How to help your dog avoid stress when you move

Today we have a guest blogger, Cindy Aldridge with Our Dog Friends. Cindy is passionate about dogs and pets and loves sharing her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner. She has her own blog with plenty of pet friendly tips. If you’re interested in being a responsible pet owner, you can learn how at the Napa Humane Society.

Photo by Pixabay

When the time comes to put your home on the market and prepare for a move, there’s a laundry list of to-dos. It makes for an incredibly busy and anxiety-inducing period for everyone – even your pet. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a checking off everything on your list, but don’t forget to think about how the flurry of activity and uncertainty affects your four-legged friend.

Getting Ready

Selling a home when you have a dog can be tricky, since you want to remove almost all evidence of a dog, but there are ways to make your home more attractive to buyers. Make sure to repair any damage left by your pup. Chewed up baseboards and stained carpets don’t add value. And when you leave the house to show it, put away your dog’s belongings, such as his bed, bowls, blankets. Not only can these look dirty, they can also hold smells. Vacuum the house at least once a day, if not twice, and ask a friendly neighbor to do a sniff test to make sure there aren’t any lingering pet odors. If there are still odors, give your home a deep cleaning by mopping tile and wood flooring. If your carpeting smells, you may have to call on a carpet cleaner.

With all the cleaning, decluttering, and staging, your dog is likely to notice these changes, so do what you can to maintain his regular routine. This means keeping regular feeding and walking times, in addition to providing some extra attention. Do what you can to help him feel normal, but also make a point to practice commands to avoid him acting out. If you start to notice behavioral issues, invest in a training collar to keep him on point with commands and to provide added protection for the car trip if you’re moving out of state. You can find a variety of collars online, from those with remotes to those with and without an electric shock.

Moving Day

Prior to moving day, communicate with your movers about your pet as some moving companies balk at having animals on the premises. For your dog’s safety and to set your movers at ease, it’s best to keep him out of the way – either in his own room or out of the house completely. By boarding your pup or finding a qualified pet sitter who can check on him regularly, you can help ease his anxiety and prevent him from running away. As an added measure, don’t wash his belongings, packing them last and keeping them readily available before you get on the road. The familiar smells can help decrease any stress he’s feeling.

Pet Prep

If you’re moving out of state, make time for a trip to the vet before you move. Talk to your pet’s doctor to see if there are any special considerations he might need when traveling. For example, if your dog has anxiety in the car or gets carsick, there might be medications you can give him. It’s also a good idea to confirm his vaccinations are up to date and his microchip information is current.

Heading Out

Traveling with a dog requires patience. When you’re on the road, make frequent stops so your dog can go to the bathroom, eat, and stretch his legs. If you transport your dog in a crate, you might want to throw a blanket over the crate to ease his anxiety. Plan ahead when booking accommodations and look for hotels that are pet-friendly so you won’t have any trouble bringing him along. You don’t want to be on the road all night looking for a place to stop.

Home Sweet Home

Once you finally arrive at your new home, don’t let your dog loose on his own right away. Employ the training collar and take him around the house, showing him where he will sleep and where his toys and bed will be. Next, take him for a walk and introduce him to your new neighbors, then let him sniff around his new home. In the first few weeks, make sure to keep to his regular routine as much as possible. That extra bit of reassurance can help him settle in more quickly.

Having a dog makes selling your home and moving a bit more stressful, there are ways to navigate the process so everyone enjoys smooth sailing. Soon everyone in the home will adapt and adjust. Before too long, for your dog and your family, it will feel like you’ve always lived there.

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