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Did you know that one in seven New York City households has at least one pup under its roof? And did you also know that the city’s population reached a record high in 2017 of over 8.6 million? That’s around 1.2 million pooch-friendly households. So, just imagine how many New Yorkers find themselves moving to a new home with a dog in tow. But before getting an air flight pet carrier for the big move, it’s important to dog-proof your new home for the safety and comfort of your pet. Here’s what you can do in advance to make your new abode inviting and safe for your pooch.

The all-important dog-safe space

So, how can you pooch-proof your new home before you and your pet arrive? One of the most important things to do for your dog during the upheaval of a house move is to make sure that there’s a designated area in the new home when he or she can sit, be safe, and feel safe among all the mess and mayhem. This could be anything from a corner to an entire room. Remember, that dogs can get nervous even before they leave their old home.

Some dogs are super happy to have strange people walking in and out of their lives, but others can feel frightened, anxious, or even become a little aggressive. No matter how many boxes you’ve still got to unpack and no matter how few kitchen utensils you’re able to find, if your dog has a designated safe space then the move will be a lot less stressful.

Focus on toilet needs

Change is difficult for dogs. Even if your beautiful little pooch has never messed indoors before, the stress of being suddenly placed in a completely different environment make cause him or her to use your rug or sofa as a great place to go to the toilet. Leave some pee pads around the new home as you’re unpacking, take regular breaks when unloading all your gear to take the dog for a walk, and try to spend as much time as possible with your furry buddy to help keep him or her calm. Despite having so much to get done, it will be important to make time for your pet. The reassuring company will make all the difference to his or her adjustment.

Be careful with the dangerous stuff

Moving is a busy time for everyone, so it’s easy to leave an opened bag of medical stuff out on the floor in the bathroom, thinking that you’ll organize it later. But in the hustle and bustle of people coming and going, it’s really easy for your little pooch to take a wander and eat something that he or she shouldn’t. Open or exposed trash cans can be dangerous too because our four-legged friends just love to rummage through the trash. If they come across a large fruit stone or small chicken bones, choking is a possibility.

One way to help reduce anxiety around moving and concentrate on the movers and moving process is to send your pup to daycare for the day. If you pup is not used to going to daycare, go ahead and send them for a half or full day starting a few days before and after the move day, and the move day of course!  You can also hire a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help you come up with a strategy to reduce anxiety and moving jitters.

A new home is also a great time to establish new rules and a new routine such as not jumping on the furniture, barking at the door/when the buzzer goes off and using only the pee pad and not the carpets/rugs. It can also be a time to establish regular walking routines and games to learn new tricks (an active mind is a happy dog).

Essentially, you need to make sure that your dog is safe and that he or she receives a fair amount of attention before, during and after the move. Not just because it will help with possible anxiety, but because it will also help to encourage them to love their new home. No-one wants to have an unhappy pooch now, do they?

This aricle was contributed by Jane Wood.

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