Moving to a new house is not only a big change for you and your family, but your puppy dogs too! There are lots of things to consider when relocating your dog to a new house and new suburb, so Total Care Movers & Storage have put together some handy hints to make the transition as stress-free as possible.
New house visits
If possible, take your dog to your new house and new neighbourhood before move day, so they can become more familiar with their new surroundings. This will make their first overnight stay much less stressful. Play with them so they associate positive feelings with your new space and give your dog the freedom to explore. Dogs like to mark their territory, it contributes to their sense of belonging and makes them feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Try reinforcing old habits during the visit, like feeding your dog inside the house or playing in the yard and giving treats when they are obedient. It sounds like a lot of effort, but it can help prevent your dog from exhibiting signs of stress in the form of barking, howling, scratching, digging or hiding.
During the removal process it is a good idea to get a friend to look after you dog. As you start to pack everything into boxes and the mood changes your dog will sense that something strange is going on. Also, on moving day they might not like seeing new people go through the house to move furniture or, even worse, they might escape through the open doors. If you don’t know anyone who can take your dogs then investigate a boarding kennel such as the RSPCAor go online and outsource with trusted dogsitters who are registered on sites such as Mad Paws. That way, you’ll be free to get on with your moving tasks without having to worry about your pet, and they will enjoy a short holiday with people who spoil them.
Stick to your routine
We highly recommend hiring a professional removals team when you move house so you can focus on what’s important – your family and your pets. If you are stressed and overwhelmed with lots of tasks you run the risk of neglecting your pet. Dogs are creatures of habit and will notice the change in the home environment and notice your lack of attention. This can manifest in some bad behaviour from your pet which you want to avoid! You need to try your best to treat your dog with the same attention you would normally give had you not been in the process of moving your home. So this means sticking to your feeding and exercise routines and some extra pats and cuddles along the way!
Update their Registration details
Part of responsible pet ownership is getting your dog collared and ensuring it is updated with your new address and your contact number. If your dog is microchipped as well, don’t forget to ask the microchip registry to record your new details. Lastly, make sure to update your dog’s registration details with the local council.
Pack their things last
Don’t be tempted to buy new bedding for your dog for their new home. This will make their relocation feel even more strange. The familiar scent of their old items will help keep them calm and make the new place feel like home sooner. As previously mentioned, dogs notice changes in their environment so don’t pack up their stuff until the very end of the move. Keep all of your pet’s bedding, toys and food bowls readily available right up until the last few items are moved.
Also, be sure not to wash their favourite blanket or bedding a week prior and after the move. This is so they can have a safe and familiar shelter during the move and after arriving in your new home.
Is your new home pet-secure?
Inspect the new place and make sure it is safe. You will know just how great an escape artist your furry friend can be; so don’t take a previous owner’s or real estate agent’s word for it when they say that the yard is pet secure. Also, try and spot any possible sources of danger, such as chemicals or poisons that have been left in a reachable place.
Contact your Vet
Bring your dog to the vet and ask for a copy of your dog’s medical history and a vaccination certificate. While you’re there, make sure your dog is up to date with his shots.
If you suspect he will have a particularly stressful time, talk with your vet. Your vet will be able to supply you with what is known as a calming pheromone dispenser. This is something you can use to synthetically help your dog feel comfortable. You expose him to it just before moving day, and then bring it with you to the new house. The additional scent and pheromones this provides will keep your dog feeling calm and relaxed.
Make sure you have prepared the following before moving day arrives.
Veterinary records, prescriptions and certificates
Your pet’s usual food
Food and water bowls
Your pet’s toys and treats
Leashes or harnesses
Beds, pillows, towels or other crate liners
Plastic bags and scoops
Paper towels for messes
Provisions for the first day at the new home
In Your New Home
Stay with them when you show them around the new home. During the hustle and bustle of moving day, it can be tempting to just put the dog in the new back yard and get on with it.
Whilst most dogs may cope well with this and just naturally start exploring, it is beneficial if this initial exploration is done with a family member who they know well. Take them for a walk around the perimeter of the yard and show them that this is a place for them AND their family.
Above all, make sure that they know that the whole family has moved and that they are not being sent somewhere new all on their own! So try not to leave them alone too often in the first few days.