December 21, 2016

How to Prepare Your Dog for a Move

If you want to look back after a move with your dog and remember everything with a smile on your face, it’s best to take some preparatory steps. Dogs, like children (and some adults), often have a hard time adjusting to change. With a move, daily routines as well as physical and emotional experiences within the home, start changing well before moving day. To properly prepare your dog for a move, make a plan well ahead of time that takes into account the extra support your dog will need for a period of up to a month or so, and the ordeal should proceed from start to finish pretty smoothly.

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Prepare Your Dog for a Move

Leaving Your Old Home

It’s a good idea to get your dog used to staying for extended periods of time, and sleeping, in other places. Before your move, consider having your doggie stay at a friend or family member’s house a few times (with you there too, if desired). Your dog will begin to understand that safety and comfort is possible outside of the current home.

Showing Your House

Whether you’re selling your house or the home’s owner will be selling or renting to someone else, you might have to deal with strangers coming into your home to view it. With an influx of new people, your dog might become scared, aggressive, or otherwise agitated. Consider dog crate training starting a few weeks before any showing activity and then place your dog inside of the crate while potential buyers and renters look around.

Increased Walks

As you get close to moving day, your dog might need to spend more time than usual in a crate. You might have people viewing the home, boxes and furniture may need to be packed, and there could be contractors coming in frequently to do repairs. These disturbances may require extended periods of time for your doggie to be crated, for the safety of all involved. Because of potential limited mobility, take care to amp up walks throughout the rest of the day so that your pup can properly exercise and be entertained.

Doggie Needs Love

During a move, your dog’s space is likely going to be rearranged, boxed up, cleaned so that it has a different smell, and altered in other ways. Dogs get used to certain settings, smells, and situations, so any changes could create anxiety and fear. From the moment you begin adjusting your life to prepare for a move, it’s essential that you keep focus on your dog’s temperament and offer reassurances as needed that everything will be okay. If you’re rearranging furniture or packing, give frequent hugs to your dog or have friendly human-doggie conversations while you’re at it. Lead the change in your lives with love, and understand that any acting out from your dog may simply be distress.

Create a Plan

You should have a comprehensive plan for the days leading up to your move and for moving day. Your detailed list of things to do must include:

  1. Making sure someone can tend to your dog at all times
  2. Any medications needed are readily available
  3. Food and water will always be handy
  4. You have proper carriers and crates for traveling about
  5. You have access to an emergency vet in your new city
  6. You have checked that any plane rides or other transportation will be doggie-friendly.

A couple of other things to consider when you prepare your dog for a move include scheduling showings during walk times if possible and making some areas of your home are off limits so that they show well for potential buyers (I can guide you as you help your pup adjust.) It is also important to make sure to spend time in your new home before you move if you can. And looking for dog parks near your new house is a good idea as well.

If you’re looking for a private dog trainer to help get your dog through your upcoming move, call me or reach out to me via my contact page. I don’t follow a rigid regimen for training dogs; rather I give dogs’ human companions the tools they need to lovingly create pleasurable and successful encounters – whether that encounter is a move or another potentially sticky situation.

Dog Health, Tips for Dog Owners
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