Dogs are often cited as man’s best friend. So spare a thought for our poor canines during one of the most stressful times in our lives – moving house. When people move house, their dogs’ normal routines often get upset as part of the general disruption of packing up. All he has known and become familiar with including the house, its smells and the local environment changes suddenly. It’s no wonder many dogs get as stressed as their owners. Read our tips on how to help your dog move house.
As part of our pet friendly lettings scheme which matches pet owners in London with properties where pets are welcome, we have partnered with The Dogs Trust to provide the following advice on helping your dog move home.
Prior to moving day:
- Find out whether a friend or family member could take care of your pet while you move, or look into boarding your dog in kennels. Seeing you pack up your house can be very stressful for your dog so it’s advisable to remove him from the situation whenever possible.
- Make sure that you update your dog’s microchip and ID tag in advance. If your dog runs away during or after the move, it’s important that you can be contacted immediately.
- If you are moving away, research a new veterinary practice in the area you are moving to and register your dog with them in advance.
- If your dog is prone to travel sickness or anxiety, ask your vet about anti-sickness medication and other ways to make the journey less stressful for him.
- If you have to keep your dog with you on moving day, try to keep his routine as normal as possible to avoid stress.
- Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times during the move but try not to feed him for 3-4 hours before travelling in case he is sick.
- Pack up toys, bowls and bedding at the last minute as they will be comforting to your dog as you pack the rest of your belongings.
- Try to keep your dog in one room to keep him safe and so that you always know where he is.
- If you are using a removal firm, let them know that you have a pet and which room you will be keeping him in so that they don’t frighten him or let him out of the room.
Settling your dog into your new home:
- When you reach your new home, keep your dog in one room with his bed and toys around him while you unpack. You could give him a blanket or towel that smells of the old house to make him feel secure.
- It’s a good idea to nominate a family member to be responsible for the dog so you know he’s being looked after while the rest of you are busy with other things.
- When you’ve unpacked, let your dog explore the house with you. He will probably appreciate a walk too after being kept indoors all day!
- Unlike cats, there is no need to keep your dog indoors for several days before letting him out to explore your new area although it’s best to keep him on the lead until you’re sure he knows he’s found his bearings.
- Use food and a regular routine to help your dog settle in. Small frequent meals will give you more contact initially and help to reassure your dog that all is well. By knowing when and where feeding will take place, the dog can anticipate the meal rather than worry about it.