How To Move Locally Without Stressing Your Dog

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A move can be stressful on even the most laid back of canine companions. A combination of an anxious dog, open doors, local movers, and distracted owners can also lead to a lost pooch. Fortunately, local moves are usually short and sweet, so you only need to take a few steps to prepare your dog for the big day and their new home.

Maintain Normalcy

The days and weeks leading up to a move can be the most stressful for your dog. They know something is up, but they aren't sure what. The best way to help mitigate the anxiety is to maintain some sense of normalcy as you bring in boxes and begin packing. Keep to your same walking and feeding routines as much as possible, because a disrupted schedule can be highly stressful for your dog.

If possible, leave one room relatively untouched as you pack up the rest of the house. This is the spot to keep your dog's toys and bed. This way, they have a place of retreat where they can feel safe and less anxious.

Plan a Getaway

You have several options to lower the stress on moving day. The one you choose depends on your resources and your pet.

  • Set up a dog room at your old or current home,with a "do not open" sign on the door. Make sure this room has food, water, and toys. Your dog will be safe in this room, although it may make them anxious if they are easily stressed.

  • Send your dog to spend some time with a friend. If you have a friend or family member nearby that your dog knows well, this is a good time to schedule a visit. This is one of the lowest-stress ways to shield your pet from the anxiety of the move.

  • Board your dog for the day. Doggie day care services provide another option for getting your pooch away from the stress and bustle of the move. Of course, this is only a good option if these establishments don't cause anxiety in your dog. If you pet hasn't been to one before, schedule a short test run a few weeks in advance of your move.

Set Up a Pooch Pad

Before moving your dog to the new house, set up a space just for them. This should have familiar items, including toys, which will make the new home more comfortable for your dog. Generally, you want to keep your dog confined to a small area when you aren't home until the dog fully adjusts and until you are done unpacking. If your dog is crate trained, simply keep them in their crate. Otherwise, have a safe room they stay in that has all the familiar comforts of the old home.

Form a Safe Perimeter

Before letting your dog out in the yard for the first time, make sure the fence is secure and there are no places were your dog can get under, over, or through. Also, check that their identification tags and microchip (if applicable) are up to date with your new contact information. If your pet does escape, they may not be able to find their way back to your new home as easily as they could the old one. In fact, for a local move, they may even make the journey back to your old home since it is nearby and familiar.

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