Moving to a new Waterloo Region home, as exciting as that is, also ranks right up there among life’s most stressful events. So if you feel that way, imagine how your dog will feel.
New rooms, unfamiliar smells everywhere, a (strange) new yard and a neighbourhood of new people and new dogs can all be very exciting for them too, but also overwhelming and maybe even downright scary.
While you have the option of chilling out with a glass of wine or venting to family and friends about your stress, Fido doesn’t have those options. So he’ll need your help. With this in mind here are some top tips for introducing your pup to a new Waterloo Region home:
Keep Things Calm
As far as possible keep your pup away from all the packing action in the weeks before you move. Pet parents are all aware of the fact that their furkids pick up easily on upheaval and disruption and become upset quite quickly.
Get a New Vet – And New Collar Tags – Before You Move
If you will be moving too far away from your current vet to realistically keep using her it’s essential that you find a new one before you move. Your current vet may have recommendations. Or, if you’re moving from another city to work in the Waterloo Region check with your new coworkers or even HR, as many companies keep all kinds of information on file to help newly relocating employees, including things like local vets.
You could also ask your real estate agent. Even if they don’t have pets themselves a good Waterloo Region real estate agent is active in their community and are sure to know several vets they can recommend.
Before you move you should also get your pup a new set of collar tags with their new address on, and is they are chipped make sure you update address information attached to that too. Unfortunately the first few days after a move is when many pups go missing, so making sure that if the worst happens, and he wanders, it will be easy for someone to get him back to you.
Check Your New Place For Pet Hazards
Before you move in, carefully scan your new Waterloo Region home for potential pet hazards. Get small and tall. Stoop down to your dog’s level to look for hazards on the floor, and also look up higher, to levels where your dog may be able to climb or jump.
Be especially on the lookout for:
Possible poisons: Household cleaners, antifreeze, paint, pesticides, and houseplants that the previous owners may have left behind trying to be helpful.
Escape routes: Make sure fences and gates are closed and look for loose or missing window screens or odd crawl spaces your pup may be able to squeeze into.
Falling objects: Furniture, small appliances, lamps, box cutters, large potted plants or other new and unfamiliar objects could topple and injure your pet.
Make Moving Into the New Place Fun
Make the transition into his new Waterloo Region home fun by presenting your dog with a new toy. Walk through the house and explore at your dog’s speed and let him sniff around to his heart’s content.
Make each day’s routine consistent. Use your dog’s familiar leash, dog dish, food and bed. The more secure your dog feels, the smoother the transition will be. If your dog is anxious, using a crate can be a good option to help minimize that.
Head Out to Meet the Neighbours
Bring your dog with you as you get to know the neighbors on your street, especially the dog owners. Ask your neighbors whether there are any known aggressive dogs in the neighborhood. And, if your dogs hit it off, book a date for the nearest dog park! We have some wonderful ones in the Waterloo Region and so one is sure to be fairly close by.
Watch for Territorial or Unexpected Behavior
Some dogs may bark incessantly in a new Waterloo Region home or become destructive. Herding breeds especially may become extra-protective. Don’t hesitate to contact your vet for advice, or even a trainer or dog behaviorist if needed. The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is a great resource.
Shower Your Pup With Love
As hectic as the move is, be sure to take the time to shower your dog with lots and lots of extra love! Spending some quality one-on-one time will help make you all feel better.