4 Questions to Ask Before Moving With a Dog!
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Moving into a new home is one of life’s most exciting adventures — and one of its most stressful. Children and pets especially often face specific challenges adjusting to a move. How can we make moving less stressful and more fun for everyone, especially our pets who rely so completely on familiar routines?
With the right strategies, you and your pets can make the transition out of your current home a healthy, happy, and maybe even relaxing journey. Answering these common questions before you start your search can make moving to a new home less nerve-racking for both you and your dog.
What are some tips for house hunting with a dog?
Your dog is more than a pet — she’s a part of the family. When house hunting, you can keep her needs and wants in mind by:
● Touring homes with the right-sized backyard. Different dogs need different kinds of outdoor spaces, so consider your dog’s size and energy level when looking at backyards.
● Moving to a neighborhood with trails or parks. Walks are a great exercise for everyone in the family. Look for a neighborhood that is highly walkable.
● Looking at homes with good fences. Keeping your dog safe in the yard is especially important in a new environment. Avoid homes with damaged or non-existent fences. Homes tucked in cul-de-sacs are even safer.
Is it safe to buy a home during COVID-19?
Some people experience few or no symptoms of COVID-19, while others can get really, really sick — even with life-long health issues. Keep your whole family safe from the coronavirus by:
● Doing virtual tours for the first look.
● Wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer regularly during in-person tours.
● Asking realtors about COVID-19 precautions they are taking.
● Leaving high-risk family members at home.
● Conducting business and face-to-face conversation outdoors as much as possible.
● Paying attention to signs of separation anxiety in your pet. Take measures to ease their anxiety and be aware of what might be increasing it.
Are there good ways to make sure moving day is stress-free?
Moving day can be the most stressful part of the transition for many pets. To make things easier, try to:
● Give them their favorite items — toys, blankets, beds, treats — on moving day.
● Tire them out in the morning. Take them for a long run, hike, or walk early in the day before the movers arrive.
● Be patient with your dog and yourself. If you get annoyed, take a deep breath and count to 10 slowly.
● Take them to a friend or family member’s house for the day. You could also ask someone they know and trust like a sitter to come play with them or take them for a walk.
How can I help my pet adjust to a new home?
Once you’ve unloaded the very last box, you may be ready for a long rest. But there is still one more important thing to do — give your pup a tour of your new home. You might find it helpful to:
● Re-establish boundaries. Don’t want your dog pooping all over the yard? Walk them to the place where they can use the bathroom every day and reward them when they use that spot.
● Avoid leaving them alone in the house or the yard right away. Give them time to feel comfortable knowing this is everyone’s new home.
● Not make any appointments for places they don’t enjoy, like the vet or the groomer, for at least a few weeks.
● Watch out for signs of stress (like hiding or whimpering) and signs of happiness (like tail wagging and playing).
Even with the best strategy, some dogs are just more anxious than others. Talk to your vet to see if anti-anxiety medication might help. Planning and preparing for your dog’s needs can help keep you both calmer before, during, and after moving day.
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