[video] Moving With Dogs | Pupford
September 28th, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
Moving with dogs can be an extremely stressful experience! I just moved from Utah to NYC with three dogs, and there were some parts that were truly difficult...
In this video, I’ll break down tips and ideas for what you can do before the move, during the actual move, once you’re moved in, AND one vital tip for the entire moving experience!
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OVERVIEW OF MOVING WITH DOGS
PACKING FOR A MOVE
As you start the process of moving, your dog might start to notice the ‘change’ in your home.
You might be leaving more to run errands, packing up boxes, cleaning things up, etc… and believe me, our dogs take notice!
The key to making this part of the move stress-free for your pup is to stick to a schedule and keep up on the “basics”.
PS- Learn all about common signs of stress in dogs here.
Here are three ‘basics’ to focus in on while you’re packing up for a move
1. Physical Exercise
2. Mental Exercise
3. Extra Attention/Love
DURING THE MOVE
There is a lot I could talk about when it comes to the actual move, but the one thing I’ll say is to give your dog more breaks and more exercise than you’d typically think.
Because the only thing worse than a potty accident is a potty accident in your car. How often you need to stop will be dependent on your dog’s age, their potty training abilities, and generally how far you’re going. For puppies, you’ll want to stop every 1 hour or so. For adult dogs that are potty trained, you can typically go closer to 3-5 hours. But again, you know your dog best!
When you stop, let your dog stretch their legs with a walk, some fetch, or anything to help tire them out.
And of course, let them do their business!
UNPACKING AND GETTING SETTLED
Getting settled into your new place (and of course, unpacking) can be a stressful and sometimes drawn out process. Making sure that your pup feels comfortable and can adapt to their new home will take some effort and planning on your part as well!
If I could sum it up in one idea, it’s to create a routine… but here are a few things that go into that!
1. Set timers for potty breaks
2. Create safe spaces
3. Set a schedule
1. SET TIMERS FOR POTTY BREAKS
Even for the most well-behaved and “perfectly” potty trained of dogs, accidents still happen. So, you can set your dog up for success and hopefully fewer accidents by setting timers. The first week when you’re in your new home, have a running timer for potty breaks.
Again, it depends on your dog… but for my adult dogs I set a 2-3 hour timer and took them out accordingly. It might feel like overkill, but when you make this drastic of a change for your dog you need to treat potty training like you’re back to puppyhood. The more frequently you can direct your dog to the correct place to potty, the faster your dog will understand where it is and isn’t okay to go potty in their new home.
Check out this blog post on How to Get the Pee Smell Out of Carpet.
2. CREATE SAFE SPACES
The second thing you should do is create a safe space for your dog in your home.
Again, each dog is different… for some dogs, it is a crate and for other dogs it’s a dedicated spot for their bed.
The key is to give your dog a place where they can go that is their own, where they feel comfortable and safe even during the stress of the move.
And that leads to the 3rd point…
3. SET A SCHEDULE
Pick specific feeding times, and stick to it.
Go out for a morning walk at the same time each day.
Set aside a specific time to do some training (even if it’s just fun things like tricks)
Dogs are creatures of habit. So as soon as you can, get into a routine with your dog and stick to it!
But even with all those tips, there is still one thing that’s more important than any tip or plan…
THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP WHEN MOVING WITH DOGS
And that is patience. Too often as pup parents, we set expectations for our dogs. We set expectations in our minds how quickly they should be potty trained or adjust, or whatever behavior we want them to learn...
And these expectations are a trap.
As soon as you put a timeframe on your dog’s ability to transition, you’re in trouble. Every dog is different, and every situation is different.
When we were in the process of moving to New York City, I fully expected my dog Sunny to get the hang of where to go potty MUCH faster than my dog Scout. Well, I’m sure you know what happened… the opposite happened! And the expectations I set in my mind, only led to frustration.
The important thing to keep in mind is that our dogs will adjust, adapt, and be comfortable in their own time frame.
So, patience is key.
If your dog develops some separation anxiety, or has accidents, or struggles to get comfortable… stay patient!
The #1 tip for moving with your dog, is to stay patient.
Have other tips? Tell me in the comments!