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The Stress-Free Relocation Guide for You AND Your Dog

Dogs are important members of our family. When a dog owner takes a canine companion into their household, it is not a decision taken lightly. Dog ownership carries responsibilities. A dog is more than a possession and often settles into family life just like any human member. Because of a dog’s importance to a family, canine concerns should be addressed when buying a new house. Finding a pet-friendly home in a dog-friendly neighborhood is key, but so is sheltering your dog from stress during and after a move.

Here’s how to plan a move with your dog, starting with house hunting.

A great house for your dog

The first consideration in finding a house that is ideal for a dog is whether the property has a fenced-in yard. In newer-style suburban developments, fenced in yards are increasingly rare. New developments often have restrictions on the size, color, and composition of fencing, which adds to its cost. If you cannot find a house that already has a fence, make sure you learn the rules and regulations for adding one before making an offer. If you want to install wood fencing on your property in Miami, you can expect to pay an average of $2,591.

Alternatively, you can consider adding a wireless fence. These are more affordable (typically cost $950 - $1,500) and are effective as long as you commit to training your dog on the system, which can take two weeks or more. Beware that an electric fence only prevents your dog from walking out of your yard; it does not prevent other animals from entering and potentially fighting with your pet.

Finding that dog-friendly neighborhood

Neighborhoods develop a culture of their own over the years. Some areas have a flurry of activity: children playing basketball in their driveways, couples riding their bikes, and families walking their dogs. Others are filled with “Keep Off” signs on the lawns and may be welcoming to dog walking and socialization. Finding a good neighborhood for your dog is simple. Visit the neighborhood on a Saturday morning and look to see if people are walking dogs. Also, look for sidewalks and dog waste receptacles at the local park, which is another sign of a pro-doggie local vibe.

Protecting your pooch during a move

When you find that ideal dog-friendly house in a fun neighborhood, spare your dog a lot of grief by sheltering him from the stress of the move. Ease him into the experience of having boxes around by packing early and a little at a time. When it’s time for the movers to arrive, take your dog elsewhere -- either to a friend’s house or board him at a kennel.

Settling into the new home

Once the move is over, introduce your dog slowly to his new home and be prepared for an adjustment period. Make sure that he has some of his favorite old things to comfort him at the new house, such as blankets, toys, and his dog bed. Resist the urge to buy him new toys and bedding because he will be less anxious if he smells the old house during his transition. Other ways to relieve his anxiety include doing training sessions with him and spending additional time playing and exercising with him. If your pup has any environment-related allergies in your new location, you’ll want to deal with that as well. Consult your vet on what you should be feeding your pet.

The more your dog feels that you are happy with the move, the less he will experience anxiety, as dogs often mirror their owners’ emotions. That’s why you also need to think about your own needs. Pet hair and dander can cause allergic reactions and contribute to a messy environment. Clean the air by purchasing an air filter specially designed for pets. Check online guides to find the best one for you.

If you are a dog owner, you know how important a dog is to your family. Keep your dog in mind during all aspects of moving, from choosing your home’s location and features to easing into life in your new house.

Photo Credit: Pixabay Schedule

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