While it’s true that many pet owners think of their dogs as their children, some fail to take them into proper consideration when buying a new home and making a big move. You will need to think about what’s best for your dog before, during, and after the move. Here are some tips for the considerate pet owner.
Before the move: finding the right place
If your dog is a big part of your life (and they should be) you’ll want to make sure they are safe and comfortable in your new house. Your dog should be on your mind during your house search. For starters, make sure that the backyard is a safe space. Is it fenced in? If not, can you feasibly build a fence? What are the neighboring pets like? Does the nextdoor neighbor have a large, aggressive dog? Does it bark a lot? Think about how these things will affect the life of your dog.
Cesar’s Way notes that you should look into how visible your dog is in the yard. If you’re close to main roads and your dog is easily visible/accessible from the yard, there’s a greater risk of it being stolen (sounds shocking, but it does happen).
If you want to see how your dog reacts to a prospective new home, take them for a trial visit before you sign any papers. Make sure they can get around the house and yard (if they’re old or have mobility issues). Always check with the current homeowner/real estate agents first, of course.
During the move: getting your dog out of the way
Moving is just as stressful - if not more so - for your dog as it is you and your family. At least you know what’s going on. Your dog won’t understand why people are taking everything out of your home. It’s chaotic. The best way to be considerate of your dog during a move is to get them as far away from the move as possible.
Hiring full service movers so that you can focus your attention on your dog is a great option, but boarding your dog will keep them even more comfortable and allow you more time to focus on coordinating the movers as needed. If you have the option, you can save money by leaving your dog with a friend or family member.
Not everyone has the ability to get their dog completely out of the house during a move. If so, you should do what you can to keep them as far away from the action as possible. The You Move Me blog suggests keeping them in a well-stocked room with the door closed during the move, or putting them in a crate or kennel in the garage. Not only will this help you or your movers, but it will keep your dog out of the fray, which can be overwhelming.
After the move: helping your dog acclimate
They key to helping your dog get used to their new home is to explore with caution and keep them a bit confined at first. You should take your dog on a tour of the new home - but only by your side. Don’t just let them roam free. Try dropping treats like bread crumbs as your take the tour, so your dog with see that the new home is a fun, non-threatening place.
Create a safe space, filled with treats, toys, and their bed. Keep them mostly in this spot for a while. This can be a certain room of the house, or you can make a barrier with baby gates. Another good tip is to maintain your dog’s exercise schedule as best you can - even though you may have less time due to unpacking. Walking your dog can help relieve a lot of their pent-up anxiety.
If your dog is a major part of your life, you’ll want to consider their needs at all stages of a move - from looking for the right house for them, to keeping them safe and secure during the move, and finally making sure they acclimate to their new home. Remember that everyone is stressed out during a move - dogs included.
For information on moving to the Prescott, Arizona, area, give Tim Anderson with BloomTree Realty a call at (928) 308-9595.
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