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Moving and Your Dog
Moving. You’ve got lots of factors to consider when coordinating it, especially if you’re moving with your dog. Honestly, if not done right, it could be a nightmare for both you and your pup. But with a little planning, you and your furry friend can have a smooth transition. Here are some ways to make moving less stressful for both of you.
The Vet – It’s important to have a vet both you and your dog know and trust. Before moving day, you can make an appointment to meet in person with several vets to decide which is right for you. Keep the nearest emergency vet clinic number handy and know the route to drive there.
Safety and Security – There is a ton of paperwork that goes along with moving, but make sure you take care of changing your pet’s ID tags and updating information with your microchip company. Double check your new gates and fencing to make sure there are no spots where your dog can escape.
Your Friend (and Fido’s): The Crate – Prior to moving, let your dog become accustomed to being crated periodically. Make the crate great by using food puzzles, toys, chews and other games. This ensures your dog won’t be stressed when it’s time for movers to come in and out of your home. Your dog won’t be able to dash out the door while everyone is busy. Plus, when you arrive in your new home, your dog won’t be able to run away in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Back to Housetraining – It’s common for dogs to have housetraining accidents when you move into a new place. They may be fully housetrained in your old home, but they can’t understand that the same set of rules applies in your new home. Even if your dog is an adult, go back to basics with housetraining rules for a while. You’ll be glad you also crate trained your dog prior to the move, because that training will really come in handy to aid in this housetraining refresher course.
Identifying Issues – If your dog starts having trouble with housetraining in the new house, be sure to supervise him or her at all times and create a regular routine for going outside. If issues continue, have your dog checked by the vet for urinary tract or bladder infections. If you’re vigilantly watching your pup and he or she has a clean bill of health, consider having your new floors professionally cleaned. The old owners could have had pets who left odors (undetectable to humans) behind. If all of these steps don’t work, get some help training your dog.
Environment – Help your dog acclimate to your new home by keeping your house as quiet as possible. Establish routines right away and let your dog become accustomed to the new environment. Walk your dog routinely right away so he or she can get to know the neighborhood and make new friends.
Remember, moving is difficult for people, so it’s also difficult for your dog. Understanding that and planning ahead will make your transition a little easier and help ensure your new home is a happy one.
Lisa Marino, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, PMCT, has taken her varied teaching experiences and applied them to helping owners understand and train their beloved four-legged family members. She has more than four years’ experience leading group dog training classes at Best Paw Forward in Hartland, WI, and opened Head of the Class Dog Training LLC in Winchester, VA in 2012, where she conducts group classes and private lessons, as well as helps owners to modify their dogs' problem behaviors.
Lisa earned her CPDT-KA in 2012, is a 2015 graduate of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy and is a Pat Miller Certified Trainer.
She has 4 registered therapy dogs and is a Pet Partner Therapy Team Evaluator and a member of HOPE AACR. As a former middle school teacher, she works well with families and children and does school presentations on various dog related topics.