Tips to Keep your Dog Safe and Secure in His New Home
A move is stressful for humans, but while it may add some chaos to your life, relocating can turn a dog’s world upside-down. Dogs are creatures of habit. They grow accustomed to their usual surroundings and derive a good part of their sense of security from their territory. When a move is necessary, however, there are several ways to minimize the stress on your dog and make sure that he’s safe during and after the process, as well.
Gradual changes are best for a dog
It’s always best to approach any significant change in a dog’s life with caution and introduce it gradually. For example, you can start packing early so that a sudden appearance of moving boxes doesn’t confuse your dog. And while you’re preparing for the move, be mindful of the commotion you create and how it can negatively affect your dog. If possible, set aside a “safe-zone” -- an area reserved last for packing that is sheltered from noise and movement of professional movers. Keeping the dog bed, crate, toys and other creature comforts in a separate area helps tremendously to maintain stability in your dog’s life.
Keep your mood in check
During this time you’re likely to be stressed out, as moves are major decisions in anyone’s life. Keep in mind that dogs can mirror our anxieties, so make sure you keep a calm demeanor. Use the move as an opportunity for additional bonding between you and your dog. Longer, more frequent walks, more cuddling, stepping up training sessions or just hanging out together can go very far in calming your dog’s nerves.
On moving day, consider asking someone to watch your dog during the move. You want the first day at his new house to be full of pleasant memories, not the loud and disturbing commotion of a move.
Set a stage at the new home
When it comes time to introduce your dog to the new home, apply the same staging techniques from your pre-move. Setting up a comfortable area for your dog filled with his favorite things will help him assimilate into his new surroundings. Don’t forget extra attention at this time as well, since your dog will likely be very confused and looking for reassurances. Social isolation is a primary source of frustration for dogs, which can result in destructive behavior and attempts to escape.
At the new house, it’s important to make sure that your dog is safe and secure. If you haven’t already done so, assess all potential dangers to your dog. Hide electrical cables, remove toxic plants, secure curtain and blind cords, and make sure your dog does not have access to dangerous chemicals in lower cabinets.
If you have a fenced-in yard at the new home, this could be an excellent resource for his playtime and safety, and your convenience. If not, a move is an ideal time to consider the investment in a fenced yard. Although a fenced-in yard is not a replacement for frequent walks and supervision, it permits your dog to have additional territory for him to explore and enjoy. It costs an average of $2,670 to install or build a fence. The investment will pay off for both you and your dog.
If you adopt a gradual plan to introduce a new residence to your dog, you can greatly reduce his anxiety during and before the move. By reinforcing your bond with your dog, taking the time to familiarize him with the location and ensuring that the new house is free of dangers your dog will be enjoying his home in no time.
Photo Credit: SplitShire
Written by Cindy Aldridge