If you’ve been following this blog, then you already know that one of the main reasons we decided to move was so our two dogs could have a yard. We were coming from one of those duplex home plans without our own backyard, and we decided it was time to make things easier for them and us.
Although we’re making the situation much better for the dogs, how will they respond to the move? It took us some time to feel comfortable and at ease after our move, so I’m sure it’ll no different for our furry friends. But, here’s some ideas for keeping the pets in the family less stressed in their new environment.
You know how nervous your dog gets when you pull out your suitcase for vacation? Then, by no means should you have them around the day of the actual move. If possible, have a friend or family member “pet sit” for the day with your pet at their house to avoid your pet from getting out of your old or your new home during all of the commotion. It will be too difficult to monitor your entryways with the movers coming and going, and it will be hard to keep everything on your mind straight that day, so just remove them from the chaos.
Once you’ve moved them in, you better believe they’re going to be confused. Be sure if boxes and other things are piled around that they aren’t going to be stacked in a hazardous way that they could topple onto your pet while you’re not home. The sooner you can get your house unpacked and back to normal, the better.
Now that you’re unpacked, try very hard to stay on the same routine now that you’re in your new home. Feed your pets at the same time as you did before. If you took walks during the day, plan to walk them at the same times. Getting them back on their routine will have them acclimating much sooner and will avoid them acting out.
We definitely tried to keep our dogs on a similar routine; however, we used to have to walk our dogs several times a day. And, with a new backyard, things were going to be much different. So, to start we were still continuing the frequent walks since I’m sure they were confused and even a little more nervous and anxious with all of the changes, but now we’re trying to every hour or so just take them to the backyard so they know that is where they need to go out. As time has passed, when they start to get restless inside, that’s when we lead them to the back patio door. They still like a couple of walks a day and that’s good for all of us, but the in-between times can be spent in the yard.
In the first few days of living in our new home, the dogs did have a few accidents, and it’s very upsetting as a new homeowner to think your carpet’s been soiled. We decided to create a designated place in our home where they would feel comfortable. We never locked our pets up at our previous house, but I couldn’t handle them having accidents in our brand new house. So, we decided to make the laundry room in our new home “the” place they will be when we’re not at home. It’s got flooring that cleans up well if there’s an accident. Then, we added a cozy bed, food and water, and a puppy pad if by chance, an accident does occur. Also, we have a gate we put across the door (actually a very heavy fireplace screen) that looks attractive and allows us to keep the door open to the space, so they don’t feel closed in. Also, be sure to keep the light on for them since there will be times you may leave during daylight hours and return when it’s dark. We try not to leave them in there any longer than a few hours at the most at any given time, so it’s roomy, safe, and keeps them from upsetting us if an accident does occur. One thing we’ve noticed is they actually know now to head there if we’re leaving and they haven’t once had an accident and we give them a treat when we leave to distract them as we head out the door. I think being in a smaller place, they don’t want to be in there if there was an accident, so it’s been working perfectly. Pet proofing your home, whether you’re home or not, is not only safer for the dog, but makes for a happier homeowner when you arrive home to find things are in perfect order! And, when we return, we give them a treat and praise them for being so good!
One last thing is make sure is if their pet tags are engraved with an address, that their tags are updated with your new address and/or phone number. During the time of a move, dogs often get out and then their information isn’t correct making it even harder to find their owner. And, if they are micro-chipped, then you may need to visit the website of the company and update address information there as well. With all of the added stress involved with a move, the last thing you need is your pet running away or not acclimating to the new environment.
What other things have you tried to keep your pet happy in a new environment?