One of the most common reasons dogs are given up is because their owners move. Whether home or country, the dog, sadly, become a casualty of the situation.
But moving home with your dog doesn’t need to be hard. It doesn’t need to be stressful and there are ways you can make the process easier for you and your dog to keep your family unit together. After all, your dog’s loyalty is constant, their love is unconditional and so is their desire to be with you and start this new chapter in your life by your side.
How to make the first few days in your new home easy
We asked dogsblog.com’s friends to share their advice. Here’s what they said:
1. Take note of stops along the way if you’re moving a long distance away
In your due diligence before you decided to move, you will have already checked out the area, local schools and practical places, such as its proximity to local doctors, hospitals, dentists, veterinary practices and so on. But if your moving area, consider finding places to visit along the way with your dog so you can stretch your legs and break the journey up on moving day.
2. Before moving home, remember to update your dog’s microchip details
All too often it’s something that slips through the net and should the worst happen and your dog goes missing, local officials won’t be able to contact you.
Gracie is settled in her new home now but when she arrived in rescue it was because her owner had moved and no one was living at the address anymore
3. It’s all about making the move a smooth transition for all members of your family
We all know how our dogs react if we’ve been out for the day and met other dogs, the interrogation can last minutes with our dogs sniffing every area of our clothing or shoes that reveal where we’ve been and who we’ve met.
Sometimes, but not every time, you are able to visit your new home before moving day. If you are in this position, remember there will be lots of new scents that we can’t necessarily smell, but our dogs can.
Take some of your dog’s beds to their new home so they’re ready and waiting for your arrival and they can begin to become the smells around them. You can even extend the same logic to their bowls, especially if you use fixed or wall mounted raised dog bowls.
If your dog is older, take note of anything you want to move or cover before your arrival, such as wooden (slippy) floors.
London removal company Kiwi Movers make the great suggestion of introducing scents from your new home to your existing environment – so for example, if you’re able to take something like a doormat or newspaper from your new home to your soon-to-be old home, you can allow your dog to get acquainted by scents that mean when you arrive in your new home it won’t all be so new to him.
Introduce the object in a fun way, give him time to soak it all in and make it a positive experience by stroking him, playing together or even giving some treats.
4. When you’re in your new home, try and keep to your dog’s regular routine
It’s all too easy to get sidetracked by the number of boxes still to be opened and unpacked, but if your dog is anything like mine, he will rely on his routine. In the case of my rescue dog, Danny it’s what makes him feel safe and secure.
Pep, pictured above, found himself in rescue when his owners moved into a flat and problems developed
5. They say moving is one of the most stressful things to go through, but remember, our dogs are highly tuned into our moods – if we are stressed, we are likely to make them stressed too
So, if you need to, put the kettle on and take a break, spent 5 minutes enjoying your new home and then banish the stress with a walk around your new neighbourhood with your dog. It’s a great way to meet the neighbours and spend some quality one on one time with your dog.
6. Make sure you are comfortable with your dog’s recall before letting him off-lead
Sometimes in a new area, a dog can more easily be distracted or spooked. Make sure you are happy that your dog knows the area well enough before you let him off-lead.
7. Remember, there is nothing so big that you can’t conquer together
Your dog doesn’t have to be a casualty of moving home.
Through all the planning before moving day and stress of settling in, there is nothing so big that you can’t conquer with your dog by your side because whether you live in a mansion or a cardboard box, your dog’s love and loyalty is unconditional. They don’t ask we return it, but we should.