Moving is never easy. It’s usually time-consuming, requires serious planning, and investing part is never something that should be taken easily.
This kind of issue doubles up when you have pets, especially dogs.
Dogs may be huge people lovers and crowd-pleasers, but they are after all creatures of habit. What does it mean? This means that no matter how much they might love you, some of them can still see moving as a stressful moment.
Keeping your dog stress-free throughout the moving process should be your number one goal. This may be easier said than done, but when you have the right guidelines, there are no obstacles.
Keep on reading to discover how moving with your dog can, in fact, be a fun and easy process.
Moving with Dogs: Is It Really That Hard?
Moving is tough.
The planning, the packing, the heavy lifting, the cleaning, then cleaning again, settling, cleaning again, repackaging… To settle in, you will have to repeat the same moves over and over again.
Moving is stressful and usually comes with many surprises, especially when you are moving with your dog.
If you hate moving the chances are that your dog will hate it as well.
Moving to a new home can be stressful to you Fido, no matter how outgoing he might be.
You must prepare your dog for the moving process, and to make the home transition as smooth as possible.
Luckily, we have got you covered. Keep on reading, because these tips are specially designed to help you make the transition to your new home smooth and enjoyable, for both you and your Fido.
How To Make Moving With Dogs Easy And Fast
Are you excited about moving to a new home? To a bigger house? Or to a different state? Did you finally get that dream job? Your dog will finally get to wake up next to the ocean every day?
No matter how thrilling the reason for moving might be, your dog can still see moving as a big deal and stressful time.
You may have the best plan possible, have your checklist in order, and have the best supplies around the home – boxes, tape, and bubble wrap, and your dog may still feel confused.
Dogs don’t know what you are doing, nor do they understand what is happening. It is up to you to make your dog feel comfortable. Here is how.
Preparation Comes First
Preparation is a mandatory step. In fact, preparation is what makes moving an easy and fast process. Yes, this is easier said than done, but preparation will keep both you and your dog calm.
Should you talk to your dog, explain to him what is the next step, and why you are moving? Simply said, no.
We all know that dogs can understand some basic words, which is why they can master commands.
We all know that dogs mostly rely on body language when it comes to human-dog communication. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use your voice while you are moving around, packing, and so on.
Use a calm and baby voice that dogs love so much and trust, to show your dog that nothing too stressful is happening. This tone should help you set a positive mood.
Has your Fido ever stepped inside an airplane before? Think about it, and prepare him for the flight.
How you can do that? Start simple – take him through a car wash, which will stimulate the sounds and motion of flight.
While there, talk to your dog in a calm voice, and don’t forget to reward a nice behavior afterward. A nice treat can always help.
Preparation Cheat Sheet
Below you will find a list of simple steps that you should perform to keep your dog calm. These steps should help you prepare for moving in a smooth and stress-free way.
- Think about the food. Just before your trip avoid serving heavy food in large portions. It would be best if you could cut the portions by one-third. This should make bouncing and rocking in the car or the airplane easier.
- Is your Fido microchipped? You don’t want your dog to get lost. Make sure that your Fido is microchipped and that he has an ID tag on him. Make sure that you include your phone number and new address on it.
- Are you moving internationally or to another state? Double-check what does the law says about mandatory vaccination, paperwork, mandatory tests, and if there are any inspections.
- Use boxes. Start placing boxes around your home, days before your trip. This way your Fido will get to explore new items and get comfortable with them.
- Are you using a carrier for transportation? If so, bring it in before the move day. Place inside a favorite blanket or a nice treat to make it a more positive experience.
Last but not least, make sure that you have your dog’s health records are in order.
You will need at least copies so you can hand them over to your new veterinarian. If a state requires it, you will have to provide a health certificate as well.
Keep Your Dog’s Regular Routine
When moving starts it can be tricky to keep your dog’s routine. Truth is that when as moving day gets closer, your schedule will suffer. This means that your routine may get messy.
As result, keeping your dog’s routine in order can be tricky as well. This is why you should try your best to provide the usual daily walks, potty breaks, and visits to the dog park as usual.
Consistency will help your dog feel relaxed and safe.
Dogs are usually happy as long as their routine and their surrounding is pretty much the same. This is why they often have difficulties adjusting to new surroundings.
When introduced to a new place and surroundings. This is why you should also work on your dog while preparing for the move.
While You Pack
Moving is hectic, but you should still aim to find enough time for your dog. Take your dog out for regular walks, playtime, and exercise.
If you need support, think about asking your friend to walk your dog, or hire a dog walker.
As for the actual packing, you should keep your dog away. Is there another family member around? Make plans, and share dog responsibility.
What to Do on Moving Day
Moving day is messy, especially if your dog is confused about what is happening.
No one likes it when a stranger messes with their things, especially dogs. They are in general territorial beings and messing with their items can be harmful and taken personally.
If your dog chooses to bark at movers or try to attack them for touching the furniture, think about placing him in another room.
Make sure that you bring him his favorite toy. If possible, have a friend or dog walker take him out while the movers are out. This way you will minimize the stress on your dog.
When the time finally comes to leave your home, make sure that you pack your dog last.
This is especially important if you are moving during the summertime – you don’t want your dog to overheat.
Prepare For The Worst
Moving with your dog may be stressful and may require a certain level of organizational skills, but you should always plan ahead. This means that you are ready for the worst and that you are ready for unplanned.
This also means that you have all the medical records on you, microchip numbers, and up-to-date photos of your dog – all in all, these steps will be a good preparation in case you and your dog get separated.
Introducing Dog To His New Home
Once you move in, you are ready to start a second phase – adjusting your go-to to his new home. The best way to do this is to stick to old routines. This may be easier said than done but in reality, it’s not as complicated as it may sound.
Once you move, you are the one who needs to adjust to a new neighborhood, discover where the dog parks are, and how to get from your home to your work in the best way possible.
How can you keep your dog’s routine while you are the one adjusting as well? All that you have to do is to maintain the same general routine as before.
In practice, this means that if your dog is used to getting outside early in the morning and having his meal served in the evening, you should stick too early morning walks and dinner meals.
Do your best to follow the pattern in the new place. Seems impossible or overwhelming?
Ask colleagues or check online recommendations for safe dog walkers nearby. This can be a great way to keep as much of the old routine as possible.
Exploring the New Home
It’s expected to assume that you Fido will start exploring his new home from day one.
Before you support a dog’s curiosity and show him around, make sure that there are no health hazards – make sure that health products are kept away, that there is no trace of rat poison, or that there is no crooked place in the walls or in cabinets where he can hide easily.
It’s always much safer to keep him in the crate until you’re 100% sure that the area is safe.
Once you determine that there are no hazards around, open the crate and let him explore.
If you have a fence, pet-proof your new home. If needed use gates for some period, or until your dog adjusts to his new place.
Have Walks On a Leash
You have probably heard of that saying – dogs always find their home, right?
This is true as long as they know where the home is. They also need some time to learn the way around the home and how to be outside their new home. This is why you should always keep your Fido on a leash when outside.
Once you are sure that dog parks are safe you can let him off for a good run.
It cannot harm to keep your dog on a leash the first day when inside. This way you can be sure that his exploring missions are safe and your dog protected. Again, once you are sure that the house is safe, let him roam freely.
Keep It Fun
Yes, moving is stressful and time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be boring. That being said, provide proper toys, use food-dispensing toys, hide food around the house, and use puzzle toys to keep his mind busy.
Be Patient And Understanding
As a whole, the moving process is stressful and tends to awake anxiety, but it’s crucial to stay calm.
Dogs need time to understand the new environment. If you notice any changes in the dog’s behavior make sure that monitor him carefully and react if it becomes too strange.
If your dog starts following you more than usual, let him – this is him fighting against separation anxiety.
Do not let it last for too long, because separation anxiety can lead to numerous problems later on.
You may also hear your dog barking more often than usual, or hear him growling. This is something to expect because your dog is yet to get familiar with the new place, new people, and overall new surroundings.
If you feel like you need extra help with adjustment, think about hiring a professional dog trainer. Make sure that training methods are strongly based on positive reinforcement methods.
Another option is to hire a canine behavior specialist who has experience helping dogs adjust to their new surrounding easily.
All in all, do your best to stick to routine, provide reward-based moments, and spend as much time as possible with your dog before and after moving.