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Tips for Moving with Dogs

Moving is rough on everyone, but especially dogs. Dogs are creatures of habit. If they could, they'd spend their lives around the same sights, sounds, and smells. As such, uprooting them from familiar surroundings causes an awful lot of stress, which can lead to lethargy, loss of appetite, and problem behaviors. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process a smooth and happy experience for your pooch. If you’ve never relocated a pet before, here are ten tips for moving with dogs.

Couple with dog sitting near moving boxes

Get Them Accustomed to Packing Supplies

Like people, dogs can read their owner’s mood. As a result, they can sense when a change is coming. If your dog’s ever gotten upset because you pulled out your suitcase, this is why. Packing supplies are even worse. So instead of bringing them home and immediately going to work, let them sit around your house for a few days. Place them in different rooms. Give your dog a chance to sniff and explore. Then, once they’ve gotten used to them, they won’t be disturbed when you start packing.

Stick to Their Normal Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit. They like to wake up, eat, and walk at the same time every day. So, even though it’s tempting to put everything on hold, in order to focus on packing, stick to your routine as much as possible. Go for walks at the normal time. Serve meals at the same time every day. If you usually play with them after dinner, play after dinner, regardless of how much packing you have left to do. Routines are comforting, especially when things are starting to change.

Exercise Frequently

There’s an old saying: tired dogs are good dogs. If your dog’s acting out because of the move, take them on extra long walks. Play with them more often. Let them stay longer at the dog park. Exercise not only deprives them of the energy to misbehave, it puts them in a better mood, the same way it does with humans.

Keep Them Entertained

Anxious dogs respond to games just as well as exercise. Give them a treat puzzle, buy a treat dispensing toy, or play hide and seek by placing food under boxes around your home. Games like these will keep your dog happy and occupied while you’re busy packing.

Update Their ID Tags

When you’re moving with dogs, there’s always a chance they might wander off and get lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood. So, before you go, make sure your dogs have proper tags with your phone number and new address. That way, if they do wander off, whoever finds them will know exactly how to get in touch with you.

Make Sure They’re Crate Trained

Travel crates keep pets safe during long trips, but they take some getting used to. If your dog hasn’t been crate trained, start slow. Bring them in for ten minutes at a time. Serve meals inside. Give them treats when they go in, until they’re comfortable. Never bring them in when they’re excited, however. Crates are a place to go when they’re calm, not in the mood for play.

Keep Them Out of the Way on Moving Day

Dogs cling to owners when they’re stressed. Not a problem on an ordinary day, but on moving day, anxious dogs are often underfoot, which can lead to big problems if you’re carrying heavy boxes or furniture. The best solution is to send them off to a friend's house until you’ve gotten everything loaded onto the truck. If you’re doing the move in a single day, wait until you’ve got everything moved into your new home before picking them up. If your friends and family aren’t available, a doggy day care or professional dog sitter works just as well.

Set Out Their Things When You Arrive

One of the best ways to make your dog feel at home is to lay out their bed, bowl, and toys straight away. Being able to sleep, eat, and play with their old belongings helps ease the transition. It also gives them a familiar place to retreat if they’re feeling stressed during unpacking.

Explore the Neighborhood Together

Dogs love to explore, so one of the best ways to help them settle into a new home is to go walking together. Check out the new sights and smells. Meet the neighbors. Get to know the dogs who live nearby. But don’t try to take in the entire neighborhood at once. Too many sights and smells can be overwhelming. If your dog starts to whine, yawn, or go on alert, it's probably time to turn back.

Show Them Lots of Love & Affection

As noted above, dogs read and respond to their owners. When you’re stressed, they’re stressed. So, if you’re moving with dogs, the best way to comfort them is to relax and have as much fun together as you can. Run around the park. Cuddle on the couch. Play frisbee and tug-of-war. The happier you are with them, the happier they’ll be in their new home.

Help For People Moving With Dogs

Allied works with dog owners every day, helping them relocate as seamlessly as possible. Moving with dogs long distance? Contact us today for a free quote. Our professional crews do everything they can to ensure your move is as stress free as possible, for both you and your dog.

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