22 Jul How to Adjust Your Dog to a New Place
Moving or relocating is tuff & ruff, and not only for the humans but also for their beloved furry canine!! Relocation is not only time-consuming, but also brings about a lot of stress considering all the packing, unpacking, discarding, and planning. Moving with your pet dog can add another layer to the stress blanket!! Change in surroundings can cause stress and anxiety among dogs, understandably so, since these furry friends are habitual of their space, and are territorial. Pet parents cannot explain to their pet dogs the reason for moving or relocating. Hence it is not only the humans who dislike moving, this misery also affects the dogs to a much larger extent. Having said that, while some dogs get anxious and grief-stricken upon being uprooted from their familiar location, some other pet dogs might not exhibit those behavioral signs of trauma and discomfort. Though there is no means to avoid the hassle of moving or mitigating to another house, area, a new state, or a different country altogether, you can surely lessen the discomfort of your pet dog and ease their adjustment to the new neighborhood. There are certain measures or certain points that the pet parents can keep in mind before, while, and after moving to a new home along with their pet dogs.
1) Keep your pet dog away from packaging material and packed items
Keep the pet dog away from all the packaging material, cartons or boxes so that your pet does not tear or damage the items if they are just lying around. Most of the pet dogs might get anxious seeing things around getting packed. Hence the lesser they see the progress of what is happening around them, the better for them. Try to keep the house as ‘normal’ as possible to avoid stressing your pet. Avoid packing all the items at once and using your pet dog’s personal space or room for that.
2) Pack all essentials that your pet dog uses or connects with
Pack all the pet essentials and familiar items for your furry friend so that they would know where to look for their things when they enter unfamiliar surroundings. Seeing those familiar items that belong to them will help them cope with relocation grief. Avoid buying new things for your pet and continue using items they are familiar with, at least till the time they feel comfortable with other things around.
3) Explore anti-anxiety treatments for your pet dog
You may want to explore anti-anxiety gear or medication for your pet dog during the relocation. Also, getting your pet dog microchipped can help a great deal during the movement since your pet might get anxious and want to run away. A leash should always be handy to calm or control the anxious pet from doing anything unwanted while shifting homes. Also, be aware of their escaping attempts from the unknown surroundings and never let them be out of the house, unsupervised.
4) Look for a vet in the new neighborhood
Find a vet in the new neighborhood for your pet dog for regular visits, check-ups and update the medical records in case the pet dog might need new vaccination or preventive medications based on the area, state, or country that you are moving to. There could be digestion issues due to the changing weather or diet. Also, dogs tend to lose their appetite in new surroundings or under stress. Hence pet parents are advised to take their pet dogs to the vet for physical examinations as soon as they notice these signs.
5) Continue with the old routine
Pets parents are recommended to continue with a similar routine even after moving to a new neighborhood. Understandably, it might be difficult to follow the same routine as unpacking, and setting up the new house is time-consuming and requires effort, however, it might unsettle the pet if there is a gap or absence of the routine that was followed back at their previous home. Feeding them at the same time, taking them out for pooping, daily walks, playing with them like before, and putting them to sleep are some everyday activities that will help your pet dog to be in a routine and eventually bounce back.
6) Help your pet dog to let out energy through physical activity
Ensure that the pet dog is continuously exercising and is active after moving to the new place. Physical activity is known to keep the stress level down and help in calming the pet. You can add in a quick game of fetching the ball or take the pet for longer than usual walks while exploring the new locality and familiarize yourself with the streets. Help your furry friend to spend that extra amount of energy so that by the end of the day they are tired and sleep peacefully.
7) Do not invite new people over or buy new stuff just yet
Inviting visitors or neighbors immediately after moving to a new home is not a good idea especially when the question is of the comfort of your pet dog. Seeing a lot of new faces soon after moving into a new unfamiliar place might act as a stress inducer for your furry friend. Even if your pet is a people-friendly dog, this change might get overwhelming for them to handle. Hence hold on to that house warming party if you are moving with your pet to a different place. Avoid forcing your pet to meet new people or socialize with the neighbors’ pets. Also, if you are excited to buy new items for your recently moved-in house, it would be a better idea to hold on to that thought for a while!! Keep some pieces of décor and furniture from the previous house that your pet dog has an affinity for. Don’t get rid of everything at once and wait for a few weeks before buying. A good idea to de-stress your pet and your bank balance!!
8) Set up your pet dog’s special comfortable space and let them be
Set up your pet dog’s space as soon as you get to your new house. These familiar beds, blankets, toys, food, and water bowls are your pet’s essentials that will keep them calm by giving comfort in an unfamiliar space. This space need not be an elaborate system that you plan to put up permanently for your pet dog, but even a temporary spot will make them think of their area and accept the new surroundings with much more ease. Ensure you introduce your pet slowly and patiently to the new house.
9) Give more love and attention to your pet dog
Giving more attention to your pet dog can do wonders. Spend more than the usual time with them as this is the situation when they will be looking at your companionship the most. Try to stay at home for a few days and do not leave your pet alone in the house post mitigating to a new place. Steal a few moments of quality time between household chores, unpacking, and setting up tasks. Running around, playing with toys, or belly rubs can send out a signal of assurance that everything will be alright!!
10) Try to be more patient with your pet dog
Another quality that is required from the pet parent is patience towards their pet dogs while and post-movement. There might be times when the pet may require time to acclimatize to the new locality. They might have an accident in the new house or bark at the new faces walking by outside the window. Pet parents are advised to keep calm, have patience, give them time to settle, and realize that these are the signs of anxiety and stress. Acknowledge that your pet dog is going through a tough situation and make it easy for them to get through this phase with your patience. Do not expect them to accept the change the way you do it!!
Understand your pet’s anxiety associated with moving homes or relocating to different places, whether it’s international export or international import or domestic. Do not get disheartened, disappointed, impatient, or annoyed with your pet if they do not accept the new place instantly.
Some accept this kind of change quickly whereas some other take time to settle in. Ultimately it is only a matter of time that your pet will eventually accept your new home as their home sweet home!! But till then do not ignore the fact that these furry canines need you the most, especially during this difficult and tiring process!!