Moving day can be a hectic and jarring experience for even the most organized family. There are countless details to take care of, a lifetime of belongings to pack up, a house to clean and more. If you’re using a professional moving company, you have to coordinate with the movers, make sure fragile items are clearly marked, and account for everything that’s supposed to be going with you. It’s easy to understand why many people are overwhelmed by it all. The chaotic environment surrounding a move can be aggravated if you’re a dog owner, especially if you don’t plan ahead and make arrangements to keep your furry friend occupied and out of harm’s way.
Dogs create a whole new set of problems at a time when you really need things to go smoothly. Left to roam the house, they can get in the way of your movers and cause items to be broken, which may create insurance complications. If your dog is excitable and tends to be aggressive around strangers, moving day is probably going to be a real struggle. Preparation is key to making sure your pooch is well provided for and out of the way on moving day.
Talk to your movers
Some moving companies have pet policies, so discuss the situation with yours well ahead of time. Make sure you know what their expectations are and that they know to be aware of your pet. In most cases, if you can keep your dog or cat out of the way everything will be alright. Do yourself, your dog, and your movers a big favor and don’t move on a busy day.
Start packing as soon as possible. That’s usually good advice for anyone who’s in the process of moving. Try packing a little at a time instead of rushing to get it all done in a couple of days. That’s bound to make anyone a little skittish, especially a dog. Pets are as tied to their home environment as you are, so they’re sure to be affected if everything’s turned upside down at the last minute, with everyone rushing around and acting stressed out. Make sure you keep your dog’s food and water dishes, toys, and familiar objects right where they are until you’re finished packing.
Find a friend
Think about boarding your dog or look for a friend or acquaintance who’s willing to watch your pet when moving day arrives; if possible, someone who can take your pooch for a nice long walk or a romp in the park. That’ll keep him occupied and exercised and away from what’s sure to be a hectic scene at home. It’s better for your furry friend, better for you and your family, and much better for your movers. Some advise locking a dog in a separate room on moving day, but you could end up doing more harm than good if your doesn’t like being shut away.
Have a post-move plan
Letting your friend run loose once you’ve arrived at your new home can be a bad idea. When things are unsettled he’s more likely to get loose and suffer a serious injury running loose in a new part of town. Instead, create a comfortable space indoors with a dog bed or sleeping blanket, food and water, and familiar items from your previous home. Give it some time before giving your dog the run of the yard.
Remember that your dog will be as stressed out as you are on moving day. Anything you can do to take some tension out of the situation will be good for your pet and make it easier for him to acclimate to his new home. One of the best things you can do is be well-prepared well ahead of time and know exactly how you’ll manage the situation with your dog.
Written by: Cindy Aldridge of OurDogFriends.org