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Moving with your dog: what precautions should you take? Our advice

A move involves a whole series of changes and induces the search for a new life balance. These facts concern humans but also the pets that share their lives. If you have a dog, you need to be careful about the transition.

Let's take a look at what precautions are necessary when moving with your dog. We will give you some tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.

A question before the move: who is your dog?

Depending on the age and health of your dog, he will not experience the move in the same way and the consequences on his psychological and physiological balance will not be the same.

If your dog is still young, he may not yet have settled into his new home, but he may still be particularly agitated on moving day.
  • If your dog is older, he is probably very settled and should not be rushed.
  • If your dog is sick or in poor health, calmness is essential.
  • If your dog is emotional, and is upset by anything, he will need to be handled gently.
Remember that your dog's difficulties in adapting can translate into complications for you, and that anticipation must remain one of your main objectives. A stressed or disturbed animal is an animal whose behavior will be modified and therefore more difficult or delicate to manage.

Organize a visit of the place before the move

Discovering the new place of life with your dog, before moving in, is a good way to give him the opportunity to get some reference points that will be useful once you are settled.

To do this, you must keep in mind that the dog likes to be with his masters and that if he spends a good time with them in a place, he will have a pleasant memory of it. If he has to go back and settle down there, it will be easier to live.

You can therefore organize a short activity in the place. If there is work to be done in the new premises, take your dog with you as often as possible. You can also organize a small meal: you eat your sandwich while your dog eats in his bowl. You can also play with your dog in the place where you are going to move in, and even leave some toys for the next time, or go for a walk in the area.

Beware of changes of universe!

What we mean by a change of universe is a move from urban to rural life or vice versa.

A dog that discovers a rural environment, can find itself confronted with animals that were previously unknown such as cows, pigs, chickens, etc. And this can cause fear and unexpected reactions that you will have to deal with quickly and efficiently.

On the other hand, a dog that discovers the city will be confronted with all sorts of noises that can also cause fear and behavioral difficulties.

Depending on the extent of the change due to the move, a real work of familiarization may therefore be necessary and, why not, carried out with the help of a specialist in animal behavior to avoid unpleasant surprises.

What to expect on the day of the move

Ideally, you should keep your dog away from the excitement of moving. If you can, leave him in your care! This will not only keep your dog from stressing you out, but it will also keep you from stressing yourself out because the dog may stick to you. He may indeed fear abandonment; and as you are his only reference point in his disorganized world, he will not want to let you go.

If you can't get him to stay with you, isolate him in a room, taking care to give him toys and other familiar objects. This can also be the car if your dog is used to it and you are sure it won't destroy the seats.

Settling into the new home

The first landmarks to install to reassure your dog are his resting and feeding places. Ideally, this should be the first thing you do when you arrive in your new home, provided that these are the final locations. Make sure you give him the same food as usual! Stress, as with humans, can affect his digestive system. Therefore, do everything you can to avoid inconveniences such as vomiting and diarrhea...

Be aware that the most sensitive dogs may bark or howl the first night. Also, avoid leaving your dog alone the day after you move. Fear of abandonment may be close at hand and he may cause damage in your new home. He must also get used to new noises coming from the neighborhood, new smells, new life rhythms, etc. His behaviors may therefore be modified. Being aware of all these difficulties for your pet, you will have to find the right attitude between indulgence and firmness: you must be understanding, while marking the limits.

A few days should be enough for the dog to get used to its new surroundings and to find its balance. Think about setting up rituals that you can maintain over time, which will contribute to the dog's return to a balanced life.

If the problems persist, don't wait to consult a dog behavior specialist who will guide you in your approach.