Making the decision to move isn’t easy, it comes with months of planning, finding your dream home, unexpected bumps in the road, and sometimes a lot of stress. It’s not uncommon to experience anxiety during this major life-changing event, but if you’re moving with your furry friends, then there might be some extra steps to ensure things don’t get too strenuous. As you sign on the dotted line and begin packing up your things to move, you should start considering what you can do to make fido feel comfortable before, during, and after the move.
Identifying Anxiety in Your Pup
Dogs, just like their parents, can suffer from anxiety for a variety of reasons. Separation, loud noises (like thunder or fireworks), or new environments. However, unlike us, they can’t verbally express their anxiety or concerns so it’s up to the dog moms and dads out there to keep a watchful eye for red flags that indicate stress. The ASPCA says you should pay attention to constant licking, chewing on furniture or toys, hiding, a tucked tail, pacing, or using the bathroom in places or times they normally wouldn’t as these could all be indicators of anxiety. If you’re noticing any of these new behaviors, then it’s probably due to their sensing change coming. In order to keep our furry friends happy, we need to make accommodations to their usual routine to slowly adjust them to the transition.
Ease the Transition
The first step to helping fido stay calm is to ease the transition. If your move requires a long road trip, it’ll be important to allow your pet some time to adjust to being in a crate if they’re not already familiar with one. Introduce them slowly by taking 15-20 minutes out of your day to help them get acquainted, doing this a few weeks out from your move would be ideal. Add in blankets and use treats to make them feel comfortable. If you have larger dogs that don’t necessarily require a crate to travel in or are pretty good travelers, then be sure to keep them comfortable wherever they may be during this time.
Pet tip: Start placing their meals inside their crates so they begin associating positive interactions with the crate. However, sometimes crates can stress out your pup even more. If you sense your pet is really uncomfortable or not adjusting well to being in a crate, consider letting them ride with you in the car.
Feel It Out
Slowly allow your pets to feel out the space around them, some may be eager to explore their new surroundings while others may prefer to sniff out their unfamiliar home. Introducing them to the home one room at a time is the best way to go about controlling their exposure to the potentially overwhelming new environment.
Pet tip: The ASPCA recommends having a “home base” when you first move in with your pet. This allows them to grow familiar to one specific area in the home and slowly expanding their comfort as you live there longer.
Make it Feel Like Home
Keep previous toys, beds, and other pet gear with you during your move. If man’s best friend is surrounded with things they’ve grown to be comfortable with and that already have their scent, then they’ll feel much more comfortable regardless of where you are in your move.
Pet tip: CBD oil has grown increasingly more common in the past few years. Studies are currently being conducted to determine how it can help pets with anxiety, pain, and even epilepsy. However, it’s always important to discuss new treatments, homeopathic or not, with your veterinarian prior to use per the recommendation of the ASPCA.
Have you moved with your furry friends before? Drop the tips you learned along the way in our comment section below! If you’re in the market for a new home or looking to start the process of selling yours, Homes.com offers step-by-step guides on how to buy, sell, or rent.