You’ve found the perfect place and packed your boxes, but have you thought about how to help your pup adjust to your new home? Dogs are resilient animals, but moving can make even the most adventurous of canines a little uneasy. The new smells, new sounds, and of course new squirrels can be overwhelming for your furry best friend. But you can help ease the transition for your dog by considering these tricks and tips.
Don’t Toss Out Old Toys
Moving is the perfect time to downsize, for you and your dog, but make sure you hang on to at least a few familiar toys or belongings. Having his favorite squeaky toy or rope around can help the new house feel more like home for your pup and fill the place with familiar smells. Research shows that smell is the strongest sense your dog possesses, so use it to your advantage when helping settle your pet into a new space.
Try to Stick to Your Routine
Changing locations may have you feeling like you need to change up your habits, including how you spend time with your dog. This may be confusing to your pup, however, as dogs tend to thrive on regular routines. Keep feeding times as consistent as possible to avoid stress and sickness, and stick to his normal exercise schedule. If your pet goes to daycare, try to find a center close to you so you can maintain that element as well. Sticking to a routine will help both of you adjust to your new home and feel more like yourselves again.
Set Up Some Safe Spaces
It’s always important for dogs to feel safe, and you can help your pup out by setting aside some dedicated areas for him in the new place. There are tons of ways to give your pup his own digs, so feel free to get creative. Don’t forget about keeping him safe outside as well. Installing a wooden fence is a surefire way to provide security for your dog, while adding some privacy to your backyard. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wooden fence in Pittsburgh, PA, is between $2,500 and $5,075, so consider making the investment in your home and your dog’s safety.
Explore the New Neighborhood Together
One of the best parts of moving is getting out and finding your new favorite spots around town. Leash up your dog and make time to explore your new surroundings together. Hitting the town, or even the sidewalks, with your dog provides exercise and stress relief, as well as a chance to make new friends, for you both. Be sure your dog minds his manners while in public, and be mindful of others around you. Some dogs may be friendly and some not, so make it a point to ask before you let your own dog meet other furry friends.
Be Patient With Your Pup
For you, your new home may be love at first sight, but your dog may not feel the same. Most dog trainers will tell you that dogs can be extremely sensitive to even small changes, so they may not adjust to a new home overnight. Be patient with your dog and provide the love and support needed to minimize stress. It’s normal for dogs to behave oddly when you first move, but be aware of any major changes in appetite or activity. If your dog stops eating or drinking, it may be time to consult a vet for advice.
Your dog depends on you for safety and a sense of security, so it’s important to be prepared when moving to a new home. With some consistency and care, you can help him feel comfortable in your new home. So follow these tips to help your dog relax and adjust to the new surroundings so the two of you can go back to snuggling on the couch in no time.
Tyler Evans has never met a dog he didn't like. He's a proud dog papa to two German Shepherd rescues and creator of dogzasters.com. He created the website to showcase the funny, sometimes messy, side of being a dog parent. He hopes the website will bring joy to those who visit it and encourage people to welcome the love of a dog into their lives.
People can say some very insensitive things without thinking or because they don’t understand. Have you ever heard, “You need to get over it,” “it’s just a dog.” Or “it’s just a cat?” Well, not true. Wrong.
Many people consider their dog, cat, horse, or other pet to be part of the family and grieve deeply when that pet dies. We get very attached to our pets. They are affectionate, good company, funny, even entertaining, empathetic, soothing to have around. We love them. So when they die, it’s awful.
My sister lost two sweet dogs in a single year, last year. So sad and that created a big void in daily life. Photo below of her darling dog Stella. The other dog who died was a little black and white dog, Tommy. Eventually she got another puppy, Vinny. Not to “replace” the others but just to bring a dog back in the home, and to rescue a darling from the animal shelter. So look at the shelters, there are so many nice ones needing a home.
Remember, we need to take care of our pets. Play with them, take them on walks, feed them, fresh water, give them affection. They follow us around and want attention. And so they help make the home a welcoming and pleasant place.
Even if you are home alone, you are never alone because your pets are there. And also pets are very good for children—fun and company, and teach kids responsibility. And family members who visit always enjoy giving a few pets.
So when your relative or friend loses a pet, be aware they are grieving, and may even have long term grief. That’s the kind of grief that doesn’t go away. It remains for years and years. Please don’t say those awful cliches, just say you are sorry and understand they are sad.
So, it is NOT “just a dog,” “just a cat.” He/she is a buddy who died and is gone. For many it’s like a family member who is gone, and they miss their buddy. Just being aware of this may help your friend or family member.
Susan Anderson-Khleif has a Ph.D in Family Sociology from Harvard, taught at Wellesley College, and is a retired Motorola Executive. Contact her at email@example.com. See her blog on grief and healing at longtermgrief.tumblr.com
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University offers a free phone-based pet loss hotline for pet loss support, death of a pet, dying pet. Staffed by veterinary students, trained by a licensed therapist, as well as a pet memorial site where pet owners can post stories and photos in memory of their pets.
Pet loss breaks hearts. Take time today to let someone struggling with the death of a beloved pet know you care, and that they aren't alone. Reach out and help heal a heart.