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Just as your new move likely caused you some moments of anxiety, moving to a new house can make your dog nervous and not himself. In addition to affecting a dog emotionally, uneasy feelings can lead to physical problems through poor behavior. In the flurry of activity surrounding a move, it’s important to consider how relocation can affect your dog physically and emotionally.
You know your dog best. Pay attention to how she responds to the change. You may not know what’s going on in her head, but think of all the other ways you communicate with your dog. One of these methods is your shared playtime. For the most part, you want to keep things as routine as possible for your dog during and after a move, but a fun time can be an exception, so spend more time playing and giving your dog extra attention. This additional time will help make sure you are attuned to behavioral changes that might be symptomatic of significant stress.
Once you know your dog is emotionally comforted, it’s time to give the new home a thorough checkup so you can be aware of any potentially dangerous conditions. Pet-proofing your new home is similar to childproofing. Get on your dog’s level and go room to room:
Carpeting. It’s easy to remember that your dog can easily be overwhelmed by all the new sights and sounds of your new digs, but don’t forget about how the smells may affect her as well. Carpets are especially notorious for holding onto odors, so if possible, get them deep cleaned (it only costs between $117 and $248 on average for professional rug-cleaning services in Yorba Linda), especially if the previous owners had pets.
Kitchen and bathrooms. Make sure the cabinets are latched or otherwise not easy for your dog to open. Alternatively, store anything that could be a potential danger on higher shelves.
Garbage cans. Get a bin with a sturdy cover, or if you keep yours in a cabinet, make sure you latch the door securely. Otherwise, your dog will treat your garbage can like a snack bar.
Living areas and bedrooms. Keep an eye on the placement of electrical cords and surge protectors. Even a non-chewing dog might be attracted to a new wire, and chewed cables can hurt your dog and pose a fire risk.
Garages and basements.These areas are often less frequented by your dog, but if they are accessible, make sure no dangerous objects or chemicals are within her reach. Small items, such as nails, screws, and other parts, can cause serious medical problems if eaten by your dog.
When assessing your home’s safety, be sure to consider the outside as well. Small toys, garden pebbles, and mulch can be attractive to your dog. Keep these out of your dog’s area, and keep an eye out for any other things outside that your dog might chew.
A fenced-in yard is an asset for you and your dog. It is a distinctly marked play area, restricts your dog from dangers away from your home, and provides a barrier against other animals getting to your dog. Although there are useful invisible-fence solutions, you can't beat the security of a physical one. If your new home doesn’t have a fenced-in yard, it’s a relatively low-cost investment in your home and your dog’s well-being. A wood fence generally costs between $9 and $15 a foot.
It’s important to note, however, that even the most durable fence does not replace proper supervision of your dog. Do not leave your dog in your yard when you are not at home. In your absence, a fence gate can be blown open by wind, or another animal could breach the fence and harm your pooch.
A happy and content dog will make your new house feel like home. By incorporating some pre- and post-move preparation and planning, your dog can enjoy her safe and calm new abode.