Our pet’s lives centre around our homes. They wake up in the morning, go out for walks, take baths, eat, drink, play, take more strolls, and sleep. Day in and day out.
So if you decide to move house, transfer to a new state or neighbourhood, that’s equivalent to uprooting their lives. They’ll naturally feel some form of anxiety and stress from being taken out of their regular routines and familiar environment.
But, there’s no need to worry. All this upheaval is something your pet can overcome. We’ve prepared this post to help your house move with your pet dog as seamless as possible.
So, let’s go at it. How do you make sure your dog is okay on moving day?
There’s no need to feel guilty if you ever decide to send your dog off on a ‘holiday’ right before you’re set to leave for your new home.
Many people choose to temporarily re-house their dog at either a boarding kennel or a friend’s house during the transition period. You get to finish packing and unpacking quickly, and your dog gets to enjoy a new adventure on his own. Win-win.
Before Moving Day
Dogs are highly sensitive animals. Have you noticed how his ears always perk up even before you tell him you’re going out for a walk?
As you start to pack everything into boxes and the mood changes to one of getting ready to leave, he will most certainly sense that something’s up.
So before moving day, it’s best to prepare your furry friend for the travel of his life.
Old Habits Die Hard
Dogs are creatures of habit. Whilst you’re getting ready to change his environment completely, the last thing he needs is for part of his routine to get switched on him. Not when it’s the BEST part!
Try to make sure that his routine doesn’t get completely re-written. If you would typically walk him every night, don’t fall into the trap of skipping the walk so you can get more packing done! Treat him with the same attention you would typically give had you not been in the process of moving your home.
Update Their Registration Details
Your dog probably already has a collar. But don’t forget to update it with your new address and your contact number.
If your dog has a microchip implant under his skin, don’t forget to request the microchip registry to update your contact details as well.
The same goes for your dog’s registration details with the local council of your new home. Read up on the local rules regarding pet ownership to make sure you’re not stepping over any.
Nobody plans for their dog to suddenly escape during moving day, but it can still happen. If it ever happens, you’ll want to make sure that if and when your dog gets picked up, all the registration details will lead them straight back to you.
Pack Their Things Last
Keep all of his bedding, toys, food bowls, and other personal stuff out and readily available right up until the last items that get moved. It will only add to his stress level if his favorite blanket is suddenly folded up, boxed up and taken away.
It may be tempting to treat moving home as an opportunity to replace the old bedding or the worn-out toy, but you should avoid doing this. The familiar scent of the items will help keep him calm and make the new place feel like home sooner.
Also, be sure not to wash his favourite blanket or bedding a week prior and after the move. Doing so will provide a safe and familiar shelter during the transit and after arriving in your new home.
Take Him to Visit the New House
Treat moving as an opportunity to play with your dog and introduce a new experience.
Take him for a visit to the new house and the neighbourhood.
That may not be an easy option if you’re moving a long distance There is a definite benefit, however, in letting your dog get comfortable with the new house. Get him familiar with the new suburb and the lay of the streets. Reinforce old habits during the visit. Feed him inside the house or play in the yard and give him treats when he is obedient.
The extra time and preparation that goes into making the new location more familiar will undoubtedly pay off. Your dog will feel settled in the new home.
Secure the New Place
Inspect the new place and make sure it is safe.
Don’t take the word of the previous owners or the real estate agent when they say that the yard is pet secure. If you’re sure your dog could pass as another version of Houdini, you’ll need to inspect the entire area for potential escape points.
Also, spot any possible sources of danger – for example, chemicals or poisons left in an accessible place.
Talk With Your Vet
Bring your dog to the vet. Ask for a copy of your dog’s medical history and a vaccination certificate. While you’re there, make sure your dog is up to date with his shots.
If you suspect he will have a particularly stressful time, talk with your vet. He will be able to supply you with a calming pheromone dispenser. You can use this to help your dog feel comfortable synthetically. You expose him to it just before moving day, and then bring it with you to the new house. The additional scent and pheromones this provides will keep your dog feeling calm and relaxed.
On Moving Day
If your dog is staying with you during moving day, make sure not to expose him to all the activity going on. Find a room in the house where he can be comfortable while unsupervised to ensure that he doesn’t get in the way.
Early in the day, place him in a room with closed windows and doors. Doing this will keep him secure, and you’ll be able to come back to get him when it’s time to go.
Don’t forget to inform your removalists where you’ve put your dog, so they know which room to avoid. If you suspect he will have a particularly stressful time, talk with your vet. He will be able to supply you with a calming pheromone dispenser. You can use this to help your dog feel comfortable synthetically. You expose him to it just before moving day, and then bring it with you to the new house. The additional scent and pheromones this provides will keep your dog feeling calm and relaxed.
Hire A Dog Nanny
If possible, designate one person to take sole responsibility of your dog on the day. A great way to make the transition easier is having a friend take charge of the lead. Let him give your dog regular pats and reassurance.
While on the Move
Whether the move takes a few good hours or several days, it’s important to remember these tips while travelling to your new home.
- Keep him feeling safe and calm by having all of his ‘comfort’ items close by inside the secure room. That can include favourite toys and bedding. Give him adequate food, water, and extra treats.
- Make sure your dog is secure in his designated seat.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended inside your parked car for too long. Remember, the temperature in a parked car can rise quickly.
- Just like the rest of the family, make sure your pet gets his regular water and toilet breaks, too.
In Your New Home
Stay with them when you show them around the new home. During the hustle and bustle of moving day, it can be tempting just to put the dog in the backyard and finish unpacking.
Most dogs may cope well with this and naturally start exploring on their own. But, it is beneficial if your dog does the initial exploration with a family member who they know well. Take them for a walk. Show them that this is a place for them and their family.
Whey They Arrive From The Boarding Kennel
If instead of travelling with you, you sent your dog to a kennel, you have an excellent chance to make his transition into the home smoother. Time his arrival so that all the furniture (including his old things) are in their rightful place. Doing so will make the new home seem like the old one with all the familiar scents in the belongings. The familiarity will lessen his anxiety from being ‘thrown’ into new surroundings.
Mind Your Dog
Every dog reacts a little differently to moving house. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that the changes in their routine are almost non-existent. Make sure they feel comfortable. Try not to make too many changes, such as making use of entirely new things in the house.
Above all, make sure that they know that the whole family has moved and that they are not being sent somewhere new all on their own!