Guest post by Cindy Aldridge of www.ourdogfriends.org
While house hunting can be stressful, finding the perfect home for your family is a reason to celebrate. If you have a dog, though, this is just the beginning of the stress for him. To make sure that a transition is as easy as possible for the entire family, here are a few things you can do to help lessen your dog’s anxiety when it’s time for a big move.
Packing Up Your Current Home
Packing up your current home is one of the most hectic phases of the moving process. In the flurry of activity, make sure you pack up your dog’s things last. You don’t want your dog to start feeling insecure when his feeding dish and bed are not kept in the same place. You want him to feel safe among all of the chaos around the home. Leave all of his items in familiar places until the last minute. Keep in mind that moving can be especially hard if you have a rescue dog. Remember, he may have lost his last owner after seeing his things packed so offer him a little extra attention so he knows there’s nothing to worry about.
Consider Boarding on Moving Day
While it may not seem ideal, one of the best things you can do is board your dog on moving day. With movers, there will be unfamiliar people in the home most of the day and doors are almost always left open while trucks are being loaded and unloaded. Your dog doesn’t know who these people are and he could become excited or unsettled with all of this activity. Keeping him in a kennel ensures his safety and helps your move go faster.
Acclimating Your Dog to the New Home
Once you’re all moved into your new home, take the time to walk through the house with your dog. Put his favorite items in the area designated as his, make sure he knows where his food bowl is, and stick to the regular routine. Also, be sure to take him out for his walks at the same time and keep the scheduled feeding times the same. By sticking with routine and offering familiarity, you can help your dog feel more at ease.
If you can, take a couple of days off to ensure that your dog is properly acclimated to his new surroundings before you leave him home alone for an extended period. You want to make sure he feels safe and secure in his new home. He may need more attention for a few days to help him get rid of any anxiety; remember this is just as stressful for him as it is for you. You also want to be patient with him, especially if there are areas of the house you want him to avoid. Taking the extra time can make for a much smoother move for the furry love of your life.