Guest Post by Cindy Aldridge
Making the transition into a new home comes with many challenges. You might be in a new neighborhood and new city, with a new job, and trying to get your house in order. For anyone, it’s a lot to take in, and it can often become overwhelming.
This change is just as disorienting for your dog. Keep him safe and secure by following a few basic tips for a stress-free transition. The first step toward easing your dog into a new home is keeping him calm leading up to the move. If he’s already disoriented and anxious by the time you get to your new home, it might make things more difficult.
Before the Move
Here are a few things you should do before moving to ease your dog’s transition:
- Keep his routine. On the days leading up to the move, keep your dog’s feeding and walking times as consistent as possible.
- Maintain his exercise. Keeping your dog exercised and tired will help reduce stress and subdue anxiety, which can often manifest in a variety of ways.
- Get his records. Make sure your dog has all his shots and is wearing identification. If he should wander out into the new neighborhood, this will make him easier to find.
In the New Home
Pay attention and monitor your dog’s behavior. A common mistake is to simply let your dog loose in a strange house or yard. Introduce him slowly to the perimeter and walk along with him.
If you think your dog is acting strange or funny, it’s important that you’re aware of it and address it as soon as possible. Some common signs of stress include a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and incessant barking. Ways to ease your dog into the transition include:
- Encourage routine. As soon as you move in, establish or continue known routines for your dog. This keeps his life structured and helps with stress.
- Keep his old toys. Familiar smells help dogs feel safe and secure. Keeping his old blankets and toys gives him a sense of home.
- Give him attention. According to The Bark magazine, giving your dog lots of love will make him feel comfortable. Also, help your dog adjust to his new home by playing with him throughout the house and yard.
- Plenty of exercise. Just like playtime, exercise and regular walks will ensure your dog is tired and releases accumulated energy.
- Walk him in the neighborhood. After you have looked up the specific laws regarding pets in your neighborhood, show him around the neighborhood so that he becomes familiar with smells and sounds of the new place.
When you’re settling in with your dog, it’s also important to address the quality of air inside your new place. After all, clean air helps keep us happy and relaxed, and our pets, as much as we love them, can unintentionally contribute allergens on a regular basis. So, consider trying out an air purifier to reduce the amount of dander and pet hair floating throughout your home. Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you know which one to purchase by reading through online guides and best-of lists before you make up your mind.
Fence Safety and Tips
Before you leave your dog alone in the new yard, make sure to check for places that might present a danger or allow your dog to escape. According to the Humane Society, dogs commonly escape due to isolation and boredom. This can present a problem in a new environment if your dog is left alone right away.
Robert Frost said, “Good fences make good neighbors.” This especially applies to dogs and dog owners. Installing a new fence may be necessary. You want to consider a fence that is appropriate and safe for your four-legged friend. Assess your dog’s tendencies and consider his ability to jump and dig. The investment is worthwhile if it ensures your dog’s safety and helps him feel comfortable. It might also solve problems of excessive barking and keep your dog safely confined when he’s alone. And while you’re at it, make sure you have an up-to-date ID tag and a reliable GPS tracker in case your pooch does manage to break free from your yard. Having both will help you to find your friend as soon as possible.
Dogs are territorial animals and can be very sensitive to a change of environment. Some extra consideration can go a long way and make the transition smooth and stress-free. In just a few weeks, your dog will be adjusted and back to his old self.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Cindy Aldridge is passionate about dogs and pets and loves sharing her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner. When she isn’t busy writing, she spends all her time with her two fluffy golden retrievers. Check out her website: http://ourdogfriends.org/