Whether around the block or across the country, moving can cause stress for the entire family and the American Kennel Club wants to remind pet owners that dogs can feel it too. "Dogs thrive with consistent routine especially when changes are going on around them," explains AKC's Canine Good Citizen and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Mary Burch, Ph.D. "Making it a priority to maintain your dog's schedule while making other preparations for the move will help ease his transition into your new home." The AKC offers tips on how to help Fido with the move to your new home. Among them:
Keep a consistent routine. As hectic as it is preparing for a move and settling into a new home, make it a priority to keep your dog's routine as consistent as possible. Certain conflicts can't be avoided but adjustments can be made to keep your pooch content. Does a new longer commute impede your morning walk? Try getting up earlier for your stroll to keep consistency.
Make socialization a priority. If your dog mostly stays at home, make it a point to take her on trips before the move. Whether it be the local dog park or on an errand where she will meet new people, socializing your dog in the time leading up to the move will make the experience more familiar and therefore less stressful for her.
Take a visit to the vet. Prior to moving, visit your vet. Making sure your dog is healthy is always important, but it especially is during the stress of a move. In addition, your vet will be able to offer last minute suggestions that apply specifically to your dog. During your visit, make sure that you are up to date on all vaccinations and have enough of your dog's medication to last while you settle into your new home.
Make Fido feel special. Once you arrive at your new home, set up your dog's area right away. A special spot for his bed, crate and food dish will make him more comfortable, especially with the extra commotion of unpacking going on around him.