We’ve addressed some of the complications and demands of moving house with cats. But what about dogs? Shouldn’t it simply be possible to take the cat information and just apply it to canines? Unfortunately, not. They couldn’t be more different in terms of the way they adapt and cope with unexpected change (and let’s not forget that with cats and dogs, it’s always unexpected, since they can’t really be apprised of your moving plans in any meaningful way). While some of the intricacies of moving with cats, such as keeping them indoors for a considerable stretch of days, are not required for dogs, dogs have their own set of issues and requirements and it’s more complicated than simply ushering them into a car and driving them to the new home. Dogs are sensitive and emotional and there are several things you can do to help them have a less stressful moving experience. Let’s take a closer look. Here’s our Master Remover guide to moving house with dogs.
Moving To A New House With A Dog
It’s not just you who can find new situations and changes stressful. Your dog(s) is the same. That’s why forward-planning is so vital. Moving house is never an easy time. As well as your own concerns, you may worry that your dog won’t adapt to the new environment and could wander off and even end up lost. Some owners worry that if they’re not moving a great distance, their dog could try to find the old home. The good news is that all it takes is a little forethought and you and your dog can move house smoothly and seamlessly. Just bear in mind that as you prepare for your move, your dog will be thrown into uncertainty. While you’re packing up, your dog’s routine will be affected and as each room fills up with cardboard boxes, even their territory will change shape before their eyes. Everything they’ve ever been familiar with will be thrown into a state of flux. For this reason, some people board their dogs with kennels while the packing-up process is under way. Then, once they’ve settled into the new home, they collect their dogs and start afresh. If you’re going with the boarding house/kennels option, then just remember to have your dog’s vaccinations and worming up to date.
If you’re keeping your dog with you, then, on the morning of the move, put your dog in one room with all doors and windows closed (don’t forget to tell removals personnel which room is your dog’s room so they leave it alone). Feed your dog as you usually would, but not too close to the actual time at which it will be transported to the new home (just in case it gets travel-sick).
How To Settle A Dog Into A New House
When you reach the new home, keep your dog securely in one room with some familiar toys and a bed, plus water. As before, keep the doors and windows to this room closed. Now, you can get on with unpacking. You can also make sure your dog has something that smells of you, for reassurance. During the day, give your dog some exercise. That evening, let your dog explore the new home and, if applicable, the garden (assuming the garden is secure). Accompany your dog throughout this experience.
Dog Anxiety After Moving
The alien sights and smells of your new home can leave your dog feeling insecure. You can help your dog to scent the new home by taking a cotton cloth, rubbing it on your dog’s face and then rubbing the cloth on various objects or sections of wall that are roughly the same height as your dog. Do this for several days to help build up a ‘scent profile’ for your dog. Your vet can also supply you with manufactured scents that can be used for the same purpose. If your dog is particularly nervy and restless, then keep him/her in a cage at night, surrounded by familiar belongings, including something that smells of you, like an old sweater.
Build up a routine, such as the one you had at your old home, so that your dog gets into the swing of eating and exercising at the same times every day. If your dog is agitated and stressed, then begin by giving smaller meals at more frequent times of day, so that you and your dog are having contact more often. This will also diminish any worry your dog has about when it’s going to get something to eat.
In Part 2, we will be looking at taking your dog outside and also how to prevent your dog looking for its old home