There is nothing quite as exciting as moving into a new house or apartment, getting to know a new neighborhood, and enjoying your new space. Of course, what you find exciting, your dog might find stressful. Dogs don't understand why humans make big changes to how things are done and it can leave them feeling confused, anxious, and even depressed. Luckily, there are things you can do to help make a move easier for your pooch.
Let Your Dog Get Used To the Moving Supplies
As you're handling the closing cost of your new home and gathering your packing supplies, let your dog spend a bit of time getting used to them. Leave your packing supplies in an out-of-the-way area in your home, such as a spare bedroom, and let your dog explore and sniff the moving supplies at his own leisure. Never leave him unsupervised, however, especially if he's the type to chew on things. You can also create positive reinforcement with the moving supplies by rewarding your dog with treats, pets, and praise any time he investigates the supplies on his own.
Do Your Best To Keep a Routine
Your dog thrives on having a routine. Moving is often a stressful time for everybody involved, but it will be beneficial to both you and your dog if you do your best to stick to his routine. Does he eat breakfast and dinner at a specific time each day? Be sure to stick to that routine. Do you take our dog on a walk at the same time each day or crate him overnight at a specific time? You might not realize it, but dogs can tell time. The closer you stick to his schedule, the more relaxed he will be during your transition to your new home. Avoid telling yourself you'll do something after you finish your current task, as even a small deviation of your pet's schedule can confuse him.
Prepare Your Dog For the Car Trip
Some dogs haven't spent much time in the car or simply don't do well in one. If your pup falls into one of these categories, it's important to get him used to the car before moving day. If you'll need to use a crate for the move, get him used to riding in it now. If he won't be crated during the drive, invest in a booster seat or seatbelt for him, depending on his size. Take your dog on short car trips to start helping him get used to the ride and give him lots of treats and positive attention when he does well. If your dog simply won't do well on the ride, even with practice, consider asking your veterinarian about calming medication for the day of the drive.
Pack a Special Bag For Your Dog
As mentioned, you'll want to keep to your dog's schedule as closely as possible, even on moving day. For this reason, it's important to pack a bag of essentials for your pup. It should include everything you'll need for your pet for the first few days of your move. In addition to dog food and bowls, you'll need treats, his leash and harness, and any medication that your dog takes daily. Don't forget to include some treats, toys, and any comfort items he has, such as a pillow or blanket.
Try To Keep Things Looking "Normal"
Yes, it's hard to keep things looking "normal" when you're packing or unpacking, but the better you can be at it, the less stressed out your dog will be. When you're packing, be sure to get rid of your trash or donation piles as often as possible and stack boxes up in out-of-the-way places to help your dog maintain a sense of calm. When you're unpacking, get rid of boxes and packing supplies as you're done with them and keep boxes well-organized until you unpack them. Keeping things organized not only helps your dog to adjust but prevents him from exploring things he shouldn't be in and getting hurt.
Your new home is sure to be a place where you make plenty of new memories with your family, including the furry members. By helping your dog to get used to the items you'll use for packing, keeping his favorite items close at hand during the move, maintaining organization, and keeping your pet as close to his normal schedule as possible, you will help to ease his anxiety about moving. In no time at all, you'll be walking through your new neighborhood and letting him take in all the new sights, sounds, and smells.