Any dog owner will testify that one of the biggest charms to having a dog is knowing their excitement every time you come home. Of course, they become accustomed to your home, and when the time comes, moving can be hard on them, oftentimes disrupting the routine they have known for years or months. If you love your dog and are looking to buy a new home, you have a million things to consider, among those things is the well-being of your pet.
When the time comes to find a new place, there’s a lot to keep in mind. You’ll want to assess the layout of the home, consider your pet’s needs, and get to know your potential neighborhood before making a final decision.
On a Dog Scale of One to 10
So on a dog scale, how much does your neighborhood love dogs? There are a variety of ways to tell:
- Do you see a few dog walkers around?
- Do the dogs look friendly and socialized?
- Are there pet stores in the vicinity?
- A dog park?
- Plenty of veterinary clinics and hospitals?
- Does your house have a good-sized yard with protective fencing?
If you answer yes to all of these questions, your neighborhood probably scores close to a 10. This means your dog will have plenty of amenities to keep him safe and happy.
Depending on your dog’s needs also measure the following factors:
- Does the house have a big enough yard for the needs of your pet?
- Secure and high fencing?
- A doggy door?
The Local Laws
Most states and localities still consider pets personal property. Because of this, the laws pertaining to pets and pet care are important to note; they can inform you best in the event that your dog gets loose or lost. Contact the local animal services or Humane Society to find out the restrictions on:
- Dog registration and licensing
- Leashes and dog walking
The aptly named dog magazine The Bark suggests that dogs can suffer high levels of stress when their surroundings are shifting and changing around them. Don’t forget that your dog depends on you to feel safe and stable. Make sure you provide him some extra attention leading up to the move.
Before the Move
Try to keep his comfortable space in place so that he feels safe and guarded. Once you move in, don’t buy new bedding or toys. Cesar Milan warns to pack your dog’s bedding last, to help him feel a little more stable until the last possible moment. Transferring your dog’s toys and bedding to the new home will help make sure he maintains a level of familiarity.
During the Move
The actual move day can cause a tremendous amount of confusion, not just for your dog but also for you. There might be movers coming in, with the doors open, taking furniture, shifting rooms around. This can create additional stress for your dog. A great option is to remove your dog from the chaos and take him to a local kennel for boarding.
After the Move
The hard part comes when the move is over. As Life Hacker suggests, make sure your dog acclimates well so he doesn’t suffer from anxiety or stress in the new environment. The first couple of days are key:
- Show your dog plenty of attention and time.
- Keep your anxiety level in check too, as dogs respond to their owners.
- Set up his sleeping area with his familiar bedding and toys.
- Take him a dog for plenty of walks, let him follow you around the house, and shower him with play time.
- If possible, avoid leaving him alone right away in the new house, maybe take a few days off work as you make him comfortable.
Buying a house is demanding enough, requiring time, effort, and patience. As a loving dog owner you want the best for your dog, and staying on top of a few details can save you lots of heartaches later. Keep your dog calm through the chaos of moving by remembering a few key things, giving them lots of love, and remaining vigilant to their behavior.