Moving with your dog can add an extra layer of challenge to an already stressful process. Figuring out timing and then somehow pulling off the logistics of a move with your dog is already complicated. On top of this, you’ll need to manage your dog’s stress while you pack—dogs will know change is afoot even before you move—and plan to help them adjust to your new home and neighbourhood after you move.
Dogs are naturally creatures of routine and need stability to feel safe. A change in environment can cause them understandable distress. Unfortunately, we can’t verbally explain to them what’s going on, but we can take steps to reduce their anxiety before, during, and after the move. Let’s look at some of these critical steps to help keep your ‘best friend’ feeling safe and secure when you move.
Stick to Your Dog’s Routine
You’ve likely established a pretty regular daily routine with your dog on which they’ve come to rely. They eat breakfast, go for a walk, take a nap, and eat dinner all around the same time each and every day. While, of course, there will be changes to this schedule now and then, these daily habits are how your dog confidently navigates their days. While you’re preparing to move, and especially once you get there, it will be crucial to stick to this routine to help your dog adjust.
Keep Them (and You) Well Exercised
Preparing to move can take up a lot of your time and energy, but it’s especially important to continue to provide your dog with ways for them to release energy. We all know that too much built-up energy can lead to increased stress levels, so regular exercise is vital to help keep you and your dog be calm and less anxious. Regular exercise will be equally important once you move, and with new neighbourhoods and parks to explore, even lengthening this play-time can be beneficial to both of you. In addition, the more energy your dog can let out, the quicker it will settle into your new home. Within reason, a tired dog is a happy dog.
Set Up Your Dog’s Nook Before They Arrive
Once you’ve made the move to your new home, you’ll need to find your dog’s food, bowl, bed, and favourite toys, quickly. Ideally, you’ve been able to arrange to arrive before them so you can set up their nook with familiar objects. By providing comforting smells and personal items, your prep can go a long way to helping them feel safe and at home. Of course, this nook can be temporary while you sort out your furniture and unpack boxes. But even a temporary space will significantly help ease your dog’s stress and promote their comfort.
Give Them Extra Attention & Remain Calm!
While you may feel stretched to the limit while preparing to move and then managing the move itself, remember that your dog will likely need some extra attention to help them settle. They may act needy during this time, so if you can pour on your love and affection and use encouraging words more frequently than usual, you will help them feel safe. When they misbehave, find some extra patience so you can remain calm—an angry or loud tone will set them back to feeling insecure. Be prepared for your dog to need a few weeks before they feel comfortable and stop acting anxious. Give them extra love and remember to be patient—a few extra treats won’t hurt either.
To help you plan your next move, get in touch with a knowledgeable and reputable real estate agent today.
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