How to Manage Your Dog on Moving Day

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Real Estate

How to Manage Your Dog on Moving Day

by Cindy Aldridge 

Moving day is not your dog’s idea of a good time. The humans are too busy to play, and all the change is making your dog nervous. But you can’t exactly stop the process just because your dog isn’t having fun. So how can you make the big move easier on your dog? These tips can help.

Packing Up
Does your dog show signs of separation anxiety every time you pack for a trip? If so, packing up your entire house could send his nerves into overdrive. However, you can spare your dog the stress by keeping him away from the action. Set your dog up in a room that you don’t need to pack right away, like a guest bedroom or laundry room. Stock the room with his bed and favorite toys and treats so he’ll be comfortable and entertained while you work, and be sure to pay regular visits for play sessions and bathroom breaks.

Keeping your dog out of the way while you pack and load does more than limit your pet’s stress. It’s also essential for preventing accidents while moving. If your dog is loose, you could trip over him while carrying a heavy box and seriously injure yourself and your dog. If you’re hiring a moving crew or getting help from friends, you could be held financially liable for an accident. Keeping your dog behind closed doors also eliminates the chance for him to escape amidst the moving day chaos.

Driving to Your New House
After everything is packed and loaded, the next step is driving it to the new house. When you’re transporting your dog in a vehicle packed with boxes, leaving him loose isn’t an option. Your dog could be hurt if boxes shift while driving, and you won’t be able to respond quickly while behind the wheel. Keeping your dog crated while driving is the safest choice. If you don’t typically crate your dog, introduce the crate a few weeks before the trip so he can get comfortable with it.

Exercise your dog before the drive so he’s tired and more likely to sleep or lay quietly during the trip. If your dog gets car sick, avoid feeding him before driving. On long drives, feed him when you’re stopped for extended breaks, such as your own meals. Vetstreet offers additional suggestions for preventing car sickness in dogs.

If your trip is so long that you have to stop overnight, make sure you identify pet-friendly hotels and motels in advance. You can use to locate dog-friendly lodging along your route.

Finally, make sure your dog is wearing a collar with ID tags and that his microchip information is current. If your dog happens to escape at a rest stop or in a car accident, proper identification will be key in securing his safe return.

Unpacking and Settling In
When you arrive at the new house, don’t immediately give your dog free reign of the property. Not only will he get in the way while you’re unpacking, but the unfamiliar setting could also trigger anxiety and misbehavior.

Keep your dog and his things in a closed room while you set up the house. Once your new house is filled with familiar furnishings, your dog will be comfortable exploring. However, he might still need some help adjusting. Give plenty of affection and reassurance during the transition and take walks slow so your dog has a chance to sniff and explore.

Moving to a new house can be a great thing for your dog. Maybe you’ll have a bigger backyard, a park down the street and more space to play indoors. But for most dogs, the move itself is a stress-inducing time — and if your dog isn’t managed properly, it could become stressful for you, too. With this advice, you can make moving day run smoothly for everyone.