Moving is stressful. Moving with a family and pets is even more stressful. Dogs don’t understand what’s happening and you can’t explain to them what’s going on, making the experience even more stressful. That’s why strategic planning before, during, and after the move is very important.
Here are some ways to do that.
Preparing for the move
Sometimes the most stressful part of moving, prep is the first step. Your dog will feed off you so it’s very critical to stay calm and not freak out in front of your dog. Experts say to talk to your dog in a calm voice explaining the moving process that is about to take place. Even though they will not be able to understand you, your calm voice will help them feel calm as well.
Some other ways to prepare for the move are:
-Pack a couple of boxes early so that your dog doesn’t associate those objects with you leaving.
-Take them to the vet for a checkup to make sure your dog is microchipped and has the proper identification in case anything were to happen. Make sure that the identification has the new address you are moving to and not the old one you are moving from!
-Talk to your vet about any medication that you could use to help calm them down. If you find one you’re comfortable with make sure to start giving it to them a couple days before the move.
-Check for Pet-Friendly Stops so both you and your dog can have a break from traveling. Dog parks, Small hikes, and Gas stations are all great ways to start looking.
-Book them a suite at our dog resort here in West Palm Beach.
What to do on Moving Day
Drop your dog off for doggy daycare or dog boarding so they aren’t stressed. Seeing you, friends, or strangers in your house moving their favorite couch, bed, and blanket can be very stressful for them. At Very Important Paws we can assist with both daycare and boarding.
Here are some other options if you are moving out of town and a local dog boarding facility is not an option.
-Be Prepared. Bring all medical records, most recent photo of your dog, microchip id number, and any medication your dog needs in case they go missing or there’s an emergency.
-Feed them less than you normally would in the morning of the move to minimize nausea and sensitive stomachs.
-Make sure they are safe and secure at all times in the car. Have their bed with a blanket and some toys in a comfortable part of the car so they can relax.
Adjusting to Your New Home
-Inspect the home. Before introducing your dog to their new home inspect the house for cleaning products, holes in walls, and any backyard hazards that could harm your dog.
-Introduce them to the house on a leash. Outside of hazards to your dog this will help them get familiar with the new house layout.
-Create their new home. Once off the leash and they have explored, create a space for them that’s similar to their previous space. Crate, bed, and toys should all be similar. Now that the move has happened feel free to resume regular walking and feeding schedule.
-Keep to the walking schedule. If you are moving to a house with a yard our trainers recommend sticking to the same walking schedule while throwing in some backyard play time. This will help them feel more comfortable with their new environment.
-If they previously attended daycare, get them back in that routine as soon as possible not only for stress management but also for stimulation, fun and good mental health
Removing the stress of moving for your dog will never be 100% but following these proven steps can help ease their stress while ensuring you and your dog a safe and easy transition.