Moving is one of the most stressful things in life, and it gets even more complicated if you have kids and dogs. As a dog owner, I’ve moved a couple of times with my separation-anxiety-ridden poodle, and I can tell you from experience that moving with pets is something that can be quite challenging, especially if you live in New York City.
If, after moving, you notice that your dog’s behavior has changed, there is no need to get all worked up over it. Just like their owners, dogs experience stress when their environment and daily routines change. According to Veterinarian James Morrisey, dogs are quite good at reading and picking up stress from their owners.
To help you manage your stress levels and those of your pet during a move, here are a couple of useful tips on how to make your dog’s move as ‘paw-sitive’ as possible!
When planning a move, preparation is everything! During packing, make sure you organize all of your moving boxes in a select room to keep your pet from chewing or scratching up your moving supplies. Just keep this in mind: puppies combined with tape, cardboard, and bubble wrap is not going to end well.
Also, ensure that you pack all of your dog’s essential stuff in separate, clearly-labeled bags. You will want to have this bag with you on the day of the move – and the days that follow – so your pup has something to keep them busy before you settle in. Some of the items you should consider carrying along with you include:
– A few of his or her favorite toys
– Poop bags
– Something he or she can chew on (their favorite chew toy, rawhide bones, or chewing sticks)
– A carrier, doggy gate, or crate
– Food (if you’re carrying raw food, carry along a cooler filled with ice to keep everything fresh as your travel)
– Water bowls
Most dogs, on the other hand, do not have a problem with small spaces and find their crates to be a place of peace and comfort, especially if they’re crate-trained. Hopefully, transferring your dog to your new residence will not be too much of a hassle for either you or the dog. Nevertheless, you might still want to prepare him or her for the new environment, if possible. If you can, take him or her for a walk around your new home and neighborhood before moving.
The sense of smell is the most important sense in dogs. As such, introducing him or her to the common smells around the new house is an excellent way to make him or her get accustomed to the new surroundings. My husband and I did the same exact thing before we moved to our new home. We took our poodle for a walk around the new neighborhood and brought him along to our official home walk-through so he could have a chance to smell the insider of the property before we moved in.
Finally, if you are relocating to a new area, do some research for a new vet as soon as possible. Also, ensure that you look up and note down the phone numbers and addresses of the closest 24-hour pet centers and emergency hospitals. That way, if something were to happened to your dog during the move, you will have an idea of what to do and where to go.
My advice when it comes to moving with pets is to try and figure out how you can keep your dog contained on the day of the move. Unfortunately, moving days are quite chaotic. Contact a moving company in NYC to make things easier. Since most doors are left open, you must keep an eye out on your pets as they could find a way to escape. Trust me, searching for your dog out in your new neighborhood is the last thing you want to do on the first day in your new home.
Some of the ways to ensure your pet stays contained include: installing a gate in a doorframe, keeping them inside a crate; having someone watch them; or sending them to a pet daycare. If you are helping with the loading and unloading of your moving boxes, you probably will not have the time to watch over your pet as well as you’d like. Since you are in a new neighborhood, it is also likely that if your car or dog escapes, they will end up being hopelessly lost. For that reason, ensure your dog has a tag with its name, your phone number, and your new address, if possible.
If you are flying with a small dog, make sure you follow up with the airline to see what their rules and regulations concerning traveling with pets are. Transporting pets on a plane generally requires placing them in small, well-ventilated crates underneath your seat. You will also be required to pay an extra fee. If you plan on flying and have a larger dog, you will be required to place them in an approved kennel that is generally placed inside the cargo compartment of the plane. For more on how to transport pets to different states, click here.
Getting accustomed to a new environment can be quite tough for some pets. While most dogs have an easier time adjusting, some tend to take longer getting used to their new home at first. To make things easier for either pet, try and maintain consistent bedtime and mealtime routines for them. Ensure that you have a designated spot in your new house for their bed, food and water bowls, and pee pads or litter boxes.
I also recommend that you take your pet on a little tour of the new home, so they become acquainted with the different rooms and different smells of the house. Finally, an exhausted dog is a good dog. To lower your dog’s anxiety through the moving period, take him or her for daily walks, and ensure they get loads of exercise throughout the day. While adjusting to a new place may take a bit of time, following the steps outlined here could help your dog settle in smoothly and quickly.
This top rated guest post for dogs was submitted by David Huner, Senior Writer & Founder of pet training tip. To submit an article on pets email cynthia@Newyorkdognanny.com.