While some dogs are comfortable about changes in their lifestyle, others fret over even the smallest change and moving is often considered the second most stressful thing in a person’s life (after the death of a loved one). So, it’s natural if your pet feels a bit stressed. If you’re moving to a new home and worried about how your dog will react, these tips may help Fido’s transition.
Dogs are smart critters and have a sixth sense for sniffing out change. To keep your pet’s stress levels low:
- Keep routines as close to normal as possible. Feed your pup at the same time each day. Go for walks at the regular times. If you train or work your dog, shorten those sessions, if you must, but don’t stop them completely.
- Tire him out. Dogs stress when they’re ignored, so even if it’s not as long a romp as you’d both like, find time to fit it in each day. Take your pooch out and about, whether it’s to accompany you on errands around town, on a puppy play date, or a day at doggie day care. Providing your dog with positive stimulation reduce his anxiety.
- On moving day, you’ll know best whether it’s better for your dog to board her for the move or keep her with you. Some dogs stress more about being separated from their owners. Other dogs go completely to pieces when their world is topsy-turvy.
- Give your dog access to his favorite toys, bed, blankets or pillows. If Fido is traveling with you, put some of these familiar-smelling favorites in the car. If you’re boarding him, make sure that these comfort items are unpacked and easily accessible at the new home when you bring him back.
- Find more tips on moving safely with dogs (and cats).
Transitioning to the new home
Amidst the mountains of boxes and unfamiliar rooms, your dog is also adjusting to your new place. Dogs crave routine as much as people. Some experts recommend keeping dogs on a leash in the house—like the ‘new puppy’ routine you may have followed—which prevents bathroom accidents, unsupervised chewing or, worse, an escaped dog in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
These tips may help Fido more quickly shed his anxiety and adjust to the new home.
- Be consistent. Return to the routine from your former house, if possible, keeping mealtimes, playtimes, cuddle times and bedtimes similar. Helping your dog remember his routine and life before moving reduces stress.
- Put favorites front and center. People view moving as a time to start over. Don’t start fresh with familiar bedding or toys, though. Their scents will comfort your pup.
- Play. You’ve got tons of boxes to unpack, but your dog’s worried and still figuring things out. Make time to play with Fido. Love and attention provide the perfect antidote to stress and anxiety.
- Ideally, if you can stay home for a while after your move, your dog may adjust more quickly. If, however, you must return to work fairly soon after your move, consider these tips to make a dog feel secure alone.
Keeping your dog safe in the new home
As you settle in, take stock of any possible dangers to your dog—inside and outside the house.
- Is the yard fenced? If not, consider installing a wood fence at your new home to keep your dog safe. It costs an average of $2,400 to install a six-foot fence.
- If the yard has a fence, check it for any damage or holes.
- Landscaped yards are beautiful, but many plants are toxic to dogs. The ASPCA has an extensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants.
- Remove dangerous items including electrical cords, which become chew toys, trash cans, detergents, cleaners and other household chemicals. Secure everything out of reach from curious canines.
Focus on making the move as fun and pleasant for your fur-face as possible. Take little steps to help Fido acclimate to his new environment. Patience and love work wonders.
Article provided by Tamara Gilmore from PupJobs.com.