You hear it all the time, “my dog is like my baby,” and it’s true, pets are considered part of the family. Yet, when their well-intentioned owners set out moving to a new “family” home, the needs of the four-legged family member get left off the priority list. But just as you require moving into the finest school district for your children and worry how the children will manage moving day, you should also consider your fur baby.
For example, nothing is worse than moving into a new home only to have the new neighbor complaining that your dog actually has the nerve to bark. You’ll face less of these dog-unfriendly neighborhood situations if you take a thorough look around before committing to a spot. The real estate experts at Trulia say this will give you a good opportunity to look for signs that show if you’ll be part of a dog-loving community, such as other dogs out and about, areas for play, veterinary clinics and dog supplies nearby.
Speaking of play areas, if you’re looking at an apartment or a rural area where there won’t be other dogs around, you should make sure that there is a park, and preferably a dog park, nearby for proper socialization. Socialization helps dogs to become confident, friendly canine companions, according to the American Humane Society. Dogs that don’t learn proper socialization skills suffer the unhealthy consequences of not learning to conquer their fears and frequently get insufficient exercise because owners are afraid to take them out.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect home for your entire family, you’ll need to focus on making the move as smooth as possible. Pet experts agree that just as selling your home, packing, moving, and setting up a new house is overwhelming and stressful for you and it will also be challenging for your furry best friend.
- If your dog already has an anxious disposition, talk to your veterinarian about a short-term anti-anxiety drug or an anxiety vest to be worn during this period of time.
- A worried or anxious dog is more apt to make a run for it if things are particularly tense, so it’s important to double-check and make sure your dog has an identifying tag or a microchip.
- If you are making a long-distance move, and your dog isn’t crate trained, start working with them early in the planning stages to get them used to it.
- Wherever your dog spends most of their time, pack this room last to avoid a major upset.
The best thing you can do for your dog on moving day is to either board them or find a friendly face to be a pet sitter. Unfamiliar faces moving in and out of your home can create a stressful environment. Let your pet relax with a family member they know during this busy day.
- Don’t bathe your dog or their belongings. It’s always tempting to think of a fresh clean start, but your dog will rely on old familiar scents. This will help them settle into their new home.
- Start them out in a small room with some of their favorite toys and their bed before giving them the full run of their new home, that way they get slowly introduced to their new surroundings.
- Stick to old feeding and walking routines for familiarity.
- Consider a new interactive toy to engage them while they are settling into their new home, and to help prevent destructive behavior.
Making a new home for your family can be challenging, especially the ones you can’t talk through it. But by taking a few extra steps, you can make sure your pet will love your new home as much as you do. And while your kids head off to that great new school, you can head out for a great day at the dog park.
Article courtesy of Cindy Aldridge from OurDogFriends.org