Moving With your Dog
by Cindy Aldridge
Cindy Aldridge wants to acknowledge sources used in the writing of this article:
This Is What Dog Owners Need to Do to Make Moving Day Run Smoothly
Moving day is chaotic for anyone, but it especially is stressful and chaotic for dog owners who worry their dogs will bark, be anxious, or get loose during the hubbub. You could take your dog to a doggy daycare or send him with a friend for the day. If these options are unavailable to you, be proactive in preparing him for the move, notify your movers that your dog will be present, and keep him in a separate area on moving day.
1. Prepare Your Dog for the Move
You have been prepared for your move for some time. You found a new home and made sure it is a good fit for your entire family. You steered clear of deal breakers, such as water damage, mold, and bad school districts. And, you considered your dog’s needs, such as a large yard, a fenced-in yard, or proximity to a dog-friendly park.
You may be prepared for moving day, but is your dog? Your dog will sense your stress and excitement, so begin the process of moving to your new home well in advance. Put items that you use infrequently into boxes. He’ll get used to the cardboard and the extra activity in your home, which will make the chaos of moving day a little easier for him to handle. Plus, you’ll be packed a little early, which will help you and your dog remain calm.
2. Work with Your Veterinarian
Your current veterinarian is a helpful resource when it comes to preparing your dog for a move. She will have suggestions for keeping him calm and working on behavior modification techniques or using medication should he become extremely stressed. Your vet can also recommend a new veterinarian if you are moving out of her service area. And, she can microchip your dog to help you reunite with him should you become separated during or after the move. If you notice your dog has unusual itching or digestive issues after moving, he may be allergic to something in his new environment. A vet may recommend medication or even changing your pup’s diet.
3. Discuss Your Dog with Movers Ahead of Time
Some professional moving companies have policies about moving families with pets, and you want to be sure you are clear on them before moving day arrives. Alerting your moving help to the fact that you have a dog will ensure you follow the policies and keep you, your dog, and the movers protected.
If your movers don’t have a dog policy, establish ground rules with them for interacting with your dog. For example, if he is temperamental, tell everyone who will be in your home to avoid interacting with him.
If you put him in a crate or in another room, place signs on his separate area reminding people to avoid interacting with him. Close the door to the room in which your dog will stay and make sure he is comfortable with water, toys, and his bed or blanket. When the movers arrive, remind them of your dog and your expectations for their interactions with him.
4. Help Your Dog Feel Safe
Even if your dog is not temperamental, you should keep him confined to one area of your home or yard on moving day. You don’t want him to be in the way of the movers and get under their feet or in front of them when they are carrying heavy furniture, especially up and down stairs. Leave one of your worn t-shirts in your dog’s crate or room where he’ll stay during the commotion. This will reassure them you are close and may help quell anxiety.
You also don’t want him to have the opportunity to slip out the door because it will be open for longer periods during your move or because someone forgot to close it. Most dogs feel safest in their crates, so allow him to be in his if he is crate trained and enjoys being in it for periods of time
Not only that, keeping your pup in one spot will cut back on the dog hair you’ll need to clean up. When dogs are stressed, they shed. A vacuum specifically designed to pick up pet hair can make it quick and easy to leave your old place clean and keep your new place spic and span, too.
You have the power to make moving day run smoothly for your dog and yourself if you are proactive. Prepare him for the move ahead of time by packing early and helping him get used to the boxes and a busier home, work with a veterinarian, discuss your dog with movers ahead of time, and help him feel safe by keeping him in a confined, comfortable area during the peak of moving day.
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