Getting ready to move

Preventing your dog from running away

Thinking about moving?

Here are some points to consider before signing a lease or making an offer on a house to prevent nasty surprises concerning your dog.

Find out about city regulations

Some cities have specific regulations regarding pets, such as the number of permits per household, breed restrictions, and licencing. Ask about applicable regulations.

Preventing your dog from running away

When visiting a new house make sure that there is a safe fence.

Prevent health issues

When possible, ask the previous tenant if there have ever been animals in the house. If so, you may want to make sure there aren’t markings around the house like urine (you can use a black light in the dark and urine will come out as blue), or fleas – (before you move in, walk around in white socks and you will easily see fleas when they jump to bite your ankles). Know that fleas can live for several months in an empty house. If you notice a problem, talk to your veterinarian for advice.

In a few weeks or months, you will be moving.

Your dog can already tell that something is going on in the house: you are starting to pack a few things, there are unusual comings and goings, as well as some jitters around the house. Moving is a very stressful event for our pets, who see their universe being completely disrupted and can’t understand what’s going on. Your dog’s sense of security is based first and foremost on your presence, your attitude, and a familiar, predictable routine. Your dog will follow you, wherever you go.

Create a safe space

Set up a space (it could be in their crate) where your dog will have their favourite cushion and toy, as well as some soft music for background noise. Teach them to lay down and be calm, thereby reinforcing the behaviour with a reward. You can then ask your dog to go there when you see that they are getting agitated and could benefit from some down time.

Packing up

Turn this moment into a positive and stress-free one: pack up while the dog is having a good time like going on a foodie treasure hunt, licking a stuffed toy (e.g., Kong), or emptying a food dispensing toy. You can also let them rest in their safe space.

Visiting the veterinarian

During this visit, a health examination may be carried out. If your pet takes medicine on a regular basis you may want to make sure that you have enough to last until moving day, and then a little extra.

While at the vet, ask if vaccines are up to date. Some viruses can live for months in your new home, even after the previous animal has left. The same applies for some parasites like fleas.

Therefore, giving a preventive parasite treatment is highly recommended depending on the season and the location where you are moving to.

If you are moving far away, you may want to ask your current vet to recommend a colleague in the new area.

Wearing a collar

To prevent new neighbours from thinking that your pet is a stray, make sure that your companion wears a collar at all times. It is also important to have your dog microchipped by your veterinarian, and for them to wear a tag stating that they are microchipped. You can have the tag engraved with your new contact info ahead of time. You can use this as an excuse to check the condition of their leash and collar and upgrade if necessary.

Reducing stress and anxiety

During the week leading up to the move there will be lots of excitement in the house. Packing, as well as visitors. This a very stressful situation for your canine companion.

Depending on the signs of stress your dog shows, your vet can also prescribe a light tranquilizer that will temporarily help your dog manage the situation peacefully.

Depending on the signs of stress your dog shows, your vet can also prescribe a light tranquilizer that will temporarily help your dog manage the situation peacefully. This will make adapting to the new space easier.

Exploring your new surroundings

If you aren’t moving too far away, strolling in the new neighbourhood will allow your canine friend to learn the new olfactive markers. Also, if you can access the house prior to moving day, you can visit a few times with your dog for short periods of time. This will let them explore the surroundings at their own pace without restrictions. Don’t forget that they discover mostly through smell.

You can even introduce some elements from their safe space to help them relax during those visits.

Have more questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact the Passionimo veterinary clinic near you.