Moving can be a very stressful time, not only for us humans, but also for our precious companions. We just finally got settled in our new house, and I wanted to share our story and a few tips on how to keep your pup calm and make them feel loved and included during a move!
Our move was highly focused on Theo. We had been planning on moving, but the house hunt was focused on finding a place where Theo had some sort of yard. Coming from apartment living, we knew we wanted Theo to have his own outdoor space to play when we moved. When we came across our new home, we immediately knew it was the right choice for our little family. We had about a month between finding the place and our official move-in date. We drove Theo by the house before we even had the keys and explained aloud to him that this would be our new home soon. When we got the keys, we brought him over that night and walked him through the house on his leash, touring him through each room so he could sniff and familiarize himself with his new house. Then, things took a bit of a turn. The COVID-19 epidemic became much more real, and social distancing began. This meant we couldn’t go through with our original moving plan, we would have to speed it up. So, in the next week we took daily trips to our new house bringing loads of smaller items, and we brought Theo along each time. He loved running around and exploring the new home! On the big day where we had an actual moving truck, we were able to have some family and friends help us finish moving all the big stuff, while I took Theo to the dog park. I think this really helped ease some anxiety for both of us. By the time Theo got home, his space was all set up, so he was able to better process the move! Despite the challenges of the current circumstances, the move went pretty smoothly, and Theo is loving the new house! With that being said, here are some tips I have taken away from this experience:
1. Clean everything before moving. A move to a new place is a great opportunity to clean out and start fresh! This includes all things dog. To make sure you’re keeping your dog super healthy and everything tidy, you can take these few steps to clean out!
Dog beds: Washing your dog beds and crate mats is a great place to start in keeping your pup clean and healthy. We buy the beds and mats that have a removable cover that we can just throw in the washing machine, but check the tags on yours for wash instructions.
Toys: With all the germs and bacteria that can collect on dog toys, it is important to make sure we clean them. Depending on the material of the toy, they can usually either be thrown in the washing machine or washed with dish soap soaking in the sink! Make sure to check your specific toys for cleaning instructions if you’re unsure.
Dishes: A move is a great reminder to put your pup’s food and water bowls in the dishwasher or hand-wash them to make sure they are nice and clean to keep your dog healthy!
2. Take them on a tour! It is so important to familiarize your pet with their new home! If you have the chance, bring your dog over to the new place before you start the moving process. Your dog understands more than you’d think, so explaining to them that you’re moving to a new home, and emphasizing that they are coming too, is important. It is possible for your dog to feel like they are being abandoned during the moving process, so providing them this reassurance can really help them feel included, and prevent them from having this anxiety!
3. Set up their space first. Your dog is your #1 supporter, and this is a time for you to give them a little extra support. By setting up their space first, you are reminding your pup how important they are to you, and making them feel more comfortable in this uneasy situation. When they see that they have a space right away, it will help them adjust much more easily.
Moving can be overwhelming for everyone involved, but hopefully these tips can help you ensure that it is a smooth transition for your pup and reduce some of the dog mom guilt! Happy moving!