Are you moving to a new city? You may be moving to a previously known city or a completely new one. You’re probably thinking of all the things that must be done before and after the move. And making list after list and trying to be as organized as possible. However hard you try, there are things that may not fit into the list and will be handled on the fly. But, if you have a dog, the need to prepare him for the move cannot be underestimated. Remember, you are uprooting your dog from all that is familiar and moving to a new location and your dog has no choice in the matter! As a pet parent, it is imperative that you start weeks before the actual move. This means that you will have to take a few steps such as getting your dog used to the idea of the impending relocation. Here’s how you can do that:
Plant the idea of the move:
It would be ideal if you can show signs of moving a few weeks earlier. For instance, you could take out the packing material like boxes and place them in a visible location. Once you start packing, it will be more disruptive to your dog. Instead, just leaving them in a corner and yet, visible would give an idea that something is happening or that a change is imminent. If your dog seems anxious, you can always make it seem quite normal. It may take a few days to get used to; but, it is well worth the effort. Your dog will get the feeling that there is nothing negative in seeing these boxes lying around.
Stick to a routine:
Make sure that nothing seems out of the ordinary by sticking to the usual routine. If you have a fixed time for the daily walks, stick to the same time. Stick the feeding schedule as usual. Try not to change their playtime either. Nothing rattles the dog as much as a sudden shift in routine. In fact, this is true of children, as well. Therefore, let your dog’s day remain unchanged as far as possible even as he is getting used to those packing boxes around the house. Be consistent as that will add to your dog’s feelings of security. Keep your dog engaged with physical and mental activity however busy you may be. This will help your dog remain free from anxiety or stress.
Introduce the new location:
If the new location is not too far from the old, you may want to take your dog to the new neighbourhood. You could make a few short trips in advance so that the place does not feel too strange and new after the move.
Now that you have moved to a new city, you are going to need time to get acclimated as smoothly as possible. The same applies to your dog, as well. Remember, your dog is going to a new safe space. During this period of transition, do help your dog by staying nearby. Do not leave your dog alone in a new place for long as it will add to the anxiety levels. Your dog will feel scared and become stressed.
Get back to a normal routine soon after the sudden change
Just as sticking to routine was important before the move, getting back to the routine is essential after relocating. You just have to help your dog find new territories to mark! Again, do not let unpacking and settling in take your time away from your dog. At the usual times, take a break from unpacking and take your dog out for daily walks. Use the same container for dog food and make sure you have got his favourite toy handy. As far as possible, ensure that your dog is surrounded by familiar things. Let everything not be new and strange.
Managing relocation with your dog
As a pet parent, try and avoid showing your own anxiety about the move. If you remain calm, your dog is sure to feel calm, too. If you make the changes seem positive, your dog will handle it quite well. Such changes last a little while until the new place becomes familiar and safe. Make sure that you completely understand your dog’s need for assurance and security and act accordingly.
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Do you find this information useful? For more advice, visit the VOSD website.