What’s a Good Way to Keep Dogs Calm When Moving House?
Moving to a new home is a stressful experience for everyone in your family, including the furrier members of the household. They too are used to familiarity and routines, so when these are disrupted, it can have a very unnerving effect on your animals. Added to this, dogs and cats can read and mimic your personal emotions, so if you are feeling overwhelmed, there is a good chance that your pet is too.
Your dog’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as her physical health, and as a caring and compassionate pet parent, you understandably want to make sure that your furbaby feels as reassured as possible in the weeks before and after your move, as well as on the day itself. The good news is that there are a variety of things that you can do to help keep your dog calm and stress-free.
Keep her routine
The weeks leading up to your move can be fraught with preparations, and in particular, packing. Packing up your home is probably the first indication your pet will have that something big is about to go down, so it is crucial that you keep the same routine as much as possible, including when your furbaby is walked, fed and put to bed. This will help give her a sense of security and control, even when things are rapidly changing inside her home environment.
Once you have moved you should endeavour to recommence your usual routine as soon as possible.
Leave packing her favorite things as long as you can
Don’t pack her blanket, favorite toys etc until you really have to. These help her feel safe and secure and taking them away early will only add to her confusion. If your dog is staying with you on the day of the move, then this will mean packing them up that day, and ideally unpacking them as soon as you arrive in your new home. Don’t be tempted to wash her things either – a familiar scent will help her to settle in more quickly.
Consider booking her a little vacation while you move house
If you have a friend or family member with whom your dog is very familiar and comfortable, or a boarding kennel that you have used in the past and feel happy with, it may be worth sending your furbaby on a little vacation over the days surrounding your move. You won’t have to worry too much about her feeling stressed or keeping an eye on her while many pairs of feet are carrying big, heavy boxes in and out of your home. The sheer number of people only adds to the confusion that your pet may feel, and she could put herself or someone else in danger of being hurt if she gets under their feet.
It is generally much less stressful to bring your dog into your new home once everything is a little calmer and more settled, and you have the location of her bed and bowl already established.
Take the time to introduce your home to her
A new and unfamiliar property can be confusing and unsettling for your pet. When you bring her in to your home for the first time, take a few minutes to walk around with her, going into each room and letting her explore – she will feel safer with you by her side. If you take her into the garden, make sure that it is pet-proof and that your furbaby can’t run off and escape if she feels scared or nervous.
Don’t get cross if accidents happen
It is not uncommon for dogs to lose some of their potty-training skills during big changes in their life and moving to a new home is one of the biggest. If your pet has a toilet accident, be patient and try not to get angry. Reward correct toileting, and if necessary, go back to basics to get her back on track again. Contact us today for further advice.