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Among life’s super-stressful activities, moving to a new home ranks right up there. This is true for your dog as well. New spaces, unfamiliar sounds, a new yard, and new people and pets in the neighborhood. It can be really exciting, but also daunting, to move your dog to a new home.
And although you may have the luxury of chilling out with a glass of red wine to ease moving stress, or venting to a friend, sadly, your beloved pup does not have those choices.
With this in mind, here are some tips for introducing your dog to a new home:
Pack For Your Move Gradually
During the weeks when you are packing up your house, do your best to stay calm. There are plenty of things to get finished, from gathering packing supplies to organizing your moving boxes and there’s no doubt that can be stressful and even nerve-wracking. But your dog will pick up on your emotions and also feel uneasy if you’re super-stressed.
During this transition, if you can remain organized and collected and pack up over time, your dog will feel more at ease.
Find a New Vet Before You Move
Your current vet may have recommendations for an alternative in your new neighbourhood. Or, if you’re relocating for work, check with your new employer. Their HR department may have referral services.
If your chosen vet’s office isn’t open 24/7, also find an emergency vet in your new area who’s available at all hours. Add the vet’s phone number and address to your phone, and learn how to find your way there, just in case.
Get Your Pup’s New ID Tags Now
You should also get a new ID tag for your dog, and put it on before you move; many dogs get anxious and may try to run away in the first days in a new home. With many new smells and sounds, if your dog does run away during the first few days at your new home they may have less of an idea of where to come back to, which is why having these new tags is so important.
Check Your New Home for Pet Hazards
Check your new house for possible pet hazards carefully before you move in. And check high and low. To check for hazards on the floor, stoop down to your dog’s level, and also check at levels where your dog might be able to climb or leap. Even if your dog isn’t a climber, stress can be triggered by a new environment and contribute to unusual behavior.
Be especially careful to look for:
- Possible poisons: Household cleaners, antifreeze, paint, pesticides, and unknown houseplants.
- Choking hazards: Give your house a clean sweep before moving in and look for buttons, needles, Legos and other tiny toys or game pieces that may have been left on the floor.
- Make sure window blinds and shades are well out of reach.
- Check electrical or heat sources: Be on the lookout for malfunctioning small appliances, too easy to access fireplaces, and trailing electrical cords.
- Check for escape routes: Make sure fences and gates are closed and look for loose or missing window screens.
Make The Introduction to Your Pup’s New Home Fun
If at all possible, place your dog’s bed and toys, as well as their water and food dishes, in your new home before arriving. This will let the dog know that this is their space now and it will be comforting to them to have familiar items and smells.
When you first arrive with your dog after moving to your new home, take them to the backyard to relieve themselves in the area you prefer. Showing your dog where the proper place to use the bathroom is located right away will help them learn this fast. Next, walk through the house and let your dog sniff around to their heart’s content.
Try not to leave them alone during the first day in the new home, they may be nervous and you are what they are most familiar with. If you do need to leave your dog in your new home alone, consider finding a new local pet sitter or using a pet camera to track how their day is going.
Introducing your dog to their new home can be difficult, but with patience and hard work, they will feel at home in no time, and, with a happy pooch, so will you. And by the way, most of these tips apply to felines too!