When you are preparing to move to your new home, do not forget that your dog will need you to help him prepare to move as well. For some dogs, the experience of moving can be quite stressful because of all the activity before, during and even after the move. His normal patterns and routines are interrupted and he cannot understand why. Therefore, in order to make the move easier for your dog, do some advance preparation and consider his needs when planning your move.
Tips for moving with a dog
- If you are moving across town and have access to your new home, take your dog to his new home several times before the actual move. Walk him around the yard, through the new house and spend time playing with him in his new surroundings. This will help him acclimate much quicker when you actually move.
- If you will be using an animal crate or carrier, place the open carrier out a couple of weeks before moving day to allow the dog to inspect the carrier. He may even begin to nap in the carrier once he realizes that it is not a punishment. Place several of his favorite toys around the carrier for the first week then move the toys inside the crate during the second week to encourage him to accept the crate.
- During the weeks prior to your move, try to keep your dog on his regular schedule. Even though you will be very busy packing and preparing to move, it is important that your dog stay on his normal routine. If you stray from the routine, your dog may begin to act out because he is sensing your stress level and relating this to the changes in his schedule. Keeping walking, feeding and play times as close to the normal schedule as possible before, during and after your move.
- On moving day, choose one room where you can place your dog with his carrier, toys, food and bed/blanket. Place a sign on the door stating to leave the door closed so that your dog does not accidently run out of the door while movers are entering and exiting. It is also not safe for him or the movers if he is under foot while heavy items are being carried out.
The key to keeping your dog calm during a move is preparation. It will be worth it when your dog is happily settled in your new home.