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We all go through a number of life milestones at different stages, although everyone’s are different; these might include things like leaving home for the first time, moving in with a partner, having kids, and other things like learning to drive, graduating from university, perhaps going through a divorce, buying a home, getting a new pet; it is quite different for everyone!
Some people will go through all of these milestones and more while others will only face a few; and such things can be all-consuming while they’re going on, and have a huge impact on our lives at the time and potentially, further down the road too.
Many of those big life events and milestones also affect your dog as well as yourself, and it is important to bear this in mind. Some dogs will take such things in their stride, whilst others might find them exciting or anxiety-inducing, depending on both dog and owner; but knowing that these things are big things for dogs too can help you to ensure that your dog has an easier time of it.
With this in mind, this article will outline five big events that may happen in your own life that also have an impact on your dog, and why.
Moving to a new house is widely said to be one of the most stressful life events of all, and for good reason! There are a lot of variables involved in moving home, particularly if buying rather than renting, as well as the logistical side of things and the potential worry and disruption.
Whilst you might think the stress and worry falls solely on your shoulders as the person having to make the plans and do the hard work, moving home is a huge upheaval for your dog too, and everything about moving will affect them.
Leading up to the move itself, your own mood, distraction and stress levels can have an impact on your dog, as too can the process of packing things up and having people potentially enter the house to view it, and removals workers shifting things around.
Moving day itself is a big deal, and then your dog has to contend with not just a brand-new home but a brand new area too!
Moving yourself and your dog in with a partner or having a partner move in with you and your dog is a steep learning curve for all involved, however well you all knew each other before.
This means a change in your dog’s routine at the very minimum, and may mean many far more acute changes too, such as changes to the rules (perhaps the dog isn’t allowed onto the couch anymore, or the two parties have different approaches to managing the dog), all of which can be confusing.
Ultimately, having a partner in your dog’s life as a permanent fixture means twice the love, and two pack leaders; which is a big change for any dog, however you view it.
Someone leaving the family, such as a partner after a breakup or even simply a child leaving home to make their own way in the world or head off to university can cause a lot of upheaval in your dog’s life. This is apt to be more acute if they were very bonded to the person in question, but even if this was not the case, a change in the make-up of the family means a change in routine once more, and many other things too.
It might mean a house move as well of course, and a number of knock-on effects all of which can be confusing for your dog until a new form of normal begins to establish itself instead.
Having a child is a huge deal for everyone, however you look at things! If this is your first child, the impact on your dog is likely to be enormous, and this is a situation that needs to be handled with great care for a huge number of reasons.
The dog will not get as much attention as before and their interactions and relationship with the baby or child is something that needs to be managed and watched very carefully, before you even factor in the routine change, noise, upheaval and other challenges, plus the distraction and tiredness of the parents!
Finally, having major renovations or home improvements carried out is something that most of us find quite stressful and inconvenient even if it is something we really want sorted out, but we also commonly tend to overlook the potential impact that this can have on dogs!
Changes to the physical makeup or layout of the house, noise and upheaval and particularly, strangers coming and going to carry out the work might confuse or even scare your dog, or make them defensive and territorial.
This is something to monitor carefully and keep an eye on, to keep your dog happy and feeling secure and to protect both your dog and any workers in the home too.
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