Moving can be a stressful occasion for humans. Now imagine you're a dog and have no idea why your humans are suddenly acting strange and bringing all the boxes they usually remove back into the house. Suddenly, their home is empty, they are put into a car, and they arrive to a completely new environment. It's easy to see how a move could stress a beloved pet out, and as they get more stressed so, too, will you and the cycle continues until you're both pulling your hair out.
Here's 5 ways to ease the transition for both you and Fido.
1: Get them used to the idea.
Dogs are creatures of habit and you've no doubt already noticed that any change to a routine can throw your dog into a frenzy of bad behaviour and anxious activity. You can get your pet acclimated to the move well before moving day by gradually introducing items you will need ahead of time. Bring in moving boxes slowly and pre-tape the bottoms. You'll save yourself some stress by preparing early, and your dog can get used to the sights and smells of moving. If he or she is especially nervous, give them a treat every time you tape up a new box.
2: Stick to the routine.
Moving is a busy time. There are deadlines to meet and utilities to arrange and if you're moving far away, perhaps even friends and family to say goodbye to. But just because your routine is ruined, doesn’t mean your dog’s has to be, too. Try and keep your pet's routine as close to usual as possible. Their environment is already changing and keeping up with a feeding, play, and exercise schedule is important to keep your pet from falling into anxious behavior. Keeping your pet feeling as comfortable as your can will save the entire family a lot of stress.
3: Save the best for last.
In your pet's eyes anyway. A sure fire way to annoy Fido is to take away all of his stuff. You've probably already thrown out old and disused toys and other items while in the process of decluttering to sell. It's safe to assume he's having a hard time. Leave his crate, bowl, bed, and any special toys he loves until last. It won't hurt to sneak a few extra treats his way either.
4: Phone a friend.
Moving day is going to be a blur. No amount if planning will stop the rushing and stress of moving into a new home. Last-minute tasks will pop up and people won't be paying any attention to what your pet is up to. You don't want your dog to become aggressive toward the movers, be constantly underfoot, or to make a last minute escape. Give your good boy or girl a day off. If you can't deploy someone in your family to go to the new place and stay with your dog all day then let him have a play date at a trusted family or friends house. It will save you the stress of worrying and your dog will probably love a day of spoiling and affection.
5: Chill out!
Your dog can sense when you're worried and will take their cues from you. If you're calm, cool, and collected, chances are your pet will be too. You might be about to lose your mind from all the stressors of moving, but don't let Rover know. Let him know that everything is fine and you're in control. Fake it 'til you make it and everyone will have a better moving day.
Finally, if you're moving further afield... did you remember to find a new vet?