Article Written by Cindy Aldridge. Photo via Pixabay.com
Moving into a new home is an exciting opportunity, but it can be stressful for a pooch who has no clue what’s going on. Imagine going to bed one night and waking up the next morning to strangers in your home, moving your stuff and shuffling it out the door. This can be a scary situation for your dog, but he will eventually grow to love your new home as much as the old one. If you’re wondering how to help Fido settle into his new digs, just remember… it may take a few weeks to adjust — these tips should help.
Pet-Proof Your Home First
Before you let your dog walk through the front door, you need to spend some time pet-proofing your home. Like children, dogs tend to get into everything, so look at your home from their point of view and make the necessary adjustments. In the bathroom and laundry room, make sure cleaners, detergents, bleach and medications are locked away or stored out of reach. If you haven’t done so already, you might also consider revamping your cleaning routine with pet-safe products, especially if your pooch tends to lick and investigate while you clean. Wires and cords in any room in your home should be tucked or covered to avoid chewing. If you have children, make sure they stay vigilant about putting away small toys that can become choking hazards. Don’t forget to pet-proof your yard as by repairing holes in fences and be sure to look around for plants that are poisonous to dogs too such as azaleas, daffodils, ivy, and wisteria.
Bring the Old Home to Your New Home
Moving is the perfect time to get rid of old items and free up some space, but now isn’t the time to throw away your dog’s favorite blanket, no matter how chewed up and smelly it is. One of the first things you should do when unpacking is set up a comfy area for your dog filled with familiar items such as his bed, blankets, toys, and crate. If Fido shares your bed with you (or hogs it), moving might be a good time to leave that old mattress behind and get a new one. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years, and having a dog snuggled up with you each night probably shortens that lifespan. Shop around to find a mattress you’ll both love or use the new mattress as a reason to transition your dog to his bed and cut down on pet dander and restless nights. However, it’s best to wait several weeks before making any big changes to your dog’s regular routine.
Ease Everyone’s Anxiety
Some dogs get a little more nervous than others and when you throw a new environment into the mix, it could increase their separation anxiety. It’s impossible to stay at home 24/7 and bringing your dog with you isn’t always an option, so consider investing in some products to help ease separation anxiety. Swaddling jackets that provide gentle pressure are often an easy way to reduce your dog’s anxiety. Dogs can’t resist treats, so a Kong dog toy filled with their favorite snack is a tasty distraction while you’re away. You can even get a pet camera that allows you to see, talk and play with your pooch, giving you both peace of mind.
Another area of anxiety you may experience when moving is how your neighbors (and their pets) will get along with your dog. After you’ve had a day or two to settle in, introduce your dog to the neighbors. By doing so, you can learn about any pet courtesies, as well as if there are any neighbors who are fearful or not fond of dogs. Be cautious when introducing your dog to other pets. Don’t forget to ask about any dog parks in the area and maybe schedule a play date.
When you move, your dog has no idea what is going on, so it’s your job to help them acclimate to their new home. Pet-proof first, then begin the home and neighbor introductions. It’s a slow process, but you will both enjoy settling in together with these helpful tips.
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