3 Tips for Moving When You Have a Dog

By Guest-Blogger   Cindy Aldridge  of Our Dog Friends.org

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Image via Pixabay

Congratulations! You found the perfect home and you’re packing up and almost ready to go. But have you considered your dog? How’s she handling the news? Just like with humans, the stress of moving can put a lot of pressure on our four-legged friends. Dogs are sensitive and become anxious when they anticipate change approaching. They have found comfort in your existing home and associate it with safety, and a change in your situation disrupts their routine, causing anxiety and insecurity. This anxiety can manifest itself in many ways:

Reduced activity
Becoming clingy
Excessive licking, biting, or scratching
Tail tucking
Diarrhea or other digestive issues

While your dog may not show all of these signs, it’s likely to feel some measure of discomfort. The same way moving can be distressing for people, moving can be a rollercoaster of emotions for your dog. Take the following precautions to ensure that your move with your dog will happen as smoothly as possible.

Keep things as routine as possible.

Dogs, much like children, thrive when they have a routine. Being able to anticipate what comes next helps calm their fears and prevent them from worrying. While your move may throw a wrench in some of your day-to-day activities, it’s important to try to maintain their routine as much as possible. Take them on their regular walks even if you are exhausted from packing. Keep their bed with them in the car during the move, and do whatever you can to assure your dog that while the house is changing, very little else is.

Provide emotional support for your dog.

Sure, Fido can’t speak your human language, but she can still sense that something is different. Under the stress of the move, your dog can pick up on the subtle changes in your voice, the variances in your pheromones, and all the new smells coming in from movers, real estate agents, and possible occupants. If you fail to provide emotional support for your dog, all these changes are bound to cause anxiety, which may lead to your dog acting out around the house.

Instead of ignoring your dog during this transition, be sure to offer her emotional support and comfort. Your presence is their ultimate comfort. Talk to them in loving, reassuring tones. Give them their favorite treats or play their favorite game. It may seem silly, but taking the time to reduce your dog’s emotional distress can ease the moving process for both of you.

Plan for the Big Day.

When it’s finally time to get from Point A to Point B, your dog’s stress may be heightened.
There are several things you can do to reduce their stress. Whether you have a little or a lot to move, the presence of movers picking up and setting down furniture, boxes, and more will be loud. Dogs are especially sensitive to these kinds of noises. Many dog owners find that Thunder Jackets help alleviate the physical symptoms of stress caused by loud noises, while other pet owners have their veterinarians prescribe anti-anxiety medications.

In addition to preparing your dog, you should also prepare your movers. If your dog is wary of strangers, it’s best to have her stay with a friend or at doggy daycare while the movers are in the house. You can also put your dog in another room to reduce interaction. Talk to your movers about how to interact with your dog if she’ll be around They may have specific policies about what to do with canines when they’re working.

While moving to a new house is exciting, it also comes with a fair share of stress. Being as sensitive as they are, dogs tend to pick up on this stress from their owners. By maintaining a routine, reassuring your dog, and preparing for the big day, you can alleviate stress and make the entire process smoother so you can get to enjoying your new home as soon as possible.

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