Having been a full time residential real estate broker for almost 30 years (hard to believe…), it naturally follows that I should write a blog that includes a few basic tips for moving with your pets.
When I was growing up, our next door neighbors were always going across town to their old house to retrieve their two cats, Biscuit and Muffin. Dogs have been known to travel many, many miles to find their people again.
With this in mind, how do you make a stressful process easier for you and your dog? The first thing to acknowledge is that our dogs pick up on our stress very readily. Remember the look on your dog’s face when the suitcase comes out at vacation time? Just imagine what he’s feeling when you start packing up his entire world!
While you can’t completely save him from the process, there are some key steps you can take to help.
When you’re packing, put his things…toys, blankets, etc. in an open box where he can sniff them and know they’re there.
Give him plenty of reassurance and attention. While they pick up on our stresses, they can be soothed by a kind word or a few minutes of attention. Keep in mind that petting your dog relieves your stress and can even lower your blood pressure. Not a bad thing to do on moving day!
Make sure you know where your dog is. This may sound silly, but especially on moving day, the doors will be open; this is an invitation to many dogs to strike out on their own adventure. A missing dog is not something you need to add to your moving stresses. Sometimes asking a family member or neighbor to keep your dog for moving day is a good way to prevent any mishaps.
When you get to your new home whether it be a house, condo or apartment, give your dog plenty of attention. Give him time to walk around outdoors and mark his new territory…let him claim it for his very own new territory.
Make sure his bed and toys are out in a comfortable area inside the new place, and take some time to reassure your dog. A few minutes together is a good way to end the day for both of you and will do much to make your dog feel confident and comfortable in his new home.
To Your Dog’s Good Health!