Moving House With a Dog
Many people don't realize just how stressful a move can be on their dog. If you think about how your nerves are from the time you are looking for a house to packing, to finishing the last load and unpacking, your dog will feel the same way. Not only are the physical attributes of the move difficult, they feed off your emotions. So, if you are on edge, they feel that something is wrong, and may view the move as a negative event.
Here's a quick guide on moving house with a dog.
If you have a spare room or garage where you can store boxes, this is ideal. Most people pack over an extended period of time, which means that their dog has to watch boxes piling up here and there and everywhere! Some dogs couldn't care less, but most are very sensitive to their surroundings. Have you ever moved the furniture around and watched your dog look around with a confused look when they come in the room? Well, this increased anxiety might be what they go through with every new box.
Before the Move
Some dogs run the risk of running away during a move, especially when they arrive at their new home. Some are scared because their surroundings are different while others are simply excited to go out and explore every new scent. Unfortunately, they won't know their way back home yet! It is important to change their dog tag and identification on the day you move. If your dog is micro-chipped, get online and change the address, especially if you are moving a considerable distance away. Some have every intention of taking care of it later, but this is often too late.
Before you take your dogs to the new home, inspect every inch of the garden and house. Make sure that there are no gaps in the fence, places your dog could escape, or objects they could get injured on. Sometimes you will find screws, glass, old fireworks in the weeds, and other hazards that could be of danger to your dog.
If you are moving nearby, it's not a bad idea to take your dog for a car ride to the new house, and let them sniff around. This way, it will be a familiar place when you arrive.
During the Move
If this is a long distance move for you, even a dog that loves car rides could grow restless. Take the time to squeeze in a walk before you leave, and take plenty of stops at rest areas. If you are staying at a hotel along the way, make sure it accepts dogs.
As mentioned earlier, changes can be very stressful on some dogs. If they don't have to see all the belongings being loaded up, this is ideal. If you have a friend that can look after your dog for a while, take him (or her) over there. Just be sure that the movers don't pack your dog's bed and favorite toys, you will want to keep them close by.
If your dog has already been introduced to the new home, you are a step ahead. Otherwise, they will need time to sniff around and adjust again. Remember that a lot of boxes and changes will raise anxiety levels. If boxes can be put in a spare room, this is perfect. Then you can just bring out one at a time.
Don't be alarmed if your dog doesn't eat for a day, sometimes appetite is lost due to excitement of moving house. Some dogs may have an upset stomach because of nerves; in this case, plain white rice can often help. The most important thing is to monitor the water intake to make sure they don't get dehydrated. You will find that if you plan your move properly, your dog will adapt rather quickly.
Most importantly, when moving house with a dog, make sure it's as stress free as possible for your canine friend. Give them plenty of attention and keep their familiar belongings, bed and toys close by.