The Best Tips to Smoothly Transition Your Dog into a New Home


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As a dog owner, the comfort and safety of your furry family member is a top concern.  Change can be really hard for your pooch since you can’t explain to him what’s happening and why.  When moving into a new home, you can take steps to ease his transition and ensure his safety and well-being. 


Your dog is sensitive.  It’s important to understand that while your dog may not comprehend what is happening, your dog does know things are changing.  As Today points out, alterations in routine and environment can create anxiety and stress for your dog, potentially leading to what you could perceive as bad behavior.  Your dog may act out in ways you never expected, like being destructive when you leave or a lapse in bathroom habits.  When you’re planning a move with your dog, it’s important to prepare carefully to prevent potential issues.


Pack gradually.  Don’t pack all your belongings at one time.  Spreading the process over the course of several weeks will make it easier for your dog to handle the situation.  Another consideration is to leave your dog’s items for last, and unpack them first in the new home.  Your dog will adjust better to his new surroundings with familiar items to comfort him.  Don’t wash your dog’s things since those scents will help him feel at home.  Also, throughout the packing process, remember to maintain a calm, relaxed attitude.  Moving is stressful, and your dog will pick up on any aggravation or anxiety you’re feeling.  If you’re getting upset, take a moment to breathe, calm down, and keep things from getting to you.


Pet-proof your new place.  Before introducing Fido to your new home, take steps to ensure he’ll be safe there.  For instance, if your property doesn’t already have dog-appropriate fencing, you may want to hire installation before moving day.  Wood rail fencing is popular and attractive, although some experts warn dogs can slip through rails.  You should install a wooden picket or privacy fence, or if your heart is set on rail fencing, include wire backing to prevent escape.  The average price to install a wood fence in Oakland is from $1,758 to $4,151.  Don’t forget to ensure the gate on your new fence is dog-proof! 


The American Humane Society recommends these additional important pet-proofing steps for your home:

      Install childproof latches on cabinets.

      Keep medications, cleansers, and other household chemicals out of your dog’s reach. 

      Cover trash cans or keep garbage in latched cupboards.

      Store food out of your dog’s reach (including moving day snacks).

      Check for poisonous plants and remove them (including in the yard).

      Check for antifreeze leaks and spills and clean them.

      Keep tools and sharp objects out of your dog’s reach (including box cutters, nails and screwdrivers).


Routine and exercise.  Keeping your dog’s routine as normal as possible both before and after moving day will help provide emotional security.  Also, Cesar’s Way recommends increasing exercise to help your dog adjust.  You’ll lower his level of anxiety and burn off extra energy.  Remember, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog!


Update information.  Last but not least, keep your dog safe by updating his information.  You’ll want to purchase new identification tags for his collar, and if he’s microchipped, you should update your contact information with the service you use.  If you’re changing veterinarians, it’s wise to touch base ahead of time to transfer your records.  This way, if you have an emergency, the relationship is established and any necessary data is already in place.


Safe and secure.  Moving is stressful for both you and your pooch.  Thoughtful strategies will ease your dog through the process and provide safety and security.  You and Fido will be settled into the new place in no time!

Authored by my friend Cindy Aldridge at: