Keeping Your Dog Happy When Moving House
Thinking of moving homes? Want to ensure Rover is kept happy during the big move? Pet Insurance Australia takes a look at moving and dogs, and how to keep your dog happy when relocating.
Moving homes can be a very stressful experience for everyone involved. From the endless packing and cleaning, to the realisation of how much ‘stuff’ you’ve managed to collate over the years.
Our pets can also feel this stress. Dog’s in particular can pick up on the elevated stress levels of their owners, which can be very heightened around this time. Dogs are also naturally territorial so moving can cause stress and unease regardless of if you are moving overseas, or across the neighbourhood.
Moving with your Dog Overseas?
If you are planning a big move overseas there are a number of things you need to prepare well in advance. Talk to your vet and also your animal moving service for advice on what you need to do before you actually move. This will include the relevant vaccinations and any information about possible quarantine you will need to understand before preparing your dog.
When moving overseas your pet will travel in a specially design pet-crate. It’s a good idea to get this crate as early as possible so your dog can become familiar with this area.
Some top tips include:
- Take the lid off (if you can) and feed your pet in this space.
- Keep their favourite toys and blankets in this area also.
- Pop something inside that smells like you (pillow case or t-shirt)
- Once your pet is comfortable in the space put the lid back on.
- If your pet is reluctant, start feeding – just at the opening of the crate -and gradually move the food into the crate each day.
- Leave the crate around so they can play/sleep/eat in the space.
- This can be a very slow process so be patient.
- Do not clean the create before they leave, or any of their toys/blankets etc. The more they smell the better. Scent will provide comfort to your pet.
Moving with Your Dog – Closer to Home?
If you are moving a little closer to home, there are also some important steps you need to take to take the stress off your pup. Basic things such as visiting the local off-leash or dog walking area before you head over is a good way to familiarize your dog with your new space. Planning is key.
During the move, when things start to become chaotic, it’s a good idea to place your dog in a ‘safe zone’ such as a bedroom or laundry or their kennel area. Ensure you pop a note on the door so people know your pet is inside and safe. Add their favourite toys, some tasty treats, water, bedding and visit them often for a game and plenty of snuggles. Ensure this room has lots and lots of ‘stuff’ that smells like them and more importantly…you. Leave your pet in this room when you cannot supervise them and also when the actual move is occurring so they do not become anxious or stressed out with all the commotion in the home. If it’s loud, consider playing the radio or some classical music.
In your new home; create a space inside where you can put your dog so that they can become familiar with their space. This could be a bedroom or laundry. Again; you really want this area to smell like them and you. So make sure you pop lots of familiar stuff into this room before you move them over. Also consider using a Pheromone diffuser in this space that can create a calm environment.
Gradually introduce your pet to your new home, when everyone has gone and it’s nice and quiet. Let them sniff around the home and retreat to their ‘safe zone’ if they become scared.
Other tips include:
- Check fences in your new home – are they pet safe?
- Update your microchip and council registration information
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar – all day
- Keep a ‘pet moving box’ with your pet containing bowls, food, leads etc
- Lots and lots of love, snuggles and cuddles
- Routine – stick to your daily routines
- Lots of toilet breaks in the new home – go back to puppy training with the basics