You’ve gone through quite a few changes recently – and so has your dog. Your furry friend has moved to a new house (possibly for the first time), and you don’t know how he’s going to act, what with all the strange new people, places, and things around him. Many things might upset or confuse your dog right now, but having the right items with you will help you both adapt to these changes.
The following list is five items every pet owner should have ready when they move into a new home.
A Comforting Piece of Their Old Home
This does not just mean an article of clothing that carries your scent. It means a part of the house where your dog feels safe, comfortable, and secure – something that makes them feel at home.
You may be changing and upgrading many pieces of your home in this process, such as your own bed. However, this is not the time to upgrade theirs. If they have a blanket that they have used for months (or even years), be sure to bring that too. Place a treat or two inside their bed on the first day, so they know where to go.
Their Favorite Toys
When you move to a new home, bring along any toys your pet uses regularly. Having their favorite toys around will remind your pet what they can do for fun without feeling isolated in this unfamiliar environment. Keep all of their toys in one place, such as their current toy basket, so they know where to go when ready to play.
It’s okay to introduce some new toys into their environment, too, particularly if you do not have any that involve mental stimulation. Food-dispensing and puzzle toys will help keep them occupied, keeping some of their focus away from feeling overwhelmed by all the changes.
Chew toys are also helpful to have on hand, as they may get anxious or curious and get into unfamiliar, off-limits items around your new place.
Their Leash and Collar or Harness
Use your dog’s leash to walk them around the new house so they may explore and discover all the spots where they’ll want to relax or play. Doing this also gives them a chance to determine what will become their new comfort zone.
Allowing them time to make these discoveries on their own will help them become comfortable inside the new home faster. Knowing their new home’s surroundings can help control any anxious emotions, as it helps provide a sense of security.
A Crate and Baby Gate
A crate can help ease anxiety and stress for dogs during this transitional time. The crate is typically where they feel the safest; it’s their own den-like environment. Place their food bowl inside it, or if they sleep with you, leave some of their favorite toys there before putting them to bed at night. This will make your dog think that not much has changed while helping ease any worries they might have over the sudden move.
If your dog has never been crated, a move isn’t the best time to introduce it unless necessary; such as on your main moving day, to keep them safe and out of the way. Whether you utilize a crate, a dog or baby gate is an ideal item to have at a new home.
A dog or baby gate will enable you to block off sections of your home, creating a temporary living space where they can ease into their new environment and stay safe from getting into things – like cleaning products or house plants you haven’t put away yet – that could make them sick. Also, choose a space where they can be near you and other happenings and aren’t isolated.
Your White Noise Machine or Radio
Unpacking your things while listening to classical music may not be your first choice in music that gets you moving, but consider the calming effect it will have on your pup. You don’t need to blare Beethoven through your new home, but you can place a radio or white-noise machine in their designated space to help relax them and reduce feelings of stress and fear.
While many dogs experience fear and anxiety when moving into a new place – for various reasons – having these items on hand can help ease this transition for your furry companion.