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You’ve invested a lot of time and effort into finding the perfect home, including a great yard for your dog. Now, however, it’s time to help him acclimate to that new home before you move. Let’s get planning.
Before You Pack
Your dog will know something is up as soon as you start bringing in boxes and unloading your closets. You can’t explain what’s happening, but you can let him sniff out the boxes. Allow him to explore them before you start filling them.
When you start packing, remain calm. If he’s moved before, he may be anxious since he might know what’s coming. Pethelpful.com recommends using positive reinforcement to help him through this period. Their article on dog anxiety can help you now and after you move.
Before You Move
When transitioning your dog, one of the most important things to consider is his safety. Do a careful investigation of your new home to make sure that nothing harmful has been left behind by prior owners, like a bottle of antifreeze or an infestation of fleas.
If you have a puppy, be sure to “puppy proof” your new home as well. Look out for drapery cords on windows, toxic plants outside, small items that he can swallow, and other hazardous items. Read Pet Coach’s guide to puppy proofing.
Another big safety concern for your dog is escaping or running away. He may be anxious in the first few weeks and missing his old stomping ground. You need to be vigilant that your new home doesn’t provide unforeseen opportunities for him to get away. Make sure there are no places he can slip through, like a broken basement window you didn’t notice. If you have sliding doors for the first time, create a dog safety protocol for when your family using them.
A fence might be the best way to keep him from getting away. It costs an average of $2,729 to install or build a fence. Be sure to keep it in line with any rules from your neighborhood or homeowner’s association and make sure he can’t shimmy under it either.
On Moving Day
This might be the toughest day of all for your dog. If possible, keep him away during the actual move or else keep him in his crate so that he doesn’t escape as doors open and close. This is a perfect time to teach him about being crated if you haven’t yet. If you need to do a road trip with your dog, be sure to plan early for this event. Once he is used to his crate, take him out for a drive regularly. The ASPCA has more tips on moving with your pet.
Helping Your Dog Transition To His New Home
Your dog is going to need a bit of extra TLC as he adjusts to his new home. Here are some ways you can help him:
- Introduce your dog to his new home room by room, allowing him to explore everything. Take him for frequent walks to show the fun and interesting new places you can visit.
- Create areas just for your dog such as a corner in your bedroom. Fill these spaces with his familiar blankets, toys, pillows, etc.
- Avoid leaving him alone for long periods of time, if possible.
- The Bark recommends you keep him as close to his current routine as you can. If possible, wait until he seems settled in to make any changes to that schedule.
- Reward him with extra treats and play time to soothe his anxiety.
- Read FidoFriendly’s tips for more ways to acclimate your dog to his new home.
Moving with your dog can be stressful. It’s up to you to show him that this can be a fun, new adventure to share with his best friend: you.