Thursday, May 22, 2014
Moving With Your Dog
We have exciting news here in our home for us and for Whirly Dog Supplies. We have found a beautiful home just outside of the big city of Portland Oregon. It is secluded in the beautiful Columbia Gorge and has 1200 square feet on the main floor and another level (also, 1200 square feet) that will make for a great studio, to bring our customers new and exciting products. We made an offer on the house and it was accepted and now we are going through the whole home buying process. We are getting close to beginning the transition to our new home, of course nothing is guaranteed, and we are hoping all goes well. One of our main concerns in moving is the transition for Whirly, our little rescue dog. We want to make this a smooth and easy transition for him, with the least amount of stress because he his life has been full of pain and uncertainty.
Whirly has been through a rough life. He was used as a breeding dog at a puppy mill for the first 9 years of his life, then he became neglected and malnourished and with the abuse, the Oregon Humane Society had to come and take him along with dozens of other dogs from the owner/operator of the puppy mill. When he was rescued by the Humane Society, he was adopted but only kept for a few months by the family and brought back to the shelter. The moment I saw him in the animal shelter, I fell in love with him, and he has been with us the past three years. He is finally settled and is comfortable (for the most part) in his home. Living in the city, there are many distractions, noises, and things that stress Whirly - The new home is in a rural area that will allow him to relax and enjoy life without the "hustle and bustle" of the big city. We are taking measures to insure a smooth transition to his new environment. Below I have listed the three main moving events and explained, what I feel, is the best way to transition your dog to a new home. I am not an expert on animal behavior nor do I claim to be, but I am giving you advice from what I have learned with other pets and what worked for me, in the past. I hope it helps.
Packing and Preparing to Move
If possible, try to prepare and pack over a long period of time (at least a few weeks to a month). Many dogs are easily stressed or upset when new things come into their home or environment, such as lots of big boxes. It is an easier transition for the pet to slowly bring boxes in a few at a time. If you have the luxury of time on your side, only pack a few boxes per day. Be as organized as possible, have boxes labeled and sitting in a location that is out of the way and not drastically changing the landscape of the rooms in your home. Finally, don't change your dog's routines... keep the same walking, cuddle, and feeding times. It's so important to stay focused and not make drastic moves all at once. Not only is it easier on the dog, but it's less stressful for you as well!
The most important thing to remember, is you are going to be BUSY trying to organize, keep track of people and things. This is one of the biggest days of you, your family, and your pet's lives! Make it as easy as possible. The best thing I have found is to have a family member or trusted friend pet-sit your dog on the day of the move, which may be difficult if you are using everyone to help you. If you can't leave your pet with someone on this big day, I would suggest keeping them in a familiar room while people are moving boxes and furniture in and out. For your and your pet's safety, it's best not to have them "under foot". My dogs have always had their own bed in with me in my bedroom, so when I am moving, I leave them in the bedroom with their bed, a couple toys, and their favorite snuggle blanket or object of affection. Keep your pet comfortable, and out of harms way.
Settling into Your New Home
Getting used to your new home is always an adjustment for your pet, and YOU as well! The most important thing to remember is to Go Slow... transition your dog into the new home. Before you bring your pet to your new home, check out the interior, exterior, and the property/land the house sits on. Make sure there are no hazards for you or your pets - look for things that could harm or stress you or your dog, such as poisons, chemicals, or objects that could cause injury. Once the home is safe, introduce your pet to a small area of the home and then slowly allow them access to the rest of the house. For example, close all the doors to spare rooms, basements, bedrooms, laundry rooms, etc. and over the next couple of weeks, let your dog have access to each area of the house. Many of you out there might have cats... I have found letting them have access to only ONE room at a time is best, starting with where their litter box and food are located, then slowly allowing them access to the rest of the home. The same holds true with dog owners, however with dogs you may have to be letting outside to go to the bathroom. When you let them outside, keep them leashed, not only will it allow them to explore the new yard or grounds at a controlled and slower pace, it also allows you to do the same - many things can cause disruptions to the move in the outside environment such as; holes under fences, possible chemical or hazards in the new yard, and possibly even other wildlife like raccoons, birds, wild/untamed animals, as well as other neighboring cats and dogs that are not leashed or contained. It's so important to supervise your pet in the beginning, it just makes everyone's life easier and less stressful.
Enjoy life... and I hope these tips and ideas help you and your dog or any pet have a smooth transition to your new home.
We'd love to hear your experiences, please comment below and share your stories.