Moving homes has to be one of the most stressful things you can do. You have to worry about what to pack, how to pack it, and how much money you will have to spend getting your stuff to your new home. It’s a huge job, which can leave you completely overwhelmed, especially if the move is a long-distance one.
Unfortunately, you are not the only one feeling the moving anxiety. Your dog is susceptible to disruptions in its daily routine. With the chaos of packing bags, loading furniture, and organizing boxes, you can bet that Lassie is not too happy about changing homes either.
Here are a few signs your move is stressing your pooch and what you can do about them.
Stressed dog warning signs
Needless to say, when moving, planning is the name of the game. This is doubly true for long-distance moves. Hauling your personal belongings across vast distances can go very wrong, very fast, so being prepared is crucial. You can find some useful tips on how to plan your long-distance move here and keep it as smooth as possible.
In the hustle and bustle of packing, it’s easy to neglect another important factor in the move — your dog.
Dogs are fairly territorial creatures. They are incredibly sensitive to any disruptions in their daily routine and usual environment.
So long before you’ve even started loading up your stuff to get going, your dog will know that something big is up. And they may not be too happy about it.
Here are some things you should look out for.
Stressed dogs often exhibit telltale behaviors to show they’re anxious. Some of the most common ones are:
- Loss of appetite
- Repeated barking and whining
- Excessive yawning or licking
Body language and bodily functions
Apart from behavior, a dog’s body language can also indicate that they’re stressed. Some of the most common ones are:
- Keeping their ears down
- Tucking their tail between their legs
- Hiding and shaking
Furthermore, disruptions in bodily functions are another common sign of stress. Stressed dogs are often more prone to ‘accidents’ around the house.
Anything you think is unusual
Keep in mind that these symptoms can manifest differently in every dog. Some may be very noticeable, while others won’t exhibit any obvious symptoms at all. It’s important to look for any behavior you think is out of the ordinary for your furry friend.
How to soothe a stressed dog
Now that you’ve realized your pooch is stressed, we move on to the next most important thing: what can you do about it?
As mentioned above, dogs react very poorly to changes in environment and routine. So the best way to keep their anxiety to a minimum is to reduce that disruption as much as possible.
Here are some of the steps you can take to keep your furry friend calm.
Before the move
- Keep meal times the same as before. Nothing works up a dog more than not getting food at their accustomed time.
- Try playing with them as much as possible. Though moving is time-consuming, taking time off planning everything to give your dog attention will do wonders in keeping them calm. The added benefit is that daily outings keep them out of the house and away from the bustle of packing.
During the move
- Bring them with you. While it may seem like leaving the dog at a boarding facility is the easier option, this can be detrimental to their health. Keeping them with you helps soothe their anxiety and makes the transition easier.
- Have their ID on hand. If your dog gets lost during the move without a microchip or collar, you may never see them again.
After the move
- Go back to your old routine as soon as possible. That includes walks, playtime, and feeding time.
- Let them adjust to their new environment. As tempting as it may be to invite friends over for a housewarming party, try to refrain from doing that. Your dog needs time to adjust to a new environment without unfamiliar people further stressing them out.
Minimize the hassle and hire help
With packing, transport, and your pet’s health on the line, a long-distance move may be too big of a feat for you to handle on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to.
One of the best ways to make your long-distance move as stress-free as possible is to hire a moving company.
Plus, it will free you from having to worry about the technicalities of moving your items. Instead, you can focus on prepping your furry friend for the trip to a new home. This prep involves making sure they are comfortable during the journey and paperwork, like their health certificate, vaccination confirmation, etc.
To sum up
As you can see, long-distance moving can be a very stressful ordeal for your furry companion. That is why it’s important to keep an eye out for the stress markers outlined above and do your best to minimize them. With the right help and careful planning, you can keep your move hassle-free for you and your dog.