Thank you to Carlson Pet Products for sponsoring this post. All thoughts are my own.
While moving can be an exciting adventure, it can also be a very stressful life event for you, your family, and particularly your dog.
Dogs are very intuitive when something is amiss, even if they don't understand what is happening or why. Certainly, with an impending move, they have no idea that the place they know as home is about to change. The home where they once had their everyday routine is now being disrupted with piles of boxes and stuff all over their safe place.
Undoubtedly, the pre-move and moving day process will be an overwhelming list of endless tasks. It's unsettling for you and your family, but it's especially unsettling for your dog. It is for this reason that it's imperative to have a well-structured plan in place.
Here Are 4 Stress-Free Tips For Moving With A Dog
1. Stick To The Same Exercise Routine
First and foremost, if your dog is used to an exercise routine, it is essential to continue that routine as often as possible. If things become too chaotic for you and your family, consider asking family or a friend to assist. It may be wise to ask someone who your dog knows and feels comfortable to be around.
Exercise will help alleviate any stress or nervous energy your dog will have. By bringing your dog outside of the home, you will give them a break from the daily disarray and their dependable routine will not be disrupted.
2. Pet Pen For Safe Containment
It's moving day, and the chaos has begun. Strangers (home movers) are taking boxes, furniture, and odds and ends out of your dog's safe place, their home. Doors are staying open to move things in and out. It's at this time that your dog is probably at his highest point of anxiety. It's also at this time that what was once your dog's safe place is now the least safe environment for them.
A pet pen provides a protected area for your dog while allowing them room to play and move around. This is especially useful if your dog will be cooped up for an extended period of time.
The Carlson Pet Pen provides a safe and secure retreat for your dog during all of the moving turbulence. It is lightweight yet durable and sets up instantly making it very easy to maneuver from room to room. Reinforced mesh encompasses the pen and provides just the right amount of transparency for your dog to observe what is happening around them.
Our dachshund, Rocket uses the pet pen all the time. We bring it camping, to the lake during the summer, and use it in our front yard.
Amid our recent move, Rocket loved having a dedicated space free from heavy boxes and frequent foot traffic. Inside the pen, I put his bed, a bowl of water, a blanket, and toys for him to enjoy.
3. Crate For Security
Similar to a pet pen, a crate takes it one step further in terms of containment. For some dogs, the fully enclosed space that a crate provides can give your dog a more secure feeling.
In a situation like moving, where safety is of the utmost importance, a metal crate is a great solution. Because of its strength and hard sides, this will give your dog the best protection.
There are many types of crates available, including soft crates. If using a soft carrier-type, it is best to put your dog in a quiet place where there isn't much action, perhaps a part of a room that will have very little traffic.
If your dog has a special blanket or toy, place those in the crate to make their space comfortable. Make sure to visit your pup, or if possible, have someone stay with them to alleviate any stress they may be feeling. Taking your dog for an occasional walk will also help relive stress as well as feeding them water and treats.
If your dog does not use a crate, you should crate train them as soon as possible. I started crate training Rocket when he was a puppy. He loves his crate and still sleeps in there to this day, 11 years later.
This article explains how to crate train your dog.
4. Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation, such as toys or games, also plays an important part in keeping your dog happy and stress-free during a big move.
Dogs thrive on being busy and having a purpose. When dogs have the opportunity to exercise their mind, they release nervous energy and stress. Keeping them busy helps to tire them out which will make it easier for them to relax. Additionally, when you play interactive games, such as hide-and-seek, the bond between you and your dog will grow, and your dog's happiness level will improve.
Try a game of fetch or tug of war for 15 minutes. Afterward, give them a treat and plenty of cuddles. They will certainly appreciate the attention during such a confusing time.