For anyone who has ever endured it, moving house definitely has its stresses and your pet is no exception. A new house with new smells in a new place is enough to send even the most laid back dog into a spin, but how can we make moving easier on our pets?
One thing that will ease the stress of moving for your dog is if you can stay calm. Dogs are so in tune with their owner’s feelings they often pick up on our moods. So even if the removal truck hasn’t arrived yet if you’re antsy there is a high chance they are too. It’s moving day you still have the house to pack up, the boxes you ordered can’t hold two books without breaking and the removal van you hired has a flat tire. It happens to us all at that one moment you need everything to go to plan it’s the one time everything will fall apart. In these situations as hard is it may be you need to keep calm not only for your own sanity but your pet too. If you stay calm they will also feel calm. If your dog is comfortable at a friend or family members and has been there before letting your dog spend time away from the stress of moving can help. If you don’t have a suitable babysitter for your dog taking them for a long walk can relieve the stress of both you and them.
As you go about your day to day events you will have an established routine that you will go about without even realising. Even though your moving and keeping a routine is the last thing on your mind doing this will really help your dog feel more at ease. If possible try to still find the time to feed your pet and walk them at the same times. Dogs are real routine animals that feel most comfortable when the same events happen at the same sort of time each day. Keeping your pets in this habit before moving and then continuing it once you have moved will make the transition a lot more bearable for your pet. If you suddenly change the routine your pet could start to fret that something is wrong which can cause anxiety.
So now that the packing is complete and you are ready to start the task of un packing in your new home it’s time to take the journey with your pet. In advance you need to have organised transport for your pet if you are unable to transport them with you then you need to decide if a travel crate or other equipment are needed. If the journey is long make sure the route is planned out and you stop to offer your dog water and to stretch his legs and relieve himself if needed. Once you arrive at your new home allow your dog time to settle and become accustomed to the surroundings before moving them straight in. Put their bed and toys in a quiet corner so they can have the familiar scent of their old home. Settle back in the routine as much as you can so your dog starts to feel at ease. Reassure them as much as possible. Try not to leave your dog for too long on their own until they are fully settled as this can cause anxiety. Be aware that when some dogs become stressed from moving they can urinate to mark their territory and some will chew furniture or carpets. Keep an eye on your dog and their behaviour if you are worried about your dog chewing allow them to have a quiet corner and limit the furniture in that room =. Provide your dog with lots of things that it can chew such as bones and toys. Keeping items of familiar scent close to your dog can also deter marking their territory.
If you have moved your dog before and you are really concerned speak to your vet who may be able to discuss medical options to help ease the stress for your dog over this time. The pet market is full of items that claim to help reduce stress in your dog like anything the results vary from pet to pet but look at reviews and speak to other people who have had experience with these products, as some work for some dogs where as they don’t for others. There are certain anxiety drops and sprays and also diffusers that you start to use a few weeks before you move with your pet.
Remember that for you, settling in can take a huge amount of time. Even you will find you keep switching the wrong switch for the lights or opening the wrong cupboards adjusting to new surroundings doesn’t happen overnight. For your pet the change is so much bigger and so much scarier. Allow your pet time to settle and understand that they may become quiet or not act quite like themselves. Just follow your routine, give them space and offer reassurance to help them settle in. Allow everything to happen slowly and allow your dog time to adjust and take everything at his pace.If your dog becomes excessively subdued and doesn’t perk up after a few days speak to your vet or other professional to check your dog if needed. Moving is ranked one of the most stressful events in our lives so it’s no wonder that after that rollercoaster you and your pet might feel slightly out of sorts. The most important this is to stay relaxed and in your routine. Some dogs need space where as some like extra attention following your dogs lead is best and once you have all settled in you will be happy families again.