Moving can be stressful for everyone involved, more so for our canine companions. Dogs tend to thrive on routine and moving to a strange new place can seriously mess with the rhythm of their lives. It may take a pup quite some time (maybe even weeks or months) to adjust to the new surroundings just as he would with a new dog wash machine.
Here are a few tips to help ease your best friend into your new home.
Planning (and training) ahead
If your dog will have to abide by new rules in the new home—for example, barking less because of finicky neighbors—it’s best to start training before the move. If you happen to live close enough to your new digs, you may also take your dog for walks in the area so that he gets used to the sights and smells.
Tag your pup
Make sure your doggie’s collar tag is up-to-date with his information and your contact. It’s essential that you update their tags soon after you move, more important with how far away you’re relocating. It’s best to get your dog micro-chipped in case you get separated during the move. It’s better not to leave your reunion to canine instincts or luck. Ensure that you have medical records and a latest photo available in case of emergencies.
Pet-proofing the new digs
Do your due diligence to take care of any pet hazards ahead of your move. It’s important that any dog doors work properly, that all gates securely latch and there are no gaps in the fence. If your dog is prone to creating mischief, it’s recommended to install child-safe locks to prevent him from unwanted spaces. It’ll do good to keep an eye out for harmful items such as cleaning material and keep them out of reach of your pup.
Helping your pup acclimatize
Sticking to the schedule you had at your old place even after moving can help create a sense of routine and familiarity when it comes to eating, walking and toilet breaks. A few dog treats or biscuits and grooming routine can help him relax if he seems keyed up. Occasional walks, playtime or exercise will tire your dog out and have him rest—probably reducing your stress in the bargain.
Exploring the new surroundings
Take time to make him get used to his new neighborhood or surroundings. It’s best to start off with short walks, slowly increasing your range further and further away. Similarly introduce your pet to any new facilities, such as a park, community pool or dog wash. It’s best to have him on a leash–at least in the beginning even if he is normally obedient and well behaved. In a totally new environment he can get skittish, easily provoked and result in running off or other violent behavior.
Generally it takes dogs a few weeks to settle into a new environment. Some animals may take even longer, especially if the relocation was hectic. Be as patient as you can with your dog: everything would look, sound and smell different to him, so it’s going to take a while for him to adjust.