They say that moving to a new place is one of life’s most stressful events. It’s no less stressful for your pooch, who is suddenly immersed not only in new surroundings, but new smells, a new yard, and a neighborhood of new people and pets. Just because you can chill out with a glass of wine after a day of unpacking or working at a new job doesn’t mean your furry friend has those skills.
Redfin’s Lexi Klinkenberg covers some steps to observe to make sure your dog eases into the life change. The first is when you are packing for your move. Just as your dog can sense when you are going out for the evening and will be alone for several hours, he or she can pick up on your emotions and feel uneasy about all the new and different activities going on. Staying organized while you move means less pressure on you, and when you are less stressed, your dog will feel more at ease.
It’s easy to find a new vet in your new town by letting your fingers do the computer-walking. Use Yelp! to check for vets and vet reviews or check with neighbors or your new co-workers on who they recommend. If the vet you choose isn’t open 24/7, it’s a good idea to find an emergency vet in your new area as well. Then take a practice run to the vet hospital just so you won’t panic if something happens.
With all the details of your move, you may not have thought of getting a new ID tag for your dog ahead of time and placing it on his collar before you move. Why is this so important? Because it’s not uncommon for dogs to be anxious in their new surroundings and find ways to escape. A dog takes a survey of where he is mostly by smell. So trying to recognize unfamiliar ones are like reading a newspaper in a foreign language. He just may bolt trying to find the old familiar ones.
Just as you would survey your new home and yard to identify any hazards for a toddler, carefully scan the house for potential pet hazards. Look everywhere — including from your dog’s level — for hazards on the floor, places he or she might be able to jump up to or over, and holes in or under your backyard fence. “Even if your dog isn’t a climber, a new environment may cause stress and lead to unusual behavior,” says Klinkenberg.
Store away household cleaners, antifreeze, paint, pesticides, medications (prescription and over-the-counter, including vitamins), and place houseplants out of paws’ reach. Look for things that can be swallowed like buttons, needles, toy parts or game pieces that may have been left on the floor.
Try to place your dog’s bed, toys, water, and food dishes in your new home before arriving. “This will let the dog know that this is their space now, and it will be comforting to have familiar items and smells,” says Klinkenberg. “When you first arrive with your dog at the new home, take them to the backyard to relieve themself in the area you prefer. Showing your dog where the proper place to use the bathroom is located. Next, walk through the house and let your dog sniff around to their heart’s content. Try not to leave them alone during the first day in the new home, they may be nervous, and you are what they are most familiar with.”
Be patient and let your dog adjust on his or her own time. Some dogs will be perfectly comfortable within a few days, but others may take a few weeks or months to finally feel at home and settle in. “No matter how long it takes your dog to adjust, your patience is more likely to speed up the process and make your dog feel more comfortable,” says Klinkenberg.
Lastly, be patient and shower your dog with love. Your buddy will look to you for reassurance and protection just long enough to become that guard dog you can count on to make sure you know when that new doorbell rings.
Source: Redfin | TBWS