep during most of the drive and allow you to keep your eyes on the road.
Find a Doggy Sanctuary
Sometimes finding a place for your dog to run around and relax is a great vacation for your dog. Even an hour or two in a place far away from cars and packed boxes is enough to give your dog a sense of relief.
Even if you can’t find a dog park on the road as you travel, try to give him his own space once you stop for the night. A place with his favorite toys and a soft bed. Make sure that there’s not too much foot traffic going past the area so he has a chance to unwind from all the bustle of activity during the day.
After the Move
You’ve now reached your new home! It’s a feeling of excitement and celebration for the whole family, but there are still things you’ll need to do for your pup to ensure he doesn’t get stress by all the new-ness.
Plenty of Love and Attention
Always remember to give your pup lots of extra attention after such a big move. It’s one of the best moving with dogs tips to remember throughout the whole process, but even more so now. He’ll be feeling extra nervous and uncertain at this time and receiving lots of pats will help soothe him.
It’s easy to focus only on getting your life unpacked and put back together, but your pup needs attention as well. To stop your dog from stressing out from yet another upheaval, spend as much time with him as possible. Remember to go for long walks to help tucker him out a little so that he’ll sleep.
Walks are great for bonding and for getting used to the area you’ll be living in. It’s a win-win situation for both of you!
Allow Time for Rest
Even if your dog spent most of the ride sleeping or resting, it’s an exhausting experience to go through. You’ll both feel tired by the time you arrive and that’s why resting is an important next step.
Take a couple of hours or even a whole day before you dive into the next stage of the move. This also gives you the chance to spend some quality time with your dog to make sure he’s feeling great, too.
Plus, everyone needs a break once in a while. Setting up a house is a whole new adventure that’s certain to amp up the stress levels. Enjoy a breather while you can!
Acclimating to New Home
Moving with a dog takes some time and it’ll take even more time before this new house starts feeling like home again. It’s the same for your dog as well. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help keep the acclimation process seamless and stress-free!
Inspect New Home for Hazards
Before you let your dog inside the new house, it’s a good idea to take a walk through it yourself. You’ll get a chance to breathe in that new-house smell but you’ll also want to check for any potential dangers.
Once your dog gets inside, he’s going to want to investigate anything and everything. He’ll try to jump on things and shove his nose into things. That’s why you’ll want to double-check that everything is safe and secure for such a curious pup.
Don’t stack boxes up too high and make sure there aren’t any sharp tools or loose screws lying around the place. Clear away the area so that your dog has a safe space to explore his new home. This first initial meeting is an important part of the process for your dog, so make sure that it’s a good one!
Show Your Dog Around
Once the home is safe for a dog to go inside, it’s time to show your dog the new home. Before you let him loose to run around and explore, it’s better if you show him through the house instead.
This gives you a chance to make sure he isn’t getting stressed by the new sensations. It’s also good for your dog to see you alongside all of these new spaces since he’ll start to realize that everything is okay.
Plus, it helps to keep your dog calm every step of the way if you’re there to help him acclimate to everything. Make sure to always bring on extra pats during this exciting and overwhelming time.
Keep Old Toys and Crates
With a whole new house, most of us want to start fresh. We want to throw out anything that doesn’t suit our brand-new house and fill it with new things to match.
Despite this natural feeling, try not to throw away any of your dog’s belongings. These will be a form of comfort to him, especially in the first few weeks of arriving at the new house. Instead of being surrounded by all new things, he’ll feel at home because his favorite toys are still here, and so is the crate he’s had for years.
Once things start to calm down and everyone has settled into the house, then it might be okay to start switching out old toys for new ones.
Find a New Routine
For the past few weeks, your dog’s routine has been in an upheaval of packing, moving, and traveling. Finding a new routine as soon as possible is a great way to keep your dog’s stress levels low. Dogs thrive on routine and they love to know what to expect from their humans.
Work together with your dog to come up with an updated routine in this new house that suits both of you. It doesn’t need to be the exact same routine as you had before, but try to include elements of the old into the new. This way you’re giving your dog a good mix between the two routines and that’ll help him feel far more comfortable as everyone settles into the new house.
Moving With Dogs Is Easy With Some Prep Work
With the help of this guide, moving with dogs is no longer a frightening prospect. It’ll be an easy move for both you and your beloved pets since you have every step prepared beforehand.
There’s no reason for anyone in your family to feel stressed throughout this exciting time. Make sure to follow along with the guide and come back to it whenever you need a refresher. Soon, you’ll be in your new home and living your best life with your dogs!
Looking for more ways to de-stress? Check out the rest of our blog!
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