Pets on the Move – How to Help Them with the Transition

3 years ago

Moving to a new home is stressful for every family member, including your family dog. “Spot” can easily adapt to a new home and an unfamiliar environment, but you have to help him through the transition.  Read on for some tips on how to reduce stress on your pet and make your family’s move easy! 

Before you move…

Make an appointment at the vet.  Before you move take Spot to his current vet. Make sure he is up to date on all vaccines, his nails are cut and he is freshly groomed (this will help prevent scratches on your new floors and hair getting all over your new home).  Ask the vet for referrals in your new area.  If you forget, visit the American Animal Hospital Association website for help.  Then, once you get settled in your new home schedule a “meet and greet” with your pup’s new vet!

*Don’t forget to get copies of your dog’s medical records so you can bring those with you to the first appointment at a new vet.

Research pet ownership rules.  Look into community rules regarding your pet– must your dog be leashed at all times? Are their specific requirements for vaccinations? Are there licensing requirements? Is there a limit on how many pets you’re allowed to have?  And lastly, make sure there isn’t a ban on your dog’s particular breed. If you can’t find the answers online, call your new community homeowner’s association or contact your local township. If you are moving, researching pet bans is imperative—but make sure to do so before purchasing a home!

Buy a crate.  When you are moving it’s easy to get distracted. People, furniture, boxes, suitcases and more are going in and out of the old and new homes—it’s easy for your dog to get in the way, get hurt or hurt someone in the process. It’s a great idea to have a crate on hand to put your dog in to keep him safe. If your dog isn’t crate trained, have him sleep in or spend time in the crate once and a while to get used to it before moving day. 

*Don’t have pet insurance yet? Moving to a new home is a great time to purchase insurance. With many upcoming changes, Spot might decide to act out and eat a sock, get into a box of cleaning products, or eat poisonous berries you didn’t even know existed in your new home’s backyard. Be proactive— protect your pet and your finances by getting pet insurance!

Revisit basic commands & have a schedule.  Reinforce basic training and commands with your dog.  Also, prior to move-in day try to stay on your dog’s normal schedule. Just like children, dogs are creatures of habit and can become stressed if their routine is interrupted!

On moving day…

Make sure that your dog has ID tags on his collar.  Update your dog’s ID tag to make sure it has all of your new information on it along with a current phone number.  Also, it’s best to have a recent photo of your dog (in the unfortunate that he runs off).

Keep him in a crate or in a specific room during moving day.  Keep Spot in a crate or maybe in a specific room with a large sign on the door, letting the movers know there is a dog inside.  This is extremely helpful, especially if your movers are not familiar with Spot.  Even if your dog is friendly you don’t want him to get scared or uncomfortable and act out, or worse, run off!

*If you are driving to your new home, make sure to leave space in your car for Spot’s crate. Have him ride in the crate to keep him safe during transport!

Pack Spot’s things last and label them – “OPEN FIRST.”  You would do the same thing with your children’s favorite things when moving.  As soon as you arrive you need to be able to get to his water and food bowl, his bed, a favorite ball and of course his leash.  Keep these items accessible at all times.

In your new home…

Immediately teach your dog boundaries.  Have him on a leash and walk him around your new property – show him where he can and cannot go.  Let him mark his territory.  This will help familiarize him with the area. 

Remember playtime.  Stop unpacking and moving boxes for a few minutes and play with Spot, pet him and remind him you love him! In these types of stressful situations your pet may feel unwanted (not on purpose of course). The reassurance of affection will help him relax. 

And lastly, talk to your dog about the move!  If Spot truly is a member of the family, then talk to him the same way you would to other family members.  Explain what is going to happen and tell him you love him! Dogs adapt easily, especially with the help of you and other family members they love.


This post is provided  by Transit Systems Inc, one of the  nation’s top long distance moving companies.

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