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Moving With Your Dog

One of the most stressful things in life that we have to go through is moving. Not only can it be stressful for us, but it also can stress our dogs out. They are very sensitive and they really do pick up on everything... especially... your stress. I have moved several times with my dogs so I have figured out what works and what doesn't.

The most important thing to remember is to keep your dog's schedule the same. Dogs thrive on knowing what's going to happen next, so if you are not keeping to their schedule this can add to the stress of moving. Increase their exercise. If they are tired, they will be less likely to stress about little things, as they will be too tired to care. So get them out and worn out. Try to keep changes minimal.... Don't make any big changes to their lifestyle until later. I would advise if your dog normally is loose at home while you are away, to slowly incorporate the use of a crate. This is their own "safe" place to go when things get a little hectic and the boxes start piling up around them. 

Moving day is especially tough. Whether you do it yourself or if you hire someone to move your , it's going to stress you (and your dog(s)) out. Here are a couple of things that I like to do to reduce the stress on my dogs before and during a move.

Pick up a few pheromone diffusers you can find them at your local pet store or Amazon. Plug one in where your dogs spends most of his time at your current house. This can be by his crate or near his bed. Pick up a couple more diffusers for the new house and a bottle of the pheromone spray. BEFORE you get moved over to your new house, if possible 24-48 hours before, plug in a couple of the diffusers in an area that you have selected for your dog(s) to spend time, once you have moved. That can be a main living space or a crating area.

On the day of the move, before the movers arrive and things get hectic, pack your dogs into the car like you are going on a trip. Use the pheromone spray beforehand and give it a chance to dry. You can use it for inside their travel crates in your vehicle before you put them in there (or harness/collar/bandana (don't spray directly on the dog)). Give them something to chew on and plan to give them plenty of potty breaks throughout the day. Remember that your dog feels safe when he is with you and riding in the car should be a positive experience. (For dogs that have an aversion to riding in a vehicle I don't recommend this).

I highly recommend not leaving your dog crated at your old house or in the back yard while moving things out. This will absolutely stress him out, as he will feel as though you are leaving him behind and will be confused as to what is happening. I also strongly advise against dropping your dog off at the new house before you or your things are there. It is a strange place, and even though you have been there, remember that he doesn't understand what is going on and will stress without you there. Once all of your items have been moved to your new house, get his crate set up and make sure he gets some exercise. Reassure him and make sure you keep him calm. Surround him with things that are familiar to him (dog beds, blankets, etc). Another option for moving day is doggie day care... however if he has never been to day care previous to moving day, I would not do it. If he goes to day care regularly or on occasion, that would be a good solution for moving day. He will come back from day care exhausted. Just remember to set up his crate and get the diffuser going at your new home.

Adjusting takes time. It can take up to six months or more for your dog to fully become adjusted to moving to a new place. Be prepared for accidents or destructive behavior as your dog adjusts to your new home. This is all part of the process. Keep him on a regular feeding, potty and exercise schedule so he knows what's coming and before you know it, he will be settled and back to his old self.

Here are a few other products that I recommend to reduce stress for moving (or traveling)...

For Dogs:

Springtime Inc Calmplex for Dogs  <<<< Highly recommended!!

Vetriscience Composure 

Pet Naturals Calming Treats

Adaptil Pheromone Collar


For People:

Ridgecrest Herbals Anxiety Free