If you’re like many people, you’re moving to Baltimore County or Howard County with a dog – maybe even more than one – and you need to know what to expect. Moving with a dog can be stressful, particularly if it’s long-distance, but if you follow these seven tips, you can make the whole process easier (on the dog and on yourself).
7 Essential Tips for Moving With a Dog
Let’s be honest: Moving isn’t your favorite thing to do, and you have advance notice. That means your dog, who doesn’t really know what’s going on, may not like it much either. However, you can make it less stressful with these tips:
- Stick to your dog’s routine
- Go for walks in your new neighborhood
- Get in plenty of extra exercise
- Give your dog additional mental stimulation
- Provide a safe space for your pup at both homes
- Hire a dog sitter for moving day
- Walk before you go into your new place
Here’s a closer look at each.
Tip #1 for Moving With a Dog: Stick to Your Dog’s Routine
Your dog is probably pretty attached to her current routine, so to keep things low-stress leading up to the move (and after the move), you should stick to it as best you can. Try to keep regular feeding times, potty breaks and playtime the same; most dogs thrive on having structure.
Tip #2 for Moving With a Dog: Go for Walks in Your New Neighborhood
Get your dog used to your new neighborhood before the move by taking long walks there whenever you can. It’ll help familiarize him with the area and help him slip into the new routine he’ll enjoy after moving day.
Tip #3 for Moving With a Dog: Get in Plenty of Extra Exercise
Dogs are a lot like people when it comes to exercising away stress. Things are changing at home – maybe you have boxes everywhere, there are service contractors coming in and out, or you’re a bit busier than you typically are – and that means giving your dog some extra playtime in the yard or at the dog park can help him burn off jittery energy.
Tip #4 for Moving With a Dog: Give Your Dog Additional Mental Stimulation
Mental enrichment is incredibly important for dogs, and it helps to relieve stress. Head to the pet store with your four-legged family member to find treat puzzles and interactive toys to keep her mind engaged. She’ll stay busy and focused on a positive activity, which is good for her short- and long-term health, as well. Even letting her stop and smell the roses (literally) can provide her with valuable mental stimulation.
Tip #5 for Moving With a Dog: Provide a Safe Space for Your Pup at Both Homes
In preparation for moving day, make sure your dog has a safe space in your old house and your new house. You’ll want a place for him to hang out while there are movers working in your space, as well as a place to feel comfortable, calm and relaxed when things get stressful.
Pro Tip: If your dog loves his kennel, make sure it’s available to him whenever he needs it. If he doesn’t love his kennel, the time to get him used to it is well in advance of moving day – that way, when you drive from your old house to your new house, he’s not more stressed than necessary.
Tip #6 for Moving With a Dog: Hire a Dog Sitter for Moving Day
Consider hiring a dog sitter for moving day. That way, your pooch is out of the way when movers are coming in and out. You can pick her up as you drive to your new home. If hiring a dog sitter doesn’t work for you, make sure to sequester your dog in an empty room with her kennel, favorite toys, bed, and food and water on moving day. Mark the door so the movers don’t open it – the last thing you want is for your dog to sprint out the front door!
Tip #7 for Moving With a Dog: Walk Before You Go Into Your New Place
When you arrive at your new home, take your dog for a long, relaxing walk around the neighborhood. Let him sniff around, and when you reach your final destination, he’ll have burned off his excess energy and will be ready to go in and explore calmly.
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