You aren’t the only one making the move to suburbia. So is your pup! Here’s what you need to know to him calm and happy…
Moving is stressful enough for a human (boxes, packing, logistics…oh my!), but it might also make your pup feel a little anxious. But don’t worry— just like you can prepare yourself and your kids for making the leap, you can help your four-legged family member get adjusted pre- and post-move. Here’s where to start:
1. Find a dog-friendly community
Seek out suburbs that are clearly for the dogs. Some good signs? Dog parks, dog runs in human parks and, of course, plenty of dogs roaming the neighborhood during prime AM and PM walk times. Another good sign? Bring your dog to a local (outdoor) hotspot—a park, playground, farmers market, boardwalk or even downtown and see what you can see.
Look for other dogs, of course, but also see how people respond to your dog. Are people quick to pet your pup and share pics of their furry family member? Do local restaurants offer up bowls of water and treats as dogs stroll by? These are A+ signs you’re in a dog-friendly community— so don’t be afraid to ask for recs on everything from vets to pet sitters to fresh dog food deliveries.
2. Search for welcoming towns
While it’s great to welcome your dog inside, many families want their pup in on all the action, from vacations to meals to shopping. Check BringFido for lists of the top dog-friendly activities and restaurants worldwide—including dog parks where your pup can make some new friends of their own. If you’re looking for dog-friendly stores in your new neighborhood, this list is a perfect place to start.
3. Help him get cozy…
Since moving day will be chaotic at best, plan to keep your dog safely out of the way—whether that means he spends the day at a dog-sitter or family member’s house or sits it out in their crate away from the action.
If possible, bring your dog to your new home in advance so they can check it out before moving day, and don’t forget to keep all of their everyday items (favorite toys, the comfiest bed, food, and water bowls) accessible at all times. When you get to your new place, let your dog explore and make sure to show them where you’re putting their familiar items, so they start feeling at home right away. And once they do, you will, too.
4. Get out and get exploring
A tired dog is a calm dog—so, while moving day and the days that surround may be crazy, make sure you carve out time for a long walk or trip to the dog park. Not only will you, no doubt, meet other dog lovers in your new neighborhood, but your pup will get a chance to run, play and burn off any nervous energy post-move. It’s a simple solution, but it works—and, soon enough, you’ll have your routine that makes your dog feel calm and happy.
Can’t get out or can’t get out enough for your super-active pup? Consider hiring a dog walker, even if it’s just for those first few days in your new home. Check out your local Facebook group—chances are you’ll spot plenty of dog walker recs there. For a few bucks, your dog can get out and about for an hour or two as needed, and come back to your new home a little calmer and better able to settle in.
5. Set your routine ASAP
Dogs do better when they’re exposed to a consistent routine—the same feeding times, bathroom times and walk times every day, for starters.
Moving can easily kill even the best-laid schedule—but don’t let it. As soon as you can, get your dog back into their old routine, complete with a meaningful structure they can come to expect day in and day out, even though their environment looks a little different. Without structure and clear leadership, dogs can get seriously stressed out, and that can lead to bad behavior—not ideal, especially in your brand new home filled with your brand new furniture…
It’s not about bedrooms and bathrooms, but the right place to raise your family. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.