Moving can be very stressful. Finding a new home, making the preparations to move, and moving day itself can all weigh heavily. Imagine what it feels like to your puppy who may be leaving the only place they have ever really known.
While young dogs and puppies are pretty resilient, they pick up on your mood. So, the more stressful you are, the more stressful they are. Below we have eleven tips for making a move go smoothly for you and your puppy. Do your best to stay calm (or at least try to look relaxed in front of your pet, no matter how you are really feeling,) and follow the tips below to make things easier on you and your pup.
Start Packing As Soon As Possible
Packing early will help your stress levels and introduce the sounds of packing slowly to your puppy. Packing tape, building boxes, and filling them can be quite a change. Let them acclimate over time. Then, choose one room to pack last that will be their space. Put your puppy’s favorite blankets, toys, bed, and crate in one room that you put in boxes last. Doing so will give them a place they can go where they know things will be quiet.
One note about packing – keep medications and other hazardous products sealed away where your new curious family member can’t find them. You probably do this already, but poisons can be accidentally left out when things are in disarray.
Start Crate Training Early
Training your puppy to love their crate is almost always a good idea anyway, but this is key when it comes to moving. Teach your puppy that the crate is their special home. Place a comfortable bed or blanket in the there, and start feeding them in their crate, with the door open. Also, it needs to remember that to give the right foods for your puppies including if it’s a small breed to support a healthy balanced diet during traveling. And referring to this guide if you choose dry food it should contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.
Getting them to love their crate will help when you need to transport your puppy to your new home. Let them spend time in their crate whenever they wish and make it into a happy place. Never force a dog into their container for punishment. Only reward them for going into it.
If You are Moving by Car, Do Some Test Runs
If you will be packing everything into a truck or van to move, do some short drives with your puppy in its crate to get them used to it. Start with just a ten-minute drive, and work up in length. If you can, drive over to your new neighborhood.
If you are traveling by plane, try packing up your pup in their crate and going to a car wash. The loud noises will give your puppy a sense of the sounds that happen during a flight. Teach them that they are safe in their crate by being calm and providing treats.
If Possible, Take Your Puppy for Walks in the New Neighborhood
If you can take your pup on a drive to your new neighborhood, take along a leash. Take your puppy on a few short walks in the new area to get used to the new smells, sights, and sounds. Walks will help you learn the new neighborhood too.
On Moving Day, Leave Them in a Quiet Room, or Better Yet, At a Friend’s
When moving day comes, have a quiet place for your pet to be, away from all the hustle and bustle. Puppies love to be in the middle of things, but the middle of a move might not be the safest place for them to be. You don’t want them to be tripped on or get into anything they shouldn’t. Set aside a room for them, or better yet, have them spend time at a friend’s house or hire a puppy sitter.
Make Sure you Have an Up-to-Date Collar with Current Phone Numbers
More than one puppy has slipped out the front door when people hauling out furniture didn’t close it behind them. Ensure that your pup is microchipped, and the information on file is current. Also, make sure that your puppy has a collar with tags with a current phone number. If little Fido does make a break for it, you want to make sure someone can help him get back to you as soon as possible.
Unpack in Reverse of How You Packed
Just as you saved one room for them for last, have all your puppy’s things together so you can unpack them first. This should include water dishes, food dishes, poop bags, leashes, treats, and bedding. Set up a place where you know you can find all of these items, so they are readily on hand when you need them. Put the crate in a room with a door that closes, giving them a space to become acclimated. Again, the goal is to make safe spaces where your puppy feels comfortable.
With a Puppy, Have Pee Pads on Hand
Your puppy may temporarily need a little extra time to figure out the new rules of the house. Don’t be discouraged if they momentarily forget how to be housebroken. Your puppy will figure it out again, don’t worry! But having pee pads on hand can save your sanity – and your new floors.
Stick to the Old Routine as much as Possible
During the middle of the move, schedules can fly out the window. But do what you can to make sure that your puppy has a familiar schedule. Feed them at the same time of day, take potty breaks and go for walks as close to your regular schedule, which will help your pup adjust.
Ask your Neighbor with a Pet for a Good Vet
Look for neighbors in the area who have pets and ask for referrals. Most people love sharing where they take their pets. Speaking of which, make sure to get copies of all your puppy’s medical paperwork before you move.
There is no reason why you should fear moving, even if you have a puppy. Take a few simple precautions, and it will help make changing houses less stressful for everyone. Most importantly, help them feel safe and secure, and keep them away from hazards. Have their medical paperwork for your new vet, and have their collar on with contact information up-to-date.
Puppies acclimate reasonably quickly to new locations. So, it won’t be long before it seems like you and your pup have been in the new home forever. These tips will help you get there the easiest way possible.