Buying a new house is a super exciting time in your life. Everything would be great if it weren’t for the actual moving. Moving house is an absolute faff – it’s the time when you realise just how much junk you’ve got, and that you need to somehow pack it all up and move it into the new house, unpack, arrange everything in its place again, go through that horrid time when you’re living out of moving boxes – it’s not great.
And you know what can make it even more difficult for everyone involved? Pets. Just like us, pets can have a hard time getting used to new homes, and they can be agitated during the moving process. It’s up to you to make things easy for yourself and also make sure things run smoothly for your little canine friend. Thankfully, there are some tips you can consider.
Try to keep their routine
In trying to keep your pup calm, it’s very important to retain their routine, even while your moving house. This maintains the illusion of normalcy for as long as possible and doesn’t give the dog anxiety because of the changes happening. So, even while packing and preparing, try to continue to give your dog the same amount of time and attention as before.
If they go outside for a walk at fixed times, continue to do so, and try not to change their spaces around. They have to be able to sleep in the same place they always have, they need to be able to find their food, toys, etc.
Clean out the new house if the owners had pets
You need to clean the new house anyway, but even more so if they had pets before. Foreign scents can make a dog skittish, territorial, etc. So, before you bring the dog into the new house, give it a thorough clean from top to bottom, especially in spaces that will belong to your dog, such as the corner where they will eat, where their bed goes, in the backyard, etc.
Create a safe space for your dog
And speaking of scents and routine, on the move-in day, try to set up a “safe” corner for your dog. Make sure to keep on hand essentials, such as the doggy bed, their food bowls, and some favourite toys. That will allow them to take comfort in familiarity and feel like they “own” something in this new, foreign space. They have a place to retreat to if they get scared or anxious, and it’ll feel like “home”.
Leave the dog with someone they trust, if you can
But even easier than setting up a safe corner is to just leave the dog with a safe person, in a place they’re familiar with. Consider your regular dog sitter or a person they know well, like a friend or a family member. This will keep them out of the way while you’re busy doing other things, so they won’t interfere with the moving process or get hurt. It’s by far, the best solution to ensure their well-being.
Keep in mind the possibility of the dog going back “home”
Animals have a very strong sense of belonging and home, so it is entirely possible that they might decide to make a run for it and go back to what they know is “home”. You can take precautions by letting the new owners know that this might happen and giving them your details, address, and the details about the dog, in case the pup turns up at their doorstep. It’s a good idea to also make sure that the dog is microchipped and has a collar with your phone number and address, should they get lost on their way back home.
Have patience for accidents
Since this is a big change for everyone, especially for pets, who don’t understand what is happening, you can expect accidents. While they’re getting used to their new environment and surroundings, toilet accidents will happen, but you have to be patient, make sure not to scold them, and instead, just gently show them where the toilet is at the new house. Reward desirable behaviour and the pup will get used to it in no time!
Moving house with a pet can be more difficult both for you and your dog, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are things you can do to smooth the transition for your little canine friend and to make sure that you both make it to your new home in one piece. You just have to be careful to maintain some familiar things in order to link the old house to the new one and help your dog understand what is happening.