While it may be true that most dogs generally cope better than the average cat when settling in, they still require special care and handling. This is especially true if you're moving from a home to an apartment or from a large house to a smaller home. Room to move around and exercise can be critical to a dog's contentment and help them get to know their new neighborhood.
So, to help your dog adjust to a move, follow these tips:
Talk to Your Dog About the Move
You will be surprised by how much better they handle it when they are included in the dialogue. The calmness in your voice will reassure them that all is well and that there is nothing to fear.
Try Not to Panic While You're Preparing to Move
Remember that animals pick up on your emotions. Be sure that you are giving off vibes that are happy as well as calming. If you feel anxious and overwhelmed, your dog will soon be as well.
Keep to Your Dog's Normal Schedule
Just like children who are moving, dogs like routine and schedules. If you can stick to what your dog knows as his or her normal day, you'll find that your pooch adjusts much more quickly—take them for walks, engage in play and feed them at the same times as before you moved. This will help your dog feel more secure and at home in the new space.
Collect Treasured Toys, Beds, and Other Items
Have the dog's favorite toys, blankets, and bed ready to roll out as soon as you move in. Most pets, including cats, crave normalcy and familiar smells, things, and people. Show them their new space and where they'll be sleeping, and you'll find they will quickly settle into their new home.
Give Them Time to Adjust
When taking your dog outside for the first time, keep him or her leashed and allow them the time to explore their new neighborhood. Your dog should be introduced to the area around your home slowly. It's a good idea to explore it a block at a time, to see who else lives in your neighborhood. Strange dogs can pose a threat and cause your pet unnecessary stress. And before you let your dog off-leash in your yard or at a doggy park, make sure you have their tags and collar, just in case they get scared and run away. But again, before letting them off-leash, make sure they know where they live and feel comfortable in their new environment.
Arrange to Be Home for the First Week
If possible, allow yourself some time before you start your new job. This will give you time to help your dog adjust. During this period of adjustment, start spending time away from the house, doing so in small increments to see how your dog will respond. Eventually, when you do start work, and you have to spend all day away, your dog should be adjusted to the home and feel comfortable being alone there.
If you have to start work right away, you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter to come to your home. They can usually cater to individual needs and requests, and they charge by the hour. Although the fees may add up, you can ask the sitter to spend more time with your dog initially, then slowly wean them back until their used to being alone.
No matter what kind of pet you have, adjusting to a new home is tough. Knowing your animal and the kind of pet they are—confident, social or shy—will help you determine what their individual needs are and help you provide the comfort they need.