Whether moving across town or out of state, it is an exhausting process for any family; including the furry children. Dogs especially are creatures of habit and thrive on predictable routines. The frenzied activity of a household relocation can cause as much stress for them as you, yet manageable with some extra planning on your part.
Before you move, research local ordinances and homeowner’s association by-laws that may restrict certain breeds or the number of household pets allowed. Ex: Fountain Hills in Arizona restricts the total number of domestic pets owned to no more than 4; Seattle, WA caps at 3. If you are a multi-pet family, it’s critical to know in advance what to expect before you sign the housing contract! Discriminatory breed bans are particularly prevalent when it comes to “bully breeds” with an unfair bias against Pitbulls. Breed stereotypes can affect your homeowner’s insurance rates, rental property availability or restrictions against ownership.
If you are moving cross country, consider climate changes that might require additional pet protocols for flea, tick, heartworm and Leptospirosis treatment. Leptospirosis is more common in warm climates and those areas with high annual rainfall. Many dog owners living in desert climates enlist professional snake-training for their dogs as an added precaution.
As you prepare to move, it’s important to maintain your dog’s daily routines as much as possible, especially during the packing process. All those boxes and disappearing items will be unsettling for them. Leave their pet beds, bowls and toys for last and make sure they are the first items you unpack once settled into your new home.
Moving day can be quite traumatic for both you and your pet. The commotion of movers may prompt a “fight or flight” response, and an open front door is not only likely, but an invitation for your dog to escape. As an added precaution, create a safe, quiet and secure room for your pets. If your move is local, find a reputable dog boarding facility or pet sitter to care for them until the chaos dies down.
Once settled, you want to find a local Veterinarian and emergency 24/7 vet facility near your new home. Tips to finding a good vet include word of mouth, neighbors, rescue groups and breed-specific organizations. Searching on Yelp and Google can also be helpful.
Once you narrow the field, remember that a warm and friendly staff is important. How you are treated on the phone and in their office will dictate how your dog is treated. Your vet should be calm and able to put your dog at ease. Consider your dog’s perspective when visiting a vet. Those unique medicinal smells, other anxious dogs pacing and panting in the lobby and sick dogs barking and whining in the background does not yield a “yippee I’m glad I’m here” reaction. A good vet will know how to manage your dog’s stress. Difficult subjects, such as cancer care, chronic disease planning, when to spay or neuter and peaceful passing are best discussed with a vet who cares about your dog’s quality of life and not their rent payment.
Ask about care costs and if a payment plan is available. A pet insurance plan should also be considered as part of your pet’s wellness program; for all of your dog’s life stages, regardless of which vet you choose to care for your furry child.
We recommend Embrace Insurance for their comprehensive, budget-friendly policies and years of experience insuring pet owners. See our link to Embrace @ https://doolittlesdoghouse.com/shop/
Please be sure to keep all vaccination records in an organized file to share with your new vet.
A family move brings many new and different changes that can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. Some dogs may take a detour on potty or crate training when in a new place, as they adjust. Don’t be disappointed by a few indoor accidents or unwillingness to “crate up” at first. Dogs are fast learners and will quickly learn how to navigate and “alert” in their new surroundings. Getting them used to the new house, neighborhood, environmental scenery and noises can be viewed as an adventure if not an invitation to get back to basics with dog training using high-value treats to reward them during acclimation.
As always, positive reinforcement, constant assurance with soothing tones and praise will help your dog adjust during the move and after settling into your new digs.
Photo attribution: Erda Estremera on unsplash.com
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