The moving day has finally arrived, and there's no doubt that your stress levels are through the roof. But if you've never moved with your dog before, chances are you won't have considered the toll relocating can also have on your furry friend. Long before the day of the move, dogs can sense that something is changing in their environment, yet are not be able to understand fully what's going on. Before, during and after the move, dog owners can take some steps to ease anxiety levels in their four-legged friend and make for a much smoother move. Here's what to remember:
What to do before you move
It's important to try to keep your dog's routine as normal as possible in the weeks leading up to the move, including maintaining regular meal times and walks. Even though you are likely to have a jam packed 'to-do' list during this time, be sure to continue to spend time with your dog and give them enough attention. It's also a good idea to familiarise your dog with the new home by visiting it with the dog before moving day if possible. Before the move, be sure to check that all fences and gates are secure and that there is no way your animal can escape. So you don't forget later, before the move is the best time to obtain new council tags and update microchip details. Dogs frequently go missing shortly after moving because they go in search of their old territory, so be sure to include a mobile phone number attached to their collar.
What to do on moving day
It may be worth trying to have someone look after your dog while the removalists are packing up the home to avoid adding stress to your pet. For dogs that are anxious in the car, a mild sedative from a vet is useful during long car trips, especially if your dog has not regularly travelled. A crate can be a good solution to make dogs under 10kg feel safe and contain them during the trip, and if your dog suffers from motion sickness, it's a good idea to avoid feeding 12 hours before the journey. When you arrive at the new place, ensure dogs are secured in a spare room with toys, their pet bed or other familiar items until removalists have moved all other belongings into the new place.
What to do once you've settled
It's a good idea to keep your dog indoors for the first few days after moving to let them settle, while still giving daily walks for your dog to get to know and sniff out their new neighbourhood. Get to know immediate neighbours and introduce them to your dog, as neighbour's yards can be one of the first places missing dogs escape to, and if they know it's your dog, they'll be able to keep him safe. Try and keep your dog's routine the same as it was before the move and be patient with them if they make a mess on the carpet. Dogs adapt faster than cats to new environments, but it's a good idea to monitor how your dog is doing, and if you notice any changes in your pet's behaviour, whether physically or emotionally, its worth speaking to your vet. They may be able to recommend some strategies to ease anxiety or prescribe a medication to help settle things.
For more moving tips, contact a local moving company like Removal Man.