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Moving Made Easy (for Dog Owners)

Whether you are moving down the street or across the country, there’s a lot to be done. It’s a stressful time for everyone but you can make things easier on yourself (and your dog) with a little patience, planning, and precautions.

On the way out…

Leaving an apartment isn’t usually a big deal, but when you must sell a home before you move, having a dog complicates matters a bit. The situation can get messy fast. Keep things moving with these tips:

  • Exercise your dog more often. This keeps energy levels (and thus destructive behaviors) to a minimum.
  • Restrict access to important areas of the home. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms sell a home; buyers may be put off by indications of animals in areas.
  • Don’t leave your dog out while potential buyers are on-site. If possible, plan showings for one day each week and board your dog the entire time. It’s also a good idea to schedule a pet sitter on days that you will be packing. Pets, and even the evidence of their presence, is, as Northwood Realty Services agent Darla Jobkar explains, “a total-deal-breaker for some buyers.”
  • Create a “safe zone” for your dog while your house is on the market. This should be one room left as close to normal as possible. His dog bed, favorite toys, and food bowls should be in this room. Don’t neglect this space in your daily cleaning routine as pet odors can sneak up on you and be a real turnoff to potential buyers.

On the way in…

barack obama and pets

Your first consideration as a renter is whether or not the property accepts animals – and what size/breed restrictions are in place. Whether you’re moving into a house or apartment, you will also need to consider the following:

  • Proximity to dog-friendly amenities. This includes quality veterinary care, reputable boarding facilities, dog parks, and restaurants that welcome well-behaved pets.
  • Safety features of the home and yard. Dogs need ample space to play. In a home, looked for a fenced yard with minimal visibility to major roadways to reduce your pet’s chance of being stolen. If you are moving into an apartment or planned community, make sure there is plenty of off-leash space for your dog to roam.
  • Neighborhood animals. When you’ve narrowed down your choices, spend at least an hour walking your dog through the neighborhood. You’ll want to take into account how loose dogs, roaming cats, and even wayward wildlife might affect your daily routine.

Upon arrival…

dog the home

Your primary objective as a pet parent is to ensure that your dog is safe, happy, and well-adjusted after the move. There are a number of ways that you can ease the transition for your four-legged fur baby.

  • Stick as close to your routine as possible. Dogs thrive on predictability so it’s important to jump right into day-to-day life quickly. Maintain a similar walking and feeding schedule, which gives your pup something to look forward to in this time of uncertainty.
  • Update your dog’s tags with current contact information. This is an excellent time to look into micro-chipping, since your dog is in an unfamiliar location and may find it more difficult to find his way home if he’s lost.
  • Outfit your pet’s safe space with familiar items. This includes unwashed dog blankets and beds, favorite toys, and a few irresistible treats. World-renowned dog trainer Cesar Millan explains that access to beloved objects will help your dog feel welcomed.
  • Be prepared for uncharacteristic behavior. Your dog may be nervous in the first days and weeks after the move. He may cry at night or experience separation anxiety the first few times he’s left alone, even if he’s never acted out before.

Don’t fret if it takes more than a few days for dog to acclimate to his new environment. Rest assured that with your love, care, and patience, your pet will be perfectly at home in no time.

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