They say that moving is one of the most stressful experiences of our lives; for many, it’s a disaster. No wonder it causes feelings of anxiety and insecurity not only for us, but for our pets as well!
Let’s take a look at what a lifetime home means to a dog. Home is that place where:
- She has her own safe place, which is not only a cot but also a safe shelter that saves her from frustration and adversity
- She is surrounded by familiar smells and objects.
- She has a regular routine, with regular walks along the routes she has learned by heart
- All the noises going on in the apartment and coming from the windows are familiar, familiar and of little concern
Now you can better understand what goes on “in the soul” of a poor animal when everything they know and is used to is packed up and gone, and chaos reigns all around in the form of a pile of boxes, bags and crates. The home turns into a bare and desolate place before your eyes, and after the move, even if something is unpacked, it smells wrong and is in the wrong place.
This is what happens to your dog’s feelings if you suddenly, without any warning or preparation, “bombard” your dog with your move! You can help your dog avoid stress by planning not only the move, but also preparing your dog for the move, including stocking up on dog sedatives during and after the move.
Signs of anxiety and stress in a dog after a move
An anxious and stressed-out dog is more likely than usual to whine and bark, walk restlessly from corner to corner, or try to hide from the “horror” going on around him.
What’s more, some dogs may start “pooping” right in the house from the stress of moving in, even if they’ve never done it before! Other signs include enlarged, goggling eyes or a long stare, pulling his ears back frequently, drooling a lot, and constant yawning or licking.
The older your dog is, the harder it is for him to adjust. He’s been in the same environment his whole life, with the same routine, and suddenly he’s in chaos at home and then moving to a completely unfamiliar place! Not only is this extremely abnormal for the poor animal, but it’s also super-anxious, and without your support and participation, it’s hard for him to cope with the stress on his own.
What is your dog like? Friendly, relaxed, or timid and anxious? Knowing your dog’s personality and how he reacts to different situations will help you properly prepare him for the move.
How to help your dog adjust to his new home after the move
Routines are what your dog is used to, so much so that almost any, especially long-term deviation from the “norm” can cause your pet a lot of stress. Your affection, sensitivity and attention, and, of course, the strict observance of daily activities and entertainment will help to adjust to a new, unfamiliar home. This lifting at the same time, the same feeding hours and walks, the duration of which is better to increase slightly. Do your best not to make any adjustments yet; and if it is not possible without this, introduce them gradually.
Walks and Exercise
Don’t forget that moving is not only a new home but also walk in new places! And for some sensitive individuals, it’s even more stressful!
So it would be great if you had the opportunity to introduce your pet to new walking routes before the move. We understand that this isn’t always possible, but if your move is planned for a few weeks, why not take your pet to that park or street that will soon be yours at least a couple of times, for example on your weekend?
If the opportunity is there, by all means, do it. To get your dog better accustomed to a new park or playground, keep him on a leash, cheer him up, play, and have fun. The fun and good cheer will pass on to your pet and you may even be able to let him off the leash after a while. This can help him get to know the dogs he’ll be meeting on a daily basis very soon. Don’t forget to praise him for good behavior and reward him when he’s not timid about encountering something (or someone) new.
A favorite toy can play a big role in accustoming him to a new place. Be sure to take it with you, it will entertain him and help him adjust faster.
Plan ahead where you’ll create a corner for your pet in your new home and put it in place as soon as you move in. It’s just as important as maintaining a routine! And, as tempting as it may be to update your pet’s couch with just one new cloth, forget about it for now! Let the pet’s corner be the same as it has always been, with the same smells, things and toys.
If you feel that something continues to bother your dog in the new place after the move, or you don’t have enough time to train him, consider buying Adaptil, a reliable product that has helped more than a hundred owners. “Adaptil Calm” spreads pheromones, natural substances similar to those puppies receive as children from their mothers, around the room.
It’s best to plug the device into the pet’s room a few hours before he or she arrives there. And if you are in the process of “great changes”, packing and re-sorting in the “old” house, Adaptil will prove useful here as well – helping to avoid stress on the dog after the move.
Giving your dog the attention he needs
You have a million things to do in your new home, but what could be more important than the creature that’s been faithfully interrupting your life for so many years? If you want your life together to continue to bring joy to both of you, remember to support your pet as often as possible during this difficult time. Caress it, encourage it, talk to it, play ball or another of its favorite games, take it for a walk, and teach it new tricks. Your attention and care will instill in him an understanding that all is well, and he will begin to get used to the new place faster.
Don’t forbid exploring!
A new home is not only a different room and a different furniture arrangement, but a lot of other smells too! The faster the dog explores all of these smells and objects, the faster he will get used to the new place. That’s why it’s so important to let him in even a little more than he was allowed before.
If the house (or apartment) hasn’t just been built, and other people have lived there before you, and it hasn’t been renovated, they can leave smells behind – especially if the general cleaning before you moved in wasn’t very thorough. Remember this, and give your dog time to settle in, or clean the house as often as possible!
Alone at home … but not right away!
Even if your pet was fine when left alone in your “old” home, don’t assume that you can do the same in your new home right away. It’s better to postpone this until later, when your pet has explored and gotten the hang of things. When you see that his behavior has returned to normal, then that day has arrived!
But, to make sure your pet’s first independent hours go smoothly, you need to prepare a little bit for it. You can shut off “extra” rooms, spruce up his cot, make fun toys and even turn on the radio or TV (some dogs love to listen to or watch shows). And let it be a couple of hours at first, not the whole day: it’s better to increase the time of “independent solitude” gradually.
New surroundings, new yard, new walks, and new friends – it’s a lot for a dog! It will take time and patience to help him accept all these changes. Each dog has its own personality, its own disposition, and its own psychology, so each will adjust to the new place at its own pace. When you see that the pet is completely back to his old, “pre-move” state, it means that he has accepted his new home.
Yes, moving is a very stressful time! Not without reason they say that “one move is like two fires,” and these words, as we see in the article, are even truer for a dog than for a human. But if you prepare for the move in advance and help your pet in both the old and new place, he will take the move much easier.