Moving When You Own A Dog

Moving is always stressful, no matter how much you’re looking forward to your new home. However, things are different for your dog. They don’t understand what moving means. To them, their home is slowly disappearing into boxes until they’re suddenly in a completely different space.

There are ways you can help moving with your dog easier for both of you. To start, you need to make sure your new community will even allow your dog to move with you.

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How To Find The Right House

Finding the right house starts by asking a few questions. The Balance recommends that you talk to your prospective city and country for any regulations on dogs. For example, some ban pit bulls entirely.

Depending on where you end up buying a home, you may have to deal with condo or homeowner associations. Don’t ignore their rules or limits! This will just lead to a huge problem down the road. Instead, ask them if your dog will be welcome. Beyond just banning breeds, many such organizations ban certain sizes or noisy animals.

Now that you found a place that welcomes your pet dog, you have to look at the new floor plan as if you were a pet.

  • Is there enough space inside (and out) for your dog? Large breeds often need more space, as do very active breeds.

  • If you plan on letting the dog off-leash in the backyard, is the fence in good condition? Are there any gaps your dog can squeeze through?

  • How busy is the street? One that gets plenty of traffic can be dangerous to your dog, especially if they are prone to escaping.

  • Where is the closest veterinarian in case of a medical emergency?

Packing & Moving Day Tips

After a long search, you finally found the best house for you and your dog. Before you start putting everything you own in boxes, remember that your dog doesn’t know what’s going on. If they suddenly find everything in the house replaced by large boxes, they can understandably get confused and upset.

I Heart Dogs has a few recommendations to make packing and moving easier on everyone:

  • Stick to established routines and times as much as possible.

  • Take your dog on more walks than normal to get rid of some nervous, pent-up energy.

  • Spend time playing with your dog so they know you’re still going to be there even though many objects are “disappearing.”

You also want to pack slowly over time so the changes are spread out.

Acclimating Your Dog To The New House

Once packing is done, moving day can come and go. As you sit in your new place wondering what to unpack first, your dog can use a little help. After all, they still don’t know this is their new home! That’s why Redfin recommends helping your dog settle in:

  • As with packing, stick to those established routines. Your dog will be craving some predictability when facing so many changes to their life.

  • Walk through your new house room-by-room with your dog and check for any hazards like exposed electrical cords or toxic plants out in the backyard.

Make this time fun. Stay with the old toys to avoid even more changes, but play with your dog. The happier your dog becomes, the more likely they will settle in and enjoy the new place that much sooner.

Make This Move A Big Success

Few people look forward to the actual moving process. That’s because it can be stressful and confusing. This is even more true for your dog since they do not understand what moving means. You can help by making sure your new community will welcome your dog. Then stick to routines as you pack and spend plenty of time with your dog on your first day in the new place. This way, the stress of moving can fade as quickly as possible for you and your pet dog.

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