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Tips on Helping Your Dog Adjust to a Move to Senior Living

Happy senior woman with her dog

Lots of people consider their dog their best friend and part of the family. Just like people, changes in routines or making a move can be stressful for your dog. Especially since they don’t know a move will actually end up being better and more enjoyable for them. All they know is something different is happening. If you’re moving with a dog, there are things you can do to make it as stress-free as possible. Once you’re settled into your new residence at a pet-friendly senior living community like Lake Seminole Square and enjoying life, all the hubbub will be a distant memory.

Moving a Dog to a New Home

Before your move

Expect your dog to get anxious and stressed out when they sense that something big is about to happen. You should also expect your pup to become anxious or frightened when they notice that you’ve started to pack up your things. In their eyes, you could be leaving for good without taking them with you. To help reassure them, here are some suggestions:

  • Routines reduce stress: To reduce your dog’s anxiety as you pack up your home, keep feeding, grooming and walking times as regular as possible. If you can, set up some empty moving boxes ahead of time to get your pup used to them.
  • Contact your vet: If you’re moving out of the area, inform your vet so you can take records and any prescription medications with you. See if they can recommend another vet in your new neighborhood.
  • Practice road-tripping: Take a few practice drives to get your furry friend ready for a longer journey. This can help you determine if they have any issues like motion sickness or anxiety in the car. (Moving day isn’t the best time for a first road trip.) Also, don’t wait until the last minute to introduce your dog to a crate if they’ll be traveling in one, especially for flying. Allow plenty of time to establish the crate as a safe space for your pup so they won’t be frightened of it when it’s time to go.
  • Pack an overnight bag: Prepare an easily accessible overnight bag with enough food, toys and grooming tools to keep your pet comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.

Moving day

On move-out day, noise and commotion may frighten and stress out your pup even more. Follow these tips to keep your pet calm:

  • Find a quiet place: The best way to reduce stress is to keep your dog in the quietest area possible. If you don’t want to leave them with a friend or a kennel for the day, use an empty bedroom or put them in their carrier or kennel in the garage. Whatever you do, check on them regularly and feed or walk them at the times you usually would.
  • Take them in your car: Take your pup to your new house with you in your vehicle as this will help give them a sense of a familiar routine and being with you will help reassure them.
  • Don’t let them out until you arrive: When taking your pup to your new neighborhood, be careful. If they get out on your journey, they can easily get lost. Once they’re in the car, don’t open their kennel until they’re in your new home.
  • Keep them secluded: Move the house before you move the pup. Confine them to a section of the house while they slowly adjust to their new surroundings. Give your dog lots of attention and introduce familiar objects like toys or blankets as soon as possible.

After your move

The biggest challenge of moving with a dog is after the move. When you two step inside your new house together, your pup is now in a totally unfamiliar place that will be both strange and scary at the same time. Your dog is likely to start feeling uncomfortable in the new home – anxious, scared, stressed and sad – and be confused and disoriented by the new sights and unfamiliar smells. Here are some tips for helping them get their paws on the ground and loving their new home:

  • Explore together: New sounds, scents and animals in the neighborhood can upset your pup. Take your dog for regular walks so they can get used to their new surroundings. Your furry friend takes their cues from you, so give them lots of affection, praise and reassurance.
  • Update their info: If your dog has tags or a microchip, make sure you update their information with your new address and phone number.
  • Find a new vet: Make sure your pup is set up with a new veterinarian. If you’ve moved to a different part of the country, find out if they need additional vaccinations or different flea, tick and heartworm prevention medications.

We’ll Get You and Your Pet Squared Away

If you’re wondering how to move a dog to a new home, we can help. Lake Seminole Square is a pet-friendly senior living community, so we’ve helped hundreds of older adults and their furry friends make the move. Your dog will love our spacious homes, dog park to make new friends and talking walks around the lake or playing fetch on the nearby beach.