Moving to a new house with your dog can be a stressful event for the both of you—but it doesn’t have to be. With a little forward planning, you can make this big life event a fun and exciting transition.
For your dog, the moving process is sometimes a scary and daunting process; his old belongings and familiar home are packed away, and he must now get used to living in a new house in a new area.
Moving can also be dangerous for your pup. What if he escapes, and cannot find his way back through the unfamiliar surroundings?
Here are five safety tips to keep at the forefront of your mind both before and after you move:
Tip Number One: Keeping Your Dog Safe on the Day of the Move
When it comes to moving day, you should choose one designated room which is secure for your dog to stay in.
Make sure he has all his belongings in the room, including toys, his bed, and a bowl of water.
Moving day is a very busy day so it’s important that your dog is safe and secure in a room so that he doesn't wander off. Inform anyone who’s helping you move that they should not open the door to that room. This will eliminate the chance of your dog being able to escape.
Tip Number Two: New ID Tag
It’s important that you have a new ID tag made for your dog prior to the move.
It is a good idea to attach this tag to his collar, as well as leaving his old one attached, so that he has both tags on just in case he goes missing during the move process.
You should also update your dog’s microchip details with the vet either on the day of, or just before the move with the correct name, address and contact details.
Tip Number Three: The Move Itself
How will you and your dog travel to your new home? It’s best that you stay with your dog rather than have someone else look after him for the day.
Chances are, he will already be feeling a little nervous about the changes that are going on around him, so staying with you is the best option for him.
If you’re traveling to your new home by car, you’ll need to make sure that your dog travels safely.
There are a whole host of different options to consider for transporting your furry friend safely, including a crate, a dog car-seat, or a seatbelt attachment. You might also want to consider a seat cover to protect the seats in your car.
Tip Number Four: Settling Your Dog into your new Home
When you arrive at your new home, you should limit your dog’s access to just one room in the house for the first day.
He will be quite overwhelmed from the move, so letting him get used to all the new sights and smells in just one room will ease him in gently.
It will also ensure that he is less likely to wander off and become lost.
Before you let him out in the yard for his first sniff around, make sure that the perimeter is secure, and that there are no holes in the fence or obvious escape routes.
Tip Number Five: Keeping Your Dog Safe on their First Walk
Even if your dog is very well trained and always comes back when you call, you should only walk him on-leash for the first few walks around the new area.
While he might be very well behaved, his senses can be heightened in a new area. He only has to see one squirrel or bunny to set him off running.
If your pup gets lost in a new area, he won’t be able to easily find his way back to you, so you need to allow him to get used to his surroundings before he can be walked off-leash.
If you’re about to move home with your dog, it’s important that you think and plan ahead to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Try to stay consistent in your routines and schedule, as there will be a lot of uncertainty and new things for your pup to get used to.
Make sure his new environment is safe by dog-proofing the new house and garden, and keeping your dog on a leash until he gets to know the new stomping grounds.
John Woods is the creator of All Things Dogs, a website that teaches people worldwide about dog training and raising their four-legged friends.