Buying a house is an exciting time, and it affects everyone in the family – even the family dog! You’d never dream of making life difficult for your pet, but even the best-behaved pets will need a little extra TLC during all the upheaval of moving.
Dogs can really pick up on the fact that things are changing and any possible stress you’re feeling about the situation. But since they don’t understand what’s going on, they may be uncomfortable in their surroundings, have sudden behavior problems, or have a sudden change of temperament. There is a lot you can do to help your dog adjust to their new surroundings and handle any travel needed during the process.
- Check the rules.
Before buying a house, make sure there are no city ordinances or HOA restrictions on dogs that will apply to you. Breed restrictions and restrictions on the size and number of pets allowed per household are more common than you might think.
- Take some precautions.
Make sure your pet is wearing identification at all times. Excitement, curiosity, and fear during the move can make even the best-behaved dogs run off unexpectedly. Have the number of the nearest emergency pet clinic with you. Have any medication your dog needs filled ahead of time.
- Plan your travel in detail.
Your dog has to get to your new home somehow. The better you plan, the smoother things will go. They may have to ride with you in the car, fly on a plane, or be transported by an animal transport company. Make sure any arrangements are taken care of well in advance. If your dog needs to get used to riding in the car or being in a carrier, practice frequently before the big day. Plan exactly where to stop for food, water, and exercise. Locate pet-friendly hotels ahead of time. Have your pet’s vaccination record handy and familiarize yourself with your airline’s rules for transporting animals.
- Keep routines the same.
As much as possible, try to keep things consistent for your dog. Meals, walks, playtime and potty breaks should stay on schedule. Don’t skip important parts of your dog’s routine because you are busier than usual. If you need to change your dog’s routine after you get into your new home, give him time to get used to things and change a little at a time. Once your dog is used to the new surroundings, changes will be easier to make.
- Keep familiar items for your pet.
We all know buying a house comes with at least some new stuff. Just make sure you keep your dog’s items like their bed, food and water bowls, blanket and favorite toys so they have something that looks and smells familiar. It will make your new place seem more like home to them and offer your dog some reassurance that not everything is changing.
- Don’t skip exercise.
And if possible, work in some extra exercise. It can help your dog burn off extra energy, helping them relax and avoiding behavior problems.
- Introduce your dog while on a leash.
Make the initial tour of the house and yard while your dog is on the leash. This gives you the opportunity to check for safety issues and helps your dog feel more secure.
Above all remember to be patient and offer lots of love. Buying a house is a time of change and your dog will eventually adjust to their new home, but it will be in their own time. In the meantime, your help, attention and patience will make things easier for you and your dog.