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Dog owners treat their dogs like children, so pets are basically a part of the family.  Like children, dogs require a daily routine. So you should expect that when you move, he’ll act a little “off” because his routine has changed. But, don’t worry — there are ways to make moving with your dog easier on both you and your puppy. Here are some great ideas on how to do it!

Before You Move

Start slowly packing up toys, food, bed and other items. “Talk” to your dog about the move and try to make him aware of what’s going on — at least as much as you can. Ease your dog into this event by making small gradual changes around the house.

For those moving long distance, you should put your dog in a carrier when you travel to your new home. Buy the carrier early and get your dog accustomed to it. Also, cut his nails before you put him in it, and make sure there’s enough room for him to sleep and eat — depending, of course, on how long he’ll be in there.

Once you know your new address, get your dog a new dog tag. And, if your dog is “microchipped,” make sure you change the contact information attached to the chip! This is a very important to remember — your dog won’t know the area and could very easily get lost, so avoid this disaster by staying one step ahead.

During the Move

Dogs may be a family member to you, but to a moving company, they could get in the way, get hurt or even get lost. Therefore, you have to find a safe place for your dog during moving day. The best thing is to take the dog out of the equation — bring him to a neighbor, friend, or family member’s house, put him in a kennel for the day, or take him to doggy daycare facilities! If these options aren’t available to you, place your dog in a part of the house where he will be safe, like out back on the deck.

If you keep your dog in your backyard, put up a sign that clearly tells the movers the dog is there — it’s also a good idea to write “KEEP OUT” on the sign so movers don’t accidentally leave a door or gate open that your dog could run out of. While the dog is out back, make sure he has plenty of food and water and don’t forget he’s out there when you leave for good!

Pet-Proof Your Home

Before your dog is allowed into the new home, go in alone and take a look around. Get down to your dog’s eye level and see what he sees — are there any sharp objects lying around that he will try to put in his mouth? Are there leftover poisonous ant traps? Electrical wires or dangerous outlets he could chew on? Are there small spaces to climb into and not be able to get out of?  Do a thorough check of the house before your dog enters to avoid any and all hazards.

Within the first week of arriving at your new home, you need to find a new veterinarian. It’s a good idea to do this before you move, but if you don’t have time, do it as soon as possible. Take a test drive to the vet to make sure you know how to get there in case there’s an emergency. It’s also a good idea to map out where the emergency animal hospitals are — emergencies have a funny way of happening when your vet is closed for the weekend.

Get settled

After you have done an inspection of the home, it’s time to make your dog feel at home. The first thing you should do is let him out into your new yard. Play fetch and help him stretch his legs for a little while. Get your dog comfortable with where he’ll be running around.

Next, set up his bed, dog bowl and other items and introduce him to the new home. Walk your dog around the house and invite him into rooms he’s allowed into. Let him do the sniff test and explore his surroundings. Just like us, he wants to feel comfortable and at home in this new, unfamiliar place. Do your best to help.

Lastly, take your dog on walks to get him familiar with the area and their surroundings. Introduce your dog to other the dogs in the neighborhood that they may see on a daily basis. If your neighbors have dogs, this is especially important!

Moving is no different on you than it is on your dog — it’s stressful, new, exciting and overwhelming. Keep your pets included in your move preparation, and be sure to take time to sit with him. Let him know that he is coming with you on this new adventure and that he is still loved!

Tara Chila, blogger for Transit Systems, Inc., writes mostly about moving, business, house & home, kids, and parenting.  Transit Systems specializes in a variety of long distance moving and shipping services including furniture shipping. Tara enjoys spending time with her husband and two amazing little boys. She balances life as a stay at home mom and a part time employee. So, amidst going to playgrounds, play dates or running her boys to kindergarten, she works on expanding Transit Systems’ social network and compiling, placing, and marketing TSI’s raving customer reviews!

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