Moving day can be hard on all of us, particularly the furry members of our family who can’t be told or understand the reasons why you’re moving house. Here are a few tips to make the move easier for them.
- Find a sitter. Don’t try to make your dog cope with the bustle of the day. You will be in and out, doing last minute packing and there is a likelihood there will be lots of strangers or people they don’t see on a regular basis. This will cause lots of excitement, good or bad, where it will be more difficult to keep the situation under control. Sending them off to their Auntie or Grandpa’s will keep them out of your hair and entertainment
- Tire them out. Before it’s time for your dog to move into the new space, take them for a long walk or play a long round of fetch. Talk to your sitter about doing lots of games or a field trip with your dog. A sitter that also has a dog, who your dog already knows, is great. That way they’ll tire out after a long day of play.
- Save the best for last. Keep your dog and all of their belongings to the very end of the move. In order to keep your dog from stressing out too much, you want to create a familiar zone. Bring their crate, beds, blanket and toys just prior to bringing the dog into your new space, if there is an air of familiarity to it the dog will relax faster knowing where his bed and food bowls are.
- Visit. If you are able take your dog to the new house a few times before you make the move permanent. They will be less likely to get into trouble if they have already checked the place out and have been made to given the chance to make and learn from mistakes before you are busy moving things.
- Make It Count. If your move takes more than one night, make sure you only move your dog once and is sleeping in the same place. Don’t do one night at the old house then a night at the new house. I recommend waiting to move your dog last; keep them in the old home until everything is finished. If that’s not an option, move their stuff first, again make sure they know they have their bed and they’ll be eating there. Someone must stay in the new home with them from that point on regardless of how well the dog sleeps the first few nights
- Be prepared. Regression is going to happen, changing your living space is a big deal to a dog and they are bound to act out. Expect a little bit of distraction or a mess or two. For whatever the reason, last time we moved, Radar began stealing the loaves of bread. So, back into the crate she went. Prevention is always the best to deal with any unwanted behaviors. If you suspect your dog will be stressed out by your move, brush up on your crate training beforehand, that way when you go out to work or grocery shopping your dog’s not going to take the opportunity for a little revenge.
Moving is stressful, it is important to make the transition smooth for everyone.