If you are planning on moving to another state with your pup, you should definitely prepare them for this adventure. Changing the familiar environment is very stressful for almost everyone, and animals take it even more difficult. There’s a stress of seeing you pack, the stress of the long drive to an unfamiliar place, and finally, the stress of a completely new city, neighborhood, and home. Dogs like people and places they recognize, and they orient themselves on smells. Once you decide to change all of that, make sure you prepare your pup, show a lot of patience, and help them adjust quickly. Here’s how to do it.
How to Adapt Your Dog to a New Territory?
Anyone who’s moving with pets should keep in mind that it’s not just your new home, but theirs as well. If you want them to feel more comfortable during this transition, you should learn ways to show them that there’s no need to feel afraid and that they’re coming to a new safe space. Try the following tips:
- As the moving day approaches, decrease the anxiety by walking your dog more frequently and spending more time with them. If your pup is anxious by nature, you should take extra precautions to make sure they feel safe during this process.
- On the day of the move, there is a lot of activity, and your dog can get stressed out by all the unknown people. If you can, get someone your dog knows and loves to keep an eye on them and to cuddle to relieve the stress and to let them know that nothing wrong is going on. The best option would be to bring your dog to another person’s home while you pack your belongings. It’s very stressful for them to watch as you pack and new people come inside to carry out all of the stuff from your home.
- Reduce food and water before the trip because their stomach can get nervous and there’s a chance that they vomit or have diarrhea. Go see the vet and ask them if there’s any specific advice for the breed you own.
- Leave as much of their belongings with them during the trip. Make sure they always have their toys, blanket, bed, or some other stuff they like. Make frequent stops to walk and to spend time with your dog, at least every six hours. If you’re spending a night somewhere, find a pet-friendly hotel.
- If you’re traveling by air, keep in mind that some breeds aren’t allowed to go on an airplane. Larger breeds will travel in the cargo area, while the smaller ones maybe can travel in the cabin area.
- Older dogs might not be able to go with you on a long-distance trip because of their health. Consult your vet and see what they think. A drive of a couple of hours can be okay, but boarding them on the plane could be fatal.
- Once you arrive, don’t wash your pup’s things so that they can have familiar smells, and try to keep old bowls for food and water so that they can recognize them faster. Find a designated space and leave all of their belongings there. This will help them with the stress and keep them occupied while you’re unpacking. Also, do a walk-through of the new place and see if there’s anything that might cause trouble for your dog, such as wires, chemicals, etc.
- If you’re not comfortable that your dog is loose all the time while there are lots of doors opening and closing, you might want to keep them in the crate if they’re okay with it. If not, try to make sure you know where your dog is all the time while you’re unpacking.
- Start introducing them room by room, especially if you have a young dog that’s not completely potty trained. Then, you can go for a short walk around the block so that they can get familiar with the new smells. They will meet the new surroundings and mark the territory.
- Try to keep the same routine you had before relocating. Dogs love routine, so try to serve them meals and go for walks at the time they’re used to.
- Update the info on your dog’s collar after moving, just in case your dog gets scared and runs away or gets lost.
- Find a new vet after moving with dogs. You will need someone reliable in case of emergency and for yearly check-ups.