Dogs, like humans, do best when they have routines in their life. Not knowing what is happening gives them anxiety, which can lead to problematic behaviors including:
- Excessive noise like barking or howling
- Skin reactions like hot spots or itching
- Irritability like growling, aloofness, nipping, or snarling
- Destructive behavior like chewing objects or furniture
- Physical tics like licking or gnawing
- Accidents like soiling indoors
- Impulsive behaviors like darting out the door and trying to escape
- Digestive problems like vomiting or diarrhea
- Changes in appetite
If you are moving homes, there is a good chance your dog may start to exhibit behaviors like these as a reaction. An increase of strangers in the home, changes in energy, and a less consistent presence of humans in the home can signal to the dog that something is happening. The process of moving changes the smells and overall feel around the home. Finally, moving into a new home is scary, unknown territory for your dog.
Fortunately, you can help ease this transition for your dog by taking necessary precautions. Doing so can help prevent destructive behaviors and keep your dog safe when it is time to move.
Find a Vet
To help your dog before the big move actually occurs, you’ll want to make sure you have as many things in line as possible before you relocate. The first thing you will want to do is find a vet in your new area that you can turn to if your dog is sick. Without a vet in place, you will have to turn to an emergency pet hospital in case of illness. While these clinics are staffed with professionals, you may have to deal with longer wait times and large fees you don’t encounter when visiting a traditional vet’s office.
Update Tags & Microchips
Since one of the behaviors associated with canine anxiety is impulsive darting and running away, you’ll want to update your pup’s microchip and tags as soon as you have the new address. Your dog’s tag should have your cell phone number and address on it. It also helps to put a little personal message such as “I’m microchipped!” or “Help! I’m lost” on the tag.
Preventing Anxiety Physically
If your dog shows physical signs of anxiety, start experimenting with ways to cope with that stress now. Many dogs react well to gear such as weighted shirts that make them feel safe and protected. Some dogs need a little extra help in the form of herbal supplements or anti-anxiety medication. Flowers like chamomile and valerian are well-known, holistic treatments that help both dogs and humans calm down in times of stress.
Preparing Your New Home
To help ease the transition, make your new home a comfortable environment for your dog. Place his familiar bed, blankets, and toys in a quiet and warm area of the new place. Dogs are den animals and like to have their “place” to escape to when they need to be comforted. You can also help establish a calming atmosphere with aromatherapy candles that fill your home with soothing scents and warmth. It’s also a good idea to establish boundaries in the home immediately. Close off areas where he is not allowed and ensure his safety with a well-maintained fence in any outdoor areas.
While your dog may feel anxious during a big move, you can make relocating easier with proper planning. Find a vet to turn to in case of emergencies– this will help keep your dog healthy and prevent unexpected costs from visiting the pet emergency room. Update their tags and microchips in case your dog darts off when introduced to the new home. Physical aids such as weighted shirts, homeopathic remedies, and medication can help dogs with extreme anxiety issues. Finally, prepare your new home for your dog by setting up a soothing environment and establishing boundaries around the house.