Getting a new house can be overwhelming – chances are you’ve already got a list as long as your arm of things to clean and stuff to pack. In the whirlwind of a move it’s important to remember that your furry companion is probably as stressed as you are.
Even when you’re still at the stage of worrying about whether to take Auntie Bertha’s hideous antique vase collection out of storage, your pup is picking up on your anxiety – and a new home means new exciting smells but also unsettling, unfamiliar places.
So make special provision for your four legged friend when you’re upping sticks. Here are a few things to consider – your pet has a whole host of needs on top of yours when you’re shifting but with a little forethought you’ll be able to keep your pet calm, collected and quickly settled:
- Make sure you’ve updated their tags before you leave with your new address and phone number – that way you can change them on the day of the move and if they manage to make a break for freedom, they’ll get returned to the right place. You’ll also need to update the address on your pet insurance and find a vet in your new area.
- If you’re renting, you’ll be moving to property with a dog-friendly landlord – though they’re obviously open to pets you need to make sure that house insurance covers accidents or damage caused by your pet. If they’re going to fret and chew it’ll probably be in the early stages of settling in your new home, so make sure you’re set before you move.
- If you’re moving less than a day away, leave your dog with a trusted friend or family member on the move date. They’ll just be getting in the way if they’re running around your legs while you’re trying to shift boxes – and chances are they won’t enjoy the bunch of strange removal men who’re ducking in and out of their territory.
- If you’re moving a long way away, take your dog in the car with you but make sure they’re confined – when you get to the other end of your journey, you’ll need to leave them in the crate or keep them on a leash until all the moving’s done and you’re safely installed. Then, close all the doors and windows and let them explore their new environment.
- It helps with the transition if you unpack their toys, bedding and food bowls in areas in the new house which are in a similar space to where they were kept before – in the corner of the kitchen, at the side of the living room etc. That’ll make it easier for the dog to get orientated and strengthen their associations with this new place and their old home.
- When things have calmed down, you’ve got time to dedicate to your dog – play, treats and attention will all make them feel comfortable and loved and foster positive associations with their new surroundings. Try to keep your routine as regular as possible – feeding, walking and bedtime should be kept to identical hours as before.