Moving House with a Dog
So you’re about to move house and you’re concerned about your furry friends. Moving house can be stressful for everyone involved, including your dog.
Not only can the upheaval during the move inspire more than a little neurosis in them, but the new home will take a few weeks of getting used to as a new territory. Although there are many things to consider when preparing for a move, you can take several steps that’ll make moving to a new house with your dog a little bit easier for you both.
Before the Move
While you’re packing all of your belongings into boxes, the upheaval can see your dog becoming more and more distressed. Confine your dog to a quiet room with their favourite toy and very own bed, so that they can rest and be safe amidst their familiar belongings. Pack your dog’s belongings at the very last moment, so that they can serve as a source of comfort for your pet.
If you have a friend or family member that your dog knows, ask if they will keep your dog on the day of the move. Strangers coming in and out of the home to remove the boxes can be a distressing sight, and your pet will be safe from the event that a gate might be left open, through which he could escape. If you don’t have anyone that your dog can stay with, have a tag made with your name, phone number and new address, so that if he does escape during the move (or immediately after) there will be more chance of your pet being returned safely to you.
If you’re planning on travelling a long distance to your new home, talk to your vet about how you can make the travelling more comfortable for your dog. You can also obtain a DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) for use before, during and after your move, that’ll calm the amount of distress that you dog may experience.
On the Day of the Move
If your dog is unable to go to a friend on the day of the move, confine him to a secure room with his bed and possessions. Put his new tag on and comfort him throughout the day. Once everything is packed up, walk your dog to the car in which he is to be taken to your new home. If it’s a long journey, regular breaks for toilet and water are recommended.
In the New Home
When you arrive at your new home, check the boundary fencing of the new home to make sure it’s secure. Try to organise that the movers unpack some of the bigger furniture items, so that there are familiar objects to welcome your dog into his new surroundings. Be sure not to wash your dog’s beddings until a couple of weeks later so that your dog will have something familiar smelling in a new home filled with strange smells.
The first few weeks in the new house may mean you’ll have to allow for ‘accidents’ on the carpet. Don’t punish your dog or draw attention to it. Simply pick up the mess and clean with a white vinegar solution (mixed with water) to remove the smell. As you did when you first potty trained your pet, praise him when he goes to the toilet in the correct place so that he learns where it’s acceptable to go in his new home. Stick to the usual routines you had before: feed your dog at the same time, walk him too and give him the same amount of attention you did before the move. Too much coddling could result in your dog becoming overly dependent on your which will lead to behaviour problems. As long as you behave as if everything is the same, your dog should feed off this and become self secure once more.