The latest Blog article from Seth Murphy:
Moving has been referred to as the third most stressful event in life, after divorce and the death of a loved one. But it’s no walk in the park for your dog either! Things no longer look, sound, or smell familiar, and he picks up on your stress level too. Some dogs regress to some of their puppy behaviors, some show signs of illness, and in the worst-case scenario, a dog may go missing or become injured while exploring his new surroundings. The following tips will help ease the transition for your pup so he will be safe and secure in his new home.
Plan ahead by updating your dog’s ID tag to show your new address, and if he is microchipped, update your address with its registry. Ideally, you will have already chosen a veterinarian in your new neighborhood and have found out if there are any region-specific vaccines your dog may need.
The way you handle moving day itself is key. Even if you use a moving company, keep all your dog’s belongings, such as his bed, toys, and bowls, with you. Familiar scents will help him feel more at home, so hold off on washing these items. Unpack them as soon as you get to your new house and put them in the same places they were in your old home. So, if his food bowl used to be in the kitchen, you’ll put it in the new kitchen as well. While unpacking your things, watch for any potentially dangerous items like chocolate or cleaning supplies your dog might have access to.
Stick to your dog’s previous feeding and walking schedule. This will go a long way in helping him feel comfortable. If you’re unable to stay home the first few days following a move, consider arranging for someone to visit your dog each day to ease his anxiety and to walk him to burn some energy.
Speaking of burning energy, prioritize play! Make sure your furry friend is getting plenty of attention and exercise. Keep him busy with fun activities like playing with Kongs and other food-dispensing toys. Amid all the unpacking, schedule play breaks for both of you. Find nearby dog-friendly locales and take a walk in the neighborhood to familiarize your dog with his new surroundings and neighbors. Don’t add additional stress. If your dog hates getting his nails trimmed, now is not the time! If you’ve been thinking about changing his diet, hold off for a little while.
While dog-proofing your home is important, backyard safety cannot be emphasized enough. Check your yard for plants that are poisonous to dogs. Never leave your dog in the yard when you’re not home. Even when you are home, you’ll want to keep an eye on him. All dogs need a safe, fenced-in area. Proper fencing that keeps your dog in and other animals out, as well as keeps him safe from the attention of passersby, is priceless.
Be on the lookout for signs of stress, such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or anxiety. Ask your vet about calming medication or try some natural alternatives from your local pet store. If these symptoms continue, you’ll want to take him to your vet to make sure nothing else is going on.
Congratulations on your new home and for being such a responsible pet owner! Just as your dog has shown you his devotion, you’ll want to show him extra patience during this transition. Stay calm, reinforce positive behavior, and take time to have fun together. By following these tips and focusing on safety, you and your dog will soon feel right at home.