By, Jodi L. Hartley
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Moving into a new home can be both exciting and stressful for humans and canines alike. While you’re getting everything boxed up and ready to go, also consider how to make the transition as smooth as possible for your dog with these tips:

* Take your dog to visit the new home before the move if possible and as frequently as possible.

* Once you’re ready to move in and start living in your new home, bring your dog’s blanket, bed, toys and dishes to the new home. Place them in areas similar to where they were in your old home. Don’t wash toys or bedding so that they’ll carry a familiar scent into the new home.

* When bringing your dog to the new home, allow him to explore one space at a time so it’s not too overwhelming. If your dog is very nervous, you may want to keep him confined to one space for several days and slowly introduce him to new areas every few days. If your dog is more curious, you can opt to take him through the house on leash so he can investigate each room. Offer treats to help him associate the new home with positive thoughts. If there is a room or area you don’t want your pet in, keep the door closed or gated off and don’t take him in there.

* Keep your dog’s diet the same. You may even want to bring some water from your old home to give your dog for a few days. Gradually blend it with water from the new home. Some dogs can be sensitive to the taste of new water. If your dog is very nervous, hold off on feeding large meals and offer smaller meals and treats throughout the day.

* Spend a few days at the new home with your dog if possible, but try to keep the same schedule for feedings, walks, exercise and play time. Leave the house a little each day, gradually increasing the time away. This will gradually help your dog get used to being alone at the new home.

* Be sure to go outside with your dog every time he goes until he is used to the new yard or elimination area. Even if the yard is fenced, you may want to take him out leashed the first few times in case there is a hole in the fence or some other unknown issue.

* Initially you may need to give your dog more frequent potty breaks. New smells, excitement and stress can cause dogs to eliminate more frequently. If the dog does eliminate in the house, do not punish him, but correct as needed and offer plenty of potty breaks. If the previous owners had pets, you may need to clean flooring with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate odors and reduce your dog’s instinct to mark.

References:

Oregon Humane Society: Moving – Tips on Making a Safe and Smooth Transition for Your Pet.
http://www.oregonhumane.org/pet_training/documents/movingdocument_000.pdf

Dog Owner’s Guide: Moving Cross-Country or Cross-Town, Take Steps to Help Ranger Enjoy His New Home.
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/moveday.html

Carepets.org: Moving Your Pet.
http://www.carepets.org/pdf/moving.pdf