10 tips for moving with dogs

Moving, in general, can be very difficult. All the planning, packing, and rushing can do a lot to make you uneasy and cause moving mistakes. Turn that into moving with dogs, and you have an even worse situation. Regardless if you are moving to a different country, or a few blocks down the street, they will feel the stress just as much as you. Animals are territorial by nature, and when there is a commotion in their territory, they really feel the effect. Perhaps even more than humans, since they can’t talk with anyone about it. Dogs are experts at reading body language and detecting the mood of their owner and are very quick to adapt and feed off of it. If you are happy, they are happy. If you are stressed, there is a high chance your dog will pick up on that, and be unsettled too.

black and white dog with a curious look
In times of commotion, dogs can sense that something is happening, but can’t really understand it.

Dogs also like to stick to a routine and can be easily confused and panic when things change. However, as much as dogs are prone to confusion and, they are also very adaptable, to a surprising level. To a dog, home is not just any random four walls. Home is where ever they can spend time together with you. When it comes to moving with dogs, it is going to be stressful no matter what. That’s simply the natural order of things. Luckily, there are ways to make the move easier on your furry friend, and perhaps a bit fun, for good measure.

Make your dogs used to the moving supplies

Cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and duct tape are not scary items. They are very common and harmless moving supplies everyone needs. This does not mean your dog won’t be absolutely terrified of them. New and strange items usually tend to make dogs scared and nervous. That is until they approach them and give them a little sniff. Before you start packing and sorting your items, place a couple of boxes and tape in the room, so your dog can examine them. Be in the room with him, so he doesn’t feel like he has to face this alien threat alone.

When moving with dogs, do not break their usual routine.

The more you stick to the everyday routine you have with your dog, the better. During the move, do not change anything in terms of playtime, meals, and walks. For example, if you usually spend 20 minutes a day playing catch with your friend before dinner, don’t skip it just because of packing. Keep the walk times consistent and manage your time schedule. Sticking to the routine they are used to will help them keep calm and view the move with curiosity instead of fear.

Maintain your own routine as much as possible

When you are in the middle of the moving chaos, time has a tendency to slip away from us. People who usually go to bed at ten in the evening can usually find themselves packing boxes Chicago until two in the morning. Sometimes you will have lunch at 5 in the afternoon because the day went by so fast. And make no mistake, your dog will notice this. Even though this isn’t that big of a problem for you, your dog will certainly be confused. They track your activity and it helps them know what to expect and build trust. Because of this, maintaining your routine during a move is more important than ever.

dog on a lawn chewing on a toy
Play with your dog often to keep him happy and stress-free

Keep your dogs entertained and occupied

While you are busy with moving, keep your puppy mentally engaged with games and fun activities. This is also a good way to get them familiar with the moving supplies and the state of the home. Play a game of hide and seek among the boxes so they can run around them and get familiar. Get a treat puzzle and let them go wild with it while you focus on the move preparations. Not only will this give you some breathing room, it will also keep your dog happy and engaged. The more attention they are given, the less scared they will be of the move.

Exercise your dog as much as possible

A tired dog is a good dog, so take them to the park whenever you can. Not only is exercise good for their physical health, it is also good for their mental state. Allowing them to blow off steam will keep them calm and low on stress. If your dog is resting after a good run, you have more time to deal with your chosen movers Chicago. Add some extra time to your walks, and hit the dog park until your friend is totally drained. This is a great way to give plenty of attention to your dog and keep him happy. If you skip walks and exercise completely, you will end up with a frustrated friend with too much pent up energy.

Make a quiet spot for a retreat

Knowing how moves are, they have a way of completely taking over your home and the comfort you are used to. The same goes for dogs. Create a clean, quiet corner for your furry friend where they can go and rest. Look for a quiet place that doesn’t have feet passing through. The area should have their bed or some of their favorite items, like blankets, chew toys, and bones. Anything that has a comforting scent or purpose will help your dog relax during a stressful period. It’s very important to create such surroundings when moving with dogs to a new home as well.

brown dog laying on a blanket with a ball
Make a designated area for your dog to retreat to and unwind

When moving with dogs, try to have them in a different place

Dogs have a tendency to always be near you, or in between your feet. This can be dangerous both to you and your friend, especially when heavy objects are being carried. It is much easier to complete the process without distractions, even if your dog is adapting to the move well. So, when the big day comes, ask a friend or family member to watch over your friend for a day while you get everything done. This way, you won’t put your dog at risk, and you can focus on the move itself without worrying about walks or exercise.

If you have to transport your dog yourself, take care of safety

Even though it is better to have someone watch your dog while you move, sometimes it’s just not an option. In case you have to take the dog with you on that last trip to the new home, keep safety in mind. The best and safest solution is to have a built cage or carrier for the dog to be in for the duration of the trip. If this is not possible, either secure your friend with a purpose-built harness or with a dog barrier in the back seat. Under no circumstances should you transport them in the boot or in the front footwell of your car. If it’s hot outside, keep the car ventilated and have plenty of water on hand.

Be patient and compassionate with your furry friend

When moving with dogs, you have to understand that it is as difficult for them as it is for you. The difference is, you understand what is happening. It is completely normal for bad behavior, barking, neediness, whining, and disobedience to occur. At times like these, it is very important to be understanding of their situation. Reassure your pet and give them attention, so they feel calmer and trusting. Do not let the stress of moving bleed into your bond with the dog. They are likely anxious and confused, and the best thing you can do is be there for them and understand.

moving with dogs in the back of a car
If you have to take the dog with you in the car, make sure he is safe and secure for the trip

As a last resort, anxiety medicine can be used

In case no other method works to calm them down, you can use some of the anxiety solutions available for dogs. These also work good in situations like fireworks or thunderstorms. Consult your vet about medications such as Diazepam or Alprazolam. Non-medical options include calming collars or the stress-reducing Thundershirt. It is good to test any method before the move to make sure it works as intended.

Even though you will never be able to fully remove the stress from the moving process, you can do your best to reduce it. Moving with dogs will be so much easier with the help of these tips. Do whatever you can to help them adapt to the situation and keep their trust in you. It may be extra work on top of everything, but your four-legged friend will be thankful in the end.

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