Moving with Pets: How to Assist Your Dog in Adjusting to His New Environment
Max, my dog, has accompanied me on seven relocations. In fact, we recently completed a relocation from our townhome to a short-term rental this past weekend.
In six months, we’ll be moving once more – and perhaps for the final time – to our new home, which is currently under construction in the neighbourhood.
An already stressful procedure is made much more difficult by the fact that you are moving with pets. As well as arranging the scheduling of the relocation and somehow getting all of those boxes unpacked in a fair amount of time, you must also consider the stress of the move on your animal companion and how your new house is more than simply a change of scenery for them.
Dogs are creatures of habit and regularity, and the prospect of a change in environment might lead them to experience some understandable stress.
Even while we, as humans, cannot fully explain what is happening to them, we can take concrete efforts to reduce their worry and help them retain stability where it is reasonably possible.
Continue reading for vital information that all dog parents should be aware of when it comes to moving with pets.
1. Maintaining a schedule, even when it’s difficult.
Reggie eats breakfast at the same time every day, goes for a walk at the same time every day, and has dinner at the same time every day. That may seem uninteresting to us, but to her, it is the means by which she navigates and makes meaning of her day.
Despite the fact that things change, she can always count on a fairly predictable schedule. And, when it comes to settling into a new house, it’s more crucial than ever to maintain a regular schedule of activities.
Whenever you’re moving with a dog, make every effort to stay on schedule, even if it means pausing in the middle of a task when you’re in the middle of one.
Keeping your dog’s routine as consistent as possible during your transition will help them acclimate more quickly to all of the changes that are taking place.
2. Allow them to release their excess energy.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “a weary dog is a good dog.” Excessive activity can lead to elevated levels of tension, so exercise is essential for keeping anxiety levels down and keeping your dog calm in general during the adjustment process.
You could play the second round of fetch in the backyard, or you could extend your normal walk (which should be simple because you’ll be exploring new neighbourhoods).
The more energy you can assist your dog in releasing, the easier it will be for them to adjust to the new environment.
3. Pack a bag with the essentials for your pet.
It’s important to remember to pack an essentials bag for your dog in addition to your own essentials bag, which should contain goods you know you’ll need easy access to during the first few days after you’ve moved.
When you move in, you’ll know exactly where to look for pet-specific items such as food and water bowls, toys, snacks, and anything else you might need.
You’ll be grateful you have these items on hand, especially in light of the following suggestion.
4. Make a space for your dog as soon as possible.
When the movers have finished their work, the first thing I do is set up a space with Reggie’s bed, blankets, toys, and a bowl of freshwater for him.
In no time at all, she has created an oasis filled with familiar and soothing scents and objects in which to withdraw, objects that no matter where she is, instantly transport her back to home.
While you don’t have to keep these items in this location indefinitely, even a temporary spot will go a long way toward alleviating stress and keeping your dog comfortable.
5. Pay close attention to what’s going on.
When you’re the human in the household, moving might be stressful and time-consuming, but don’t forget that your dog will require additional attention and care to get through it.
Keep your affection and supportive words flowing, and carve out a few quiet moments for quality time together in between other responsibilities.
Tossing around a favourite toy or giving out belly rubs will reassure your dog that everything is fine and that, even if you may be frantically racing around, they are still your top concern.
6. Make use of an anti-anxiety prescription.
If your dog is prone to anxiety in general, moving is likely to exacerbate the condition even further.
When it comes to more critical problems, see your veterinarian at least one month before your move and make provisions for prescription anxiety medications.
There are also a variety of different choices available, such as soothing aids, zen collars, and even music that has been shown to relieve tension in animals, among others. As a result, when I see Reggie is feeling stressed while adjusting to a new environment, I turn to CBD snacks to help calm her down.
Pay close attention to your dog’s mood to evaluate whether or not he or she might benefit from some anti-anxiety medication.
7. Attempt to spend as much time at home as possible during the first few days.
You can expect it to take some time for your dog to realize that this is their new home and that it is a secure environment to be in.
In the meantime, do everything you can to remain by their side, even if it means cancelling some plans or taking a few days off from work.
Your dog should not be left alone in the new home for more than a few minutes at a time during the first three or four days, as this will give him or her time to become acclimated to having their security (you) right there with them.
Consider whether you can bring them with you or whether a trusted friend or family member can come and hang out with them while you’re gone if you really must leave them.
When the time comes to begin leaving them, begin slowly, possibly leaving for only 10 minutes at a time and working your way up from that point.
When you leave them for the first time for an extended amount of time, take them for a long walk to tire them out before you go.
8. Keep your pets away from the crowds and the action.
Keeping an animal in the least stressful environment possible during the actual journey is the most effective technique to lessen stress on them. Remove them from the activity if you don’t want to leave them with a friend or in a kennel for the day (which is strongly recommended).
For example, it could mean removing them from a bedroom on another floor and locking the door, or placing them in their carrier or kennel in the garage or car (with proper precautions taken to ensure they’ll be at a safe temperature and that they’ll have water and food if they’ll be there for an extended period of time).
It’s important to keep an eye on them on a frequent basis and to feed and walk them at the same times you normally would; maintaining some sense of consistency in the middle of all the changes will be really beneficial.
9. Carry your pet in your vehicle
Bring the pet with you to the new residence in your own vehicle. Cats and small dogs can be transported in a carrier in the backseat, which can be secured with a seatbelt after being placed in the carrier.
In order to transport a larger dog, it is necessary to place seats down if at all feasible in the backseat of the vehicle.
Some animals will be more comfortable if you place a blanket over their container during the automobile ride so that they are not able to see the changes in the outside environment.
10. Take your pet with you and don’t let it out until you get there..
When relocating the animal to your new neighbourhood, exercise caution because if they get out, they could easily become disoriented. Regardless of whether the pet is normally well-behaved or docile, it is critical not to open the kennel until the pet has been transported to the new house.
Allow your pets a few days to become used to their new surroundings. Owners of cats should be aware that, for their own safety, more and more people are keeping their cats indoors.
A relocation provides an excellent opportunity to get them acclimated to staying indoors because they will not be accustomed to being permitted outside in the new home. Make use of the transition to your advantage.
11. Keep your pet in a separate area
Before you move the pet, you should move the house. Prepare as much as you can, even if it’s just in one room, before introducing the animal to its new environment.
Confine them to a specific area of the house as they gradually become acclimated to their new environment.
Give your pet plenty of attention, and as quickly as possible, provide familiar objects such as toys or blankets to keep him or her company. Bring your guests into your home and make them feel at ease!
12. Please be patient.
To be patient and compassionate with your dog through the stressful period of adjusting to a new home is the finest thing you can do for him.
Recognize that they are going through a difficult time and go out of your way to make things as simple for them as you can for them.
If your dog exhibits unusual behaviour, such as having an accident inside or barking excessively when people pass by the window, recognize that it is a response to stress and anxiety and that they are doing the best they can to cope with the situation.
If you follow the techniques outlined above, any bad behaviours should subside rather fast.
Because it may take several weeks for your pet to become used to their new environment, do not expect everything to be great right away.
To avoid this, simply be there as a benevolent companion and continue to do the things that you know will keep them pleased and happy (a few extra goodies here and there don’t hurt, too!). Because home is where you’re all together, things will eventually feel normal again.
13. Dog scent training in a new environment
A dog’s sense of smell is much more powerful than a human’s, and it can detect scents that are too small for the human nose to register. It is possible to help your dog adjust to his new environment by using the power of scent.
dog scent training helps in adjusting dogs’ behaviour in their new environment. It helps them learn to be more comfortable with their surroundings and gives them confidence. With this type of training, you can teach your dog where he should go and what he should do when he gets there.
Training your dog with scent is a fun and easy way to bond with your canine. The scent pad or kitty litter works as the ultimate reward for your pooch. After all, you can’t train without reward. You will also need a few other items including a toy that your dog likes, string or ribbon, and patience.
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