Moving house with your dog can be stressful, but not if you are prepared and remember YOUR DOG LIVES IN A WORLD IT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND.
Here are some simple but effective tips on how to lessen the stress on you and your dog if you are moving house.
Before the move
Dogs pick up on what you are feeling, so try and stay relaxed so they can see there is nothing to worry about. From your dogs perspective, they will see a lot of changes in this time and remember dogs don’t like change! This makes them ask questions.
They will see the members of their pack act differently as they start to get busy with the move. They will also see things being moved around the house, familiar things being taken away and boxed up…. Strangers visiting the house – this is especially true if you have agents visiting or have an open home etc…
The dog’s whole world is being turned upside down. DOGS LIVE IN A WORLD THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND. Therefore all this activity is going to understandably worry them.
Security is important to them, and if you are taking away everything familiar that makes them feel secure, they need to be able to look to you and recognise that you are the pack leader and you will keep them safe. This way they can relax.
At this time if you have adopted Amichien® Bonding, keep working on the 4 areas of the method, as this will establish the leadership they need. And remember you don’t have to walk your dog, so only do so if you are Happy and In Control.
During the Move
As said before dogs will pick up on your state of mind so if you are stressed your dog will be feeling it too. The ideal situation is to have someone else look after them on moving day so they are completely out of the way. However, if you have no other choice than to have your dog with you on moving day then it shouldn’t be a problem if you manage it well.
- Keep their leads, bowls, bedding and their familiar things – maybe a favourite toy out of the packing – this can be the last thing to pack in a box which you can easily locate at your new home. Do not going buying them a new bed for their new home.
- Keep your dog out of the way, as they may get injured or escape. Place them in a room where they can’t get in anyone’s way. Please do not leave them in the car as cars get extremely hot.
- Travelling with your Dog – always remain calm and don’t make a fuss – for more details on travelling with your dog please read my blog on dogs barking in cars.
In the New Home
Help your dog settle by making sure there are some familiar smells in the house. Unpack their box first with their bedding etc…. This is why you don’t want to go buying a new bed, as they need to have familiar things around them. This will help them settle, however, they are going to notice that the new place smells strange and this may just provoke some unwanted behaviour. This may include sent marking the house, so at first keep them somewhere that it is easy to clean up without making a fuss. Do not scold your dog, instead reward/praise him when he does go in the right place and he will soon learn.
The first night your dog can be unsettled which is understandable. So it is important to carry on as normal as if nothing has changed even if your dog is stressed/worried. Do not make a big deal out of the situation by cuddling or fussing your dog as you may make things worse. You may have to deal with whinning or barking on your first night, which you must ignore and not let yourself get anxious as your dog will pick up on this, and it will spiral out of control.
If you have been practising the method you may not have to deal with this. They may bark and you can go to them once and thank them for alerting you to danger and then leave them alone.
After the move, there may be things that will make them ask questions, for example they may bark at almost everything at first, but remember this is a new and strange place, so they are just alerting you to what they feel may be a danger. Again just thank them as in the method and stay calm.
Happy moving! And if you have adopted the method Amichien® Bonding it will not be long before your dog is relaxed and stress free again. Moving house with your dog doesn’t have to be a stressful event – just plan ahead. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
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