(courtesy of guest blogger Cindy Aldridge with ourdogfriends.org)
You’re already dealing with moving, packing, and planning, but you’ve also got a dog to think about. Don’t treat your pup as an afterthought — he’s discovering a new place, a new set of rules, and all new smells. Big changes can mean big anxiety for some pooches. Moving with a Dog Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful!
Your dog knows something is up long before the big day comes. You’ve likely had real estate agents, appraisers, workers, potential buyers/renters, and more go through your home. You’ve been clearing and cleaning. This all contributes to your pup’s anxiety. Make sure you keep paying attention to and playing with him. If you suddenly ignore your pooch, this will make him worry even more.
Dogs — no matter their size or age — can get in the way on moving day, causing frustration for you, the movers, and your pup. You should always give your tail-wagger a chance to stay out of the way by either giving him a room of his own (that you will pack up last), taking him to a park, or sending him to a doggy daycare or kennel (an overnight stay typically costs $25 – $45). This keeps him out of the way of the movers, and it helps him not worry about what’s going on around him.
Prepping the movers for the big day is also key. Communicate with your moving company in advance about your pet and ask about their policies on dogs. This will prevent the movers from being surprised by a barking, growling animal.
Before you leave, make sure you have his vaccinations, records, license, microchip, and tags updated. There’s always the danger of an anxious dog escaping, so you want to take all the necessary precautions. Don’t wash his items. Dogs are very scent-oriented, and if you wash his favorite toys, he’ll lose that familiar smell that can help stay calm. Remember this if you have to board your dog, too.
Make sure your dog is familiar with his crate long before the move, so his crate feels like his own little home. Be careful not to let your own anxiety show. Dogs are very sensitive to our moods, and if you’re stressed out, he will also feel it. After a long day of packing, when you collapse on your bed in exhaustion, reach over and cuddle your dog. It will make you both feel better.
During the move, don’t change his routine too much. Keep to his feeding schedule as much as possible. If your dog is prone to car sickness, talk to your vet in advance about it. She might have suggestions to help or medications you can give him. Your dog might be in a crate or car for long periods of time on the trip. He needs to stretch his legs just like you do. Make sure you take him out for a potty break and give him exercise. Don’t forget: A tired dog is a well-behaved dog.
When you arrive, give the house a good cleaning before letting your dog roam free. The scents left behind by the previous owners can be confusing to him, so cleaning will reduce some of his stress if scents are removed as much as possible. It may be helpful to hire a maid to do the job before you start moving everything in so you can stay focused on your move — La Quinta families usually pay about $108 – $244 for maid services.
Once the place is fresh and clean, make sure to take some time to let your dog sniff around the house and yard. Introduce him to your new neighbors and return to his routine as soon as possible. Start him off in one room, then slowly allow him into the rest of the house. This gives him a little more time to adjust and prevents him from being overwhelmed.
Dogs adjust well to new living situations. As long as he’s got his family, he will be happy and secure in his new home.
Thanks Cindy for the great article on how to keep our furry friends happy, and Moving with a Dog Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful. If you are looking to make a move to the Palm Springs area, please contact me.