Mark Vette – Internationally renowned Animal Behaviourist, Educator, Author and TV personality

Creating a happy new home for you and your pal.

Hi there, on today’s blog I’m covering the topic of moving. When it comes time to move it can be a difficult and stressful time for you and your dog. It helps to plan ahead to ensure there’s a smooth transition and your dog can settle as quickly as possibly into their new surroundings.

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Here are a few things to consider when you’re getting ready to move.

1) Is your new property fenced and secure for your dog?

2) Are there any animals nearby you need to be aware of? If there are dogs nearby, see if you can introduce your dog to them in a positive way to foster a friendly relationship from the get go.

3) You may consider sending your dog to a boarding kennel while you’re moving. This will keep them safe and stress-free and, once you’re settled, you can bring your dog home to the new environment with all their familiar belongings around them.

4) If that’s not practical, keep your dog somewhere safe and contained on the day of the move so you know exactly where they are when it’s time to go. This’ll help them avoid all the stresses of people coming in and out of their house all day and removing all the things they know. Alternatively, you could ask a friend to take your dog out for a walk while you’re moving – especially when moving your dog’s bed and their things.

5) If you are moving to the country or near livestock, especially sheep, make sure your dog is friendly with them or well fenced off. Dogs can be shot chasing sheep and farmers are legally allowed to do so.

6) At your new home, create a space for your dog in one room with their bed and toys – anything familiar that will help them to feel happy and recognise that they are safe at the new house (eg: a worn piece of your clothing can be great). If you have crate trained your dog then practise this to settle them (see Dog Zen). 

7) Fight the urge to wash your dog’s blanket and bedding before moving them into the new house. Having the familiar smell on their blankets will assist with the adjustment.

8) Ensure the new property is secure, then let your dog out to explore their new environment – it’s best to accompany your dog at first, so they’re not overwhelmed or confused about the relocation. Exercise them on a lead when exploring your new surroundings initially can help too.

9) Give them Kongs or chew bones out the back to settle them in happily.

10) If your dog’s collar has contact details on it, remember to update them. Also remember to alert the Council to your new address so that your dog’s registration details can be updated. 

11) Establish a routine at the new home quickly – where your dog sleeps, when they go for walks and when they get their meals. This will help them adjust easily.

12) If you’re moving internationally, find out what kind of vaccinations your dog requires and check if there will be a quarantine period.

Sometimes preparing a dog for a move can take weeks or months, so look into this earlier rather than later. Remember that all dogs are different and some won’t blink an eye at a house move, whereas others may feel anxious and stressed at first. The main thing to remember is that your dog is highly tuned to the way you’re feeling, so if you’re calm and relaxed the more likely they will be.

If you’d like some extra help with your dog, find out more through my Dog Zen program now.

All the best,

Mark

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