Moving: An Informative Guide for Pet Parents

Author: Cindy Aldridge

Moving is an emotional time for your entire family. It is especially so for your dog, who likely doesn’t understand why his entire world is changing. Whether you’ve moved before or are tackling the task for the very first time, the following advice can help you handle everything from finding the perfect home for your barking buddy to easing anxieties when moving day arrives.

 So It Begins

The first step in the moving process is looking for a home that will fit your entire family, your four-legged friend included. Start by narrowing down what it is you need. Ask yourself questions about your dog’s habits and personality. Does he prefer to be indoors or out? Does he bark constantly or remain mellow during unexpected activity? Pay attention to your dog’s day to get a better idea of the type of house he’ll be most comfortable in. Some do fine in a condo, whereas others need room to roam and a fence to keep them from exploring too far away.

You also need to consider your family’s lifestyle. Ryan Vasso of Pets Best explains that location is an important factor. If you often go for walks with your dog, for example, you’ll want to be as close as possible to walking trails and dog parks so that you can continue with your fitness routine together. And speaking of routines, keeping your dog on their usual schedule throughout the moving process is essential to help quell anxiety- and excitability-related behavioral issues.

No matter how close to normal you keep things, keep in mind that your dog will suspect something is amiss, and he will experience stress accordingly. This can result in behavioral changes before, during, and after the move. You can counter some of this by using a training collar to keep your dog on track when he acts out. Make sure, however, to do your research so you can determine which type of collar best fits your dog’s personality. There are many different styles and options. Some utilize odor to correct a dog’s behavior, while others emit a small shock or vibration to refocus their attention. Find one that you think your dog will respond best to.

Other ways to calm your canine include giving them lots of exercise, providing reassurance in the form of positive physical contact, and being patient as they learn to adjust to what, in their mind, was an unexpected upheaval. You will definitely need to exercise patience if your dog has an accident on the carpet, which is normal in stressful situations. It can happen more than once and in both the previous home and the new one. You can look up effective stain removal solutions or hire a carpet cleaning service if DIY doesn’t work. The average cost of bringing in a professional in Washington, D.C., is $141-$312.

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 Issues Specific to Moving Day

 You will spend plenty of time keeping your dog calm throughout the moving process. However, once the day arrives, there are other issues that need your direct attention. Behavior remains a concern but practical matters, such as transporting your dog from your current home to your new location, can’t be ignored.

 Atlas suggests double checking state regulations, particularly if you’ll be moving across state lines. You may be required to obtain a certificate of health or permit for your pup. If your dog will ride with you, make sure they have a harness, food, water, leash and collar, and toys for the trip. When your relocation is cross country, talk to your veterinarian about anxiety medication for your dog – this can be especially helpful if the move takes place by plane.

 When the movers arrive, you’ll need to take steps to keep your dog safe. Preferably, they will be in a crate in a back bedroom away from the majority of noise and commotion. This is one of the only ways to ensure they won’t take advantage of a chance to dash out the door. Keeping your dog separated from those loading your moving truck will also ensure they don’t bark, growl, or bite those who are there to help you load up your belongings.

 It’s hard work that requires patience and persistence, but moving with your dog means you can enjoy your new life together.

Kenneth Huebsch