What to do and what not to do when moving house with dogs. The sudden change of address is extremely stressing to all pets. Dogs, however, can get traumatized.
Step 1. Don’t Change the Dog’s Daily Schedule
The last thing you should do is get over excited with the move and do everything else but pay attention to your dogs.
If feeding time gets delayed, your dog will get wary. If walking time gets delayed, your dog will get alarmed. If playtime gets skipped, the end of the world is coming.
The result – sluggish behaviour, guilt, cowering in a corner, and looking at you sadly, passively begging to get your attention, or just plain old howling to get noticed.
Step 2. Explore With the Dog in Advance
Have a walk with the dog around the new house, to get to know the area. Not just the inside of the house, but at least a few blocks around it.
Letting the dog mark its territory in advance, will be a huge plus after the move. Inside the new place, if it’s empty, a dog will remember the smell.
Step 3. Pay a Visit to the Vet
If your dog needs shots, don’t hesitate to do it. Tell the vet you’re moving into a new house, so they can offer you a colleague in that area and maybe give you some useful tips to ease the moving process.
While your dog is light-headed from the shots, leave it on the bed to rest, while you pack everything in the other room. It’s better to not see what’s happening.
Step 4. Pay Extra Attention Before the Move
After the light-headedness of the drug passes, the dog will realize the whole place is different – boxes everywhere. That’s alarming. The best thing to do is pay as much attention as you can.
Play around, laugh and hug. Give a special treat for dinner.
The same attention should be given on the day of the move, when the movers load the stuff in the truck. In fact, play with the dog outside, during that time so it doesn’t worry about what’s happening to the house. After that, go straight in the car.
Step 5. Spoil when Moving with Dogs
Show your dog love and support, even if it means spoiling with treats. But, don’t give too much, or the dog might have an accident.
This way, the drive will pass faster, it will be fun and it won’t be as stressing.
Step 6. At the New Place, Keep the Dog Busy Again
Find the place where you walked the dog the previous time and play, until the movers unload and unpack all items in the new house. The dog should enter an ordered place, without seeing people carrying stuff and wondering what’s going on.
Step 7. Surround with Familiar Items
The first few days will be weird regardless of all your efforts. You can’t make an animal magically fit in a new environment. So, the best way to help is to let your dog have all it’s familiar items – the same bed, the same toys.
Step 8. Go Back to the Usual Schedule
Don’t forget to keep feeding time, walking time and playing time at the scheduled hours every day. The more things go back to being the same, the better. This is when your dog knows, everything is alright.
Step 9. Vet Again
Visit the nearest vet – hopefully your previous one gave you the address of a colleague, so you didn’t have to look too long for that. Especially, if you moved to a place with a different climate, the dog might need additional shots. You can get helpful tips you haven’t heard before too.
And, if the dog has an implanted microchip, don’t forget to change the address in the database too.
Step 10. Love
Never forget to show your dog how much you love them. Dogs spoil us with their unconditional love and the worse thing to do is start taking them for granted. The more we can show how much we love them, the happy our pet.