Books don’t complain. Furniture has no real routine. Flatware doesn’t notice new surroundings. There is no secret to moving these inanimate objects that greatly benefit our lives, but this is not the case for our beloved canine friends.
Moving is tough on humans, and we sort of know what is going on. Dogs love their home, they love their spots, and transitions to new places can be tough. Well, not as tough as with cats, but there are some measures to be taken care of, and knowing what to do will make moving with dogs a lot easier.
Start by reading under what conditions you can enter or return to the United Kingdom with your pet cat, dog, or ferret according to the UK government. Then, check the suggestions below about how to go about your dog when moving house.
Before Leaving Your Old Home
- Clean up and repair the damages. Living with a dog can be a challenge in terms of keeping your furniture without scratches or bite marks. Keeping your home clean will benefit you, regardless if you are a renter or homeowner. In the first case you will get your security deposit back, and in the second you will make it easier for you to find potential buyers.
- Think about your dog’s access points. If, under normal conditions, your dog is more than welcome in every area of your home, consider making certain areas off-limits when moving out. This will help you keep them more organised and clean. If shutting doors is not enough, use doggy gates or check online for some creative ways to restrict your dog’s access to certain rooms.
- Tie your dog during showings. No matter how cute and friendly your dog is, someone who is not comfortable with it can feel frightened all the time, especially during a showing. If you can’t get the dog out of the house, figure out another way to keep him away.
- Don’t neglect your dog’s needs. Moving out is a stressful experience and there is probably a lot going on now, but your dog needs you. Don’t shorten the walks, because exercise keeps the dog’s energy down. This means that your dog will be more likely to sleep, instead of engaging in messy, destructive behaviors. Also, it is believed that dogs are more likely to cooperate after nice, energetic walks.
- Check vaccination dates and documentation before the move. A lot of pet-friendly places will require proof of vaccination before they’ll let your dog move in. Be sure to check if your necessary documentation is up to date.
- Go for a walk right before the ride. It’s a good way to keep the dog away from the house while the movers load your stuff into the van. You should know by now that dogs aren’t very fond of strangers going in and out of the house. It’s also a good opportunity to tire the dog with playing activities, so he won’t be too irritated during the drive.
In Search of a New Dog-Friendly Location
When moving out with a dog, looking for a new place where they accept dogs at all is a no brainer. Whether renting or buying, it’s important to take your dog into consideration while going through the relocation process. You can start by looking up at Lets with Pets website to find a pet-friendly property in the UK. Here is what else you should have in mind:
- Look for dog-friendly locations. Is your current home close to the dog park? Do the people from your local coffee shop leave a bowl of fresh water and a treat for your dog in the mornings? Is the vet at a convenient distance for emergency situations? Would you be able to buy quality dog food? If the answer to those and similar questions is yes, then you have to make sure to maintain those similar routines in your new location to keep your pup happy. Stick to walks, meal time, bed time, adhere as closely to your established routine as possible, and your dog will not only have a much easier run with the whole affair, but he might actually understand what the whole household is doing.
- Secure a safety backyard if moving into a house. When choosing your new property, don’t forget to check the backyard, especially if you are moving your dog from apartment to house. Does it have a safe, fenced-in area without any cracks where your dog or dogs can freely roam? Also, think about how visible your dog will be when he is outside. If he can be seen from a major roadway, people can be scared, try to steal him, or even worse – poison your dog!
- Don’t forget about your dog’s new living quarters. When viewing your new place, make sure that you will be able to ensure a nice bedroom not only for your family members, but for the dog as well. Another question to consider is the following – where will you keep all the dog toys? What about his food and water plates?
- Do a test walk around the neighborhood. If you are seriously considering to buy this place, take a walk with your dog around the block. Have a look around and see what dogs you’ll meet along the way. Take notes on barking dogs in backyards, roaming cats, or other creatures. Think about how they may affect your dog’s behaviour and your daily routine. If you are moving to London, this article with the top 10 dog-friendly places can be very useful.
How to Help Your Dog Pack and Unpack
When the time to put everything you own in boxes comes, there is only one thing that you can be happy about – you have finally found your new dream home. But your stuff can wait, because you have to help your dog settle down first.
- Stay calm. Recognise that the whole relocation process may be anxiety-inducing for your dog, but it will be especially so if you are feeling stressed about it. This is why it is so important to maintain your calm. You can also help reduce your dog’s fear about the major changes going on by keeping his routine the same foras much as possible.
- Save your dog’s room for last. Whatever room is your pup’s favorite, save it for the end. That way, he’ll spend less time with the upheaval that is stressing him out.
- Invent a special moving checklist for your dog. This will ease the process, and help you remember all the important stuff your pet needs.
Moving House with Dogs Checklist
- Crate. Even if your dog is normally allowed to sit in the backseat of your car, if would be better if you stick him in the crate for safety purposes;
- Collar & Leash. Make sure that his new license and rabies tags are already attached to his collar on moving day;
- Food they normally eat. Stick with what he’s used to eating to avoid digestive problems and make sure to bring plenty of fresh water. Pack some extra water just in case;
- Doggy pillows and blankets. Your pup may be locked for long periods of time, so make sure he’s nice and comfortable by throwing in a few doggy blankets or pillows;
- A photo of your dog. Let’s just hope that you won’t need to use it, but keep a photo of your dog on hand in case he gets lost;
- Treats and toys. Keep your pup’s favourite t-bone or squeaky toy closeby to entertain him on move-in day;
- Meds for motion sickness. While travelling to your new place your dog can get sick. Ask your vet for a list of medications you can buy to help your dog;
- A new license. Check in with your town hall to confirm how to obtain a new tag with your new address and your telephone number;
- Grooming supplies. Keep the brush, doggy shampoo, and any other grooming items nearby in case your dog decides to explore the new surroundings as soon as you arrive at the new place.
Traveling to Your New Location
If your move is a long distance one, you’ll need to decide on how to move your items, as well as your family, to your new location. Here are a couple of things to consider for your pup when deciding between methods of transportation:
- Consider that your ride will take longer if you are going to travel with your dog. Do you normally like to drive as many hours as possible before stopping? That’s not good for your dog, who should get out to stretch his legs and take a bathroom break every four to six hours. Naturally, this will add to your travel time. Also, make sure you plan where you will stay for the night. It may not always be easy to arrange pet-friendly accommodations, unless you do so in advance.
- Don’t take any unnecessary risks if your dog is older. Whether they spend days on the road or hours unsupervised in cargo, senior dogs can be at a greater risk of suffering health issues. Talk to your veterinarian about what travel method is the safest. In some cases, you may have to make the tough choice of re-homing your dog with a friend or family member rather than putting him through the ordeal.
Head over to Cesar Millan’s website for more dog travel tips.
How to Help Your Dog Settle In The New House
Now is the time to set up or re-establish good habits! Focus on rules, boundaries, and limitations.
- Establish your new routine quickly. It’s likely that some things will change in the new home, but try to stick to your previous routine as closely as possible. If you’ve switched time zones, jump right into the new schedule like it didn’t even happen. Still go for that 9 a.m. walk at your new location – even if it may feel like 11 a.m. to your dog.
- Update your dog tags. You want your new contact information on your dog stat. Being in a new place can increase the chances of your dog bolting and getting lost.
- Find a new veterinarian if the old one is no longer reachable. Ask for recommendations from neighbors and co-workers and get your dog in for a check-up. Getting your dog in before an emergency situation arises can help him get to know the new vet in a relaxed way. This goes double if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Find out if there are any region-specific vaccines that your dog may now need.
- Don’t wash those dog blankets. When moving, your gut instinct may be to get everything fresh and new – but stop at your dog’s items. Keep them smelling just like your pup. That familiar scent can help him feel more at home in a new location.
It’s these simple actions that can make the difference between a peaceful move for your pup or your dog being miserable and trying to bite the moving team.