Moving home with a dog can be stressful for everyone involved, but the good news is that most dogs are pretty resilient when it comes to upheavals. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure your canine pal is safe and comfortable during the move. Being prepared and thoughtful is key, and will help make them (and you!) less likely to suffer stress both during and after your move.
Preparing the move
The Kennel Club recommends scouting out walks in your new area in advance. If you’re moving nearby, you can walk your dog there in advance to show them it’s safe. It’s also a good way to meet potential new friends!
Next, make a checklist of important dog items. Their bed, blankets and toys should be left until last when you pack. Whatever you do, don't wash them (however much you may want to). This will remove all the comforting smells that help to reduce your dog’s anxiety after moving to an unfamiliar place.
As the move approaches, try to keep their routine as normal as possible to avoid stress. An ADAPTIL or AP (Appeasing Pheromone) plug-in device, which releases smells that relax dogs, can help calm your pet and provide some continuity before, during and after the move.
During the move
Safety is paramount when it comes to moving day. The best thing to do is have your dog stay with a friend or family member they know well while you do the moving. If this isn’t possible, keep them in a secure room with some toys and water. Make it somebody’s responsibility to check in regularly and, if possible, take them for a walk at their usual times.
In both your current and new homes, make sure doors, windows and fences are all secure to prevent your dog escaping, and try to keep your pet away from the removal men. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs, and you don’t want them dropping your best china or prized TV.
Returning to regular routine is your main goal when settling. You can speed the process by spreading your dog's scent profile. Try dabbing or rubbing a soft cotton cloth around their face and then dabbing it around rooms at dog height. They’ll soon feel at home.
Unlike cats, there’s no need to keep dogs cooped up for three days in a new home. In fact, this could make your dog stressed after moving. It is wise, however, to ensure they’re kept on a lead with a familiar, responsible person for the first few days.
For more information about moving home and how we can help, visit our HouseSimple.com blog.