The challenges linked to moving house does not only affect you — it affects your canine pal, too. While you may be excited about the move, your dog may be feeling alarmed by all the changes at home caused by the preparations being made. And of course, he will need to adjust to the new environment.
There are some dogs who will make the transition smoothly. However, other canines may experience trauma by the loss of their old home as well as all the disruptions to their usual routine. Although it’s impossible to avoid the pressure of a move completely, there are ways to ease your canine’s transition to your new home.
A trusted pet food provider in Dubai lists down what you can do to make your house move a happy experience for your pet.
1. Set up a safe area.
Most dogs will get overwhelmed by the piles of boxes, the furniture being moved around, and all the unfamiliar people coming in and out of the house. So set up a space just for him, preferably a gated room where your dog can be kept away from the hustle and bustle while the move is taking place.
Be sure to set up your dog’s area first, then add in a familiar bed, crate, toys, blankets, food, and water before you begin unpacking.
After the movers leave, take your canine on a leash and give him a tour of your new home. Don’t let your dog run free yet as he may get anxious by the unfamiliar location and get tempted to chew or mark the new territory.
2. Surround your dog with his old possessions.
Often, pet parents make the mistake of tossing out their dog’s old things and replacing everything with new ones at the new house. But during the weeks of transition, your pet will be happier to find his familiar bed, leash, and toys still around for him to use. Giving him his favorite dog treats can also offer him comfort.
These items remind your pet of the old house and having them within reach will make your dog realize that the new place is his home, too.
- Maintain your dog’s routine.
Since your pet will face an entirely new environment, try to maintain his routine as much as you can. From meals to exercising to potty time to bedtime, do your best to stay consistent with your dog’s schedule, especially during the first two weeks.
By feeding your dog, exercising him, and scheduling his potty breaks at the same time as you did back in the old house, he will experience some semblance of his usual routine even if the locations are completely different.
Make sure not to make any major changes in the first few weeks to allow your dog to adapt well to his new home. Once your canine learns to adjust, you can then start tweaking his routine as needed.
4. Give lots of attention.
Your dog needs you to give him cues that the new home environment is going to be a positive one. Give your dog lots of reassurance in the form of attention such as belly rubs and playtime.
It’s quite easy to get distracted while trying to settle into a new place. But remember, your dog will still need as much of your attention as before, so make sure to give it to him (and be generous with it!).
5. Start with short departures.
If possible, try to ask for time off work during the first week to avoid leaving your pet alone. Try to wait as long as possible before leaving your canine alone at the new house, even if this means you need to take him everywhere with you.
When you do begin leaving for work, start with abrupt departures first and give your dog some form of entertainment or distraction while you’re away, like a food toy.
If you’re moving with your family, another option is to take turns staying with the dog. This way, at least one person will always be with your canine to help him feel comfortable while you’re not around.
6. Spend time on the floor.
One of the things that will help your dog feel at home in a new place is a familiar smell. You can add familiar smells to your new house faster by playing on the floor with your pet. Being on the floor together with your dog also adds to the time you spend with him during this stressful time.
7. Observe your dog’s mood.
Dogs differ in terms of how long it takes them to adjust to their new environment. Some will be fine after walking through the door, while others will take months to adapt.
If your dog is still acting anxious or depressed weeks after your move, you may have a sensitive pet who needs emotional support. Try to play some soothing music, which may help your dog feel relaxed.
If you feel that your pet isn’t adjusting well to the new environment or you see his behaviors getting worse, consult an animal behaviorist or trainer for the best thing to do.
Be a source of positivity
Pets can sense what their owners feel. If you feel anxious and tensed about your move, chances are, your dog will feel it, too. Let your dog see that your new home is a safe place so that he’ll feel relaxed and start to adjust in no time.
Be patient and let your dog get used to the new place at his own pace. No matter how long it will take for your pet, demonstrating patience is sure to be a great help for him.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.