Today’s guest writer is Ali McEvoy, a passionate creative writer, an enthusiastic dog lover and contributing writer at iPupster.com.
Ali is discussing the challenges every dog parent faces when moving homes. I’m sure many of you can relate!
The old business adage of “failing to plan is planning to fail” can be applied to every situation in life including pet parents that are relocating homes.
The last thing you want is to have your dog wander off and get lost in the new surroundings. To save you and your pup from going through this terrifying experience we’ve put together our top dog-friendly relocation tips to help make the transition smoother for both you and Fido.
Just like us humans, moving houses, apartments or even cities can be very difficult for many dogs. Older dogs especially tend to have more difficulty with adjusting to different environments but puppies can also experience anxiety around the time of the move.
In order to help your dog prepare for the move there are a few basic strategies that you can use to successfully relocate your pup with minimum stress.
The following techniques can be used for dogs or puppies, regardless of their age.
Before Relocating and on Moving Day
If possible take the dog or puppy to the new residence a few times prior to the move. Let them sniff around in the yard or in the house or apartment.
If there have been previous pets in the house, be sure to completely and thoroughly clean the carpet, walls and any furniture that may remain. Even though humans may not be able to detect the odor of any urine or other odors from the previous pets, your dog will. This can lead to problematic behaviors such as “marking” which will make the move unpleasant both for yourself and very stressful for your dog. With no prior dog odors your dog is much less likely to use these behaviors to designate this new territory as his own. Some females, especially those that are not spayed, may also engage in this behavior.
To help minimize the stress induced by the move on both you and your dog, consider leaving him in a boarding kennel or a doggy day center for the duration of the move. Watching people moving and packing can easily cause unnecessary stress in your dog.
If your dog or puppy is crate trained be sure the crate is with you as soon as he arrives. The crate will provide a safe haven for your pup as well as help you manage him when the movers are coming in and out of the house.
If you are travelling with a senior dog, a long trip may pose stressful for him so talk to your veterinarian about which travel method is safest for him. If travelling by car in a crate, make sure he is comfortable and secure and take regular stops and exercise him.
Bring a few of Fido’s favorite toys or bedding items that he has used or played with on the journey to your new home, this will help him relax.
Have toys in the house or apartment when he arrives along with his favorite healthy dog treats. This will help him feel part of the environment, even when you are there for a visit.
Keep routines as regular and on schedule as possible during the move and afterwards. Walk your dog at the same time, even if you are busy trying to get relocated. The more consistent the routine is with what the dog was used to, the less stressful and anxious he will be.
Plan to spend a few days with your pup before leaving them alone, especially for long periods of time. This will be especially true if your dog already had some anxiety or problems when left alone.
When walking your dog use on an extendable lead so he has enough freedom to roam around and familiarize with the different scents and surroundings until such time that he gets comfortable and adapts without any problems.
Ensure your pup keeps on his collar and tag at all times with the name and contact information up to date and if not already microchipped, arrange with your vet and discuss this option. If your dog is microchipped then call the registry and update your contact information with them.
Be sure to check the fenced yard for any possible escape routes. Look for loose boards in a privacy fence, areas that the dog could dig under on chain fences, or even low spots the dog could jump over. By securing the yard, providing toys and lots of interaction with the family at this time your dog will adjust to the new home positively and without problems.
Finally it can take dogs from a few days to even weeks before they get fully adjusted and confident with their new surroundings. So be patient.
Ali is a passionate creative writer, an enthusiastic dog lover and contributing writer at iPupster.com