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How to Keep Your Dog Safe During a Move
Dog owners who are contemplating a move to a new house need to take a few precautions because dogs sometimes get stressed out or even lost during a move. Read on for tips on what features to look for in your new home and how to move your dog safely.
Dog-friendly home features to look for
It’s a good idea to look at your prospective new home from your dog’s point of view. For instance, an older dog might have trouble with stairs. Be sure to examine the stairs inside and outside the house.
A fully enclosed fenced yard is a godsend for dog owners. Letting your dog go outside to relieve himself is a lot easier than leashing him and taking him for a walk three or four times a day. If your new home doesn’t have a fenced-in yard, consider where you might be able to put a fence. A fenced yard keeps your pup safe from most neighborhood dangers and is an affordable investment. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wood fence is between $1,281 and $2,737. Many dog rescue agencies will not place a dog in a home without a fence.
Keep your dog safe during the move
To avoid losing your dog during your move, err on the side of caution. It’s a good idea to hire movers so they can do the work while you keep an eye on your pup.
Keep your dog’s routine as consistent as possible. For example, feed him and walk him at the same time. If you can’t hire movers, take your dog to a boarding facility during the move.
Be careful about handling your dog when you’re moving. Dogs bones and muscles are more easily damaged than you might think. Never grab and pull a dog by the tail or a paw.
Most people transport themselves and their dogs to a new home by car. Make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible during this trip. He should have a few toys to keep him amused. And you need to schedule walking breaks, preferably at parks or rest areas. Be sure your dog is on leash at every moment you are outside.
Even if your dog is microchipped, this is a good time to get a collar-mounted GPS tracker. These devices allow you to track your animal’s location in real time by yourself. Also have an up-to-date photograph of your dog and have his medical records and proof of vaccinations in your car as you travel.
In your new home
Once you have arrived at your new home, make sure your dog is safely secured in a crate or in the fenced-in backyard while furniture is being moved into the house.
You’ll want to pay your dog some extra attention to ease the transition. It will take him a while to adjust to the new sights, smells, and sounds. Take him on extra walks around the neighborhood so he can orient himself.
Be sure to unpack a few things that smell familiar to your dog right away. The dog bed should be about the first thing to go in your new home, along with toys and something that smells strongly of you, like a coat or blanket.
Dogs are generally resilient, and beloved dogs even more so. Ninety percent of what your dog needs is you. If your dog feels just as loved in his new home as he felt in the old one, he will adjust quickly and with minimum distress.
Cindy Aldridge is a freelance writer and dog lover. She started Ourdogfriends.org as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.