Moving and Your Dog
If your move takes you to another city or a great distance from your current residence, make sure you can find a vet in your new area and ask people for references. Make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and arrange to have your pet’s records transferred to the new location. You should also update your pet’s identification tags and microchips with your new address and phone number and be sure to find out where the emergency 24 hour vet hospital is located.
Leave your pet’s bed, toys and feeding bowls in place until the last minute to help your pet not feel that he is being abandoned. Try to keep your daily exercise and feeding routine as consistent as possible and spend as much quality time as you can with him, which will help reduce your dog’s stress when he sees items being packed away and moved around.
As soon as you have finalized the paper work for your upcoming move, be sure that you take the time to go to the new neighborhood with your furry four legged friend. And don’t go just once, but as much as you possibly can. You should walk around the new area many times, going by the new house, and walking all around the immediate area, so your pup becomes familiar with the new scents and surroundings. Try to meet people and other pets while walking around and find out where the local pet store is, nearby parks or other places you may want to visit with your pup once you’ve moved. When meeting people with dogs, you can also inquire about places in the area where they would recommend for dog walking, daycare or boarding. Word of mouth is often the best when it comes to finding someone to care for your pet when needed.
When it gets closer to your move-in date and you go for another look and inspection of the new home, be sure to take your pup with you. You may not be allowed to take him into the house, but you can walk him around the entire yard to sniff and mark areas. This will also give you an opportunity to inspect the yard for any possible escape areas such as holes or large spaces under fences or broken or missing gates. This way, when you do move, your pup will feel more comfortable and will be somewhat familiar with his new surroundings and will not be overwhelmed when moving in.
On moving day, you would be wise to leave your pup with a family member or close friend so he is not in the way of movers and won’t have an opportunity to escape through an open door. At the end of the day when you go and pick up your pup to bring him to his new home, take your dog into the house with you and slowly introduce him to each room and show him where his food and water bowls are located, his bed and toys, and show him the way out to the yard so he doesn’t have an accident trying to find the door. If your pet is used to having a doggy door, make sure you have one installed as soon as you can to keep his routine consistent.
If you let your dog out in the yard, stay with him for the first few days until he is comfortable in his new environment. If your dog does escape, he will probably be disoriented in the new area, so be careful.
If you take the time to introduce your furry friend to the new area well before moving day, you should find that your pup will be more relaxed and will not exhibit any unwanted behaviour such as excessive barking or showing dominance to other neighbours or pets.
Moving day is stressful and very tiring and you will probably just want to go out to eat at the end of the day. Plan ahead and bring food with you or arrange for delivery so you don’t leave your dog home alone in a strange place. This will only add to his stress and he may feel lost and abandoned.
So start planning and packing and have a safe and stress free move.