How To Help Your Dog Adjust To A New Home
Summer is the most popular season for people to move, and an estimated
40 million people move each year in the United States alone. And when you're a dog owner, moving can add a whole new level of stress.
Even the most laid back dogs can feel a little anxious when their lives change so suddenly and drastically. And if you have a small pup who has suffered from IVDD or other health issues, he may be especially attached to the comforts of his home.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can to do ease your dog's anxiety and help him adjust to his new life quickly.
1. Make a game plan.
Every move is different. Whether yours is local or far away, permanent or temporary, selling a home or switching to a new rental, making a pet-friendly plan will help make things easier. Sit down with everyone in the family and discuss the details, including who will be with the dog.
2. Amp up the walks.
Your dog needs to know you're not neglecting him right now. Keep his schedule as consistent as possible, but do add in a few extra walks when you can. Depending on your move, your pooch could end up spending a lot of time in a crate in the car, so let him move while he can.
3. If you're selling your home and you'll be showing it, find a safe place for your pup during showings.
Having strangers looking around would be confusing to any dog. Try to schedule showings around his walk times, ask a friend to puppy sit, or at the very least, keep him confined in the yard.
4. Pack your dog's room last.
Leave your dog's bed, toys and food dishes out as long as you possibly can. If he has a favorite room to relax in, leave that intact as long as possible as well.
5. Keep calm.
Your dog will pick up on your stress levels. If your family is stressed, he will be stressed. Remember, moving is never easy, and frustrations are bound to happen. Try to keep it all in perspective and, if you must have a meltdown, do so away from the dog.
6. Set up your dog's area in the new home immediately and do not wash his blankets and bedding.
Make it clear that the new space is home now, and he will always have a place in it.
7. Minimize anxiety during the actual move.
You know your dog better than anyone else. Will he feel most comfortable being near you no matter what? Would he do best in a crate? Perhaps a family friend should watch him while movers are carrying the heavy things inside. The more secure your dog feels, the better - but do keep him safe during the actual moving process. Make sure he's not in anyone's way, and give him a safe space to run and hide where he can't run out the door or get lost.
8. Once things are unloaded, allow him to explore.
Allow your pup to take his time sniffing everything. Let him explore every room. If he hides, let him be alone for awhile (as long as he knows where the water and doggy door is).
9. Be patient and show your dog a lot of extra love.
Some temporary behavior, like whining or changes in potty habits, is to be expected. Dogs need time to adjust to a major life change just like humans do. Giving your pet some extra love and affection never hurts. If you have any major concerns, you can always address them with your vet or a specialist.
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