Change is hard, whether you're a dog, cat, human being or alien from outer space. Moving can rock a pooch's world, and often alters a variety of things in his routine, from preferred resting spots to playtime companions. However, all dogs are different, and some take change better than others.
In a nutshell, some dogs may, indeed, be affected adversely by changing homes, although the effects may not necessarily be permanent, especially with proper care and preparation. Canines are comfort-oriented creatures, and consistency is key to their happiness and security. Some dogs may be more resilient than others, bouncing back into a new routine with ease. Others, on the other hand, may be more anxious. All of this may depend on a variety of factors, from loving care courtesy of an owner to past history of trauma. Thankfully, with time and patience, many dogs are able to bounce back successfully from their initial anxiety.
If your pooch is going to be moving along with you to a new residence, the unfamiliar surroundings may be a shock, but your fluffy one still will have you -- and that means a lot. Ease the uncertainty of the whole situation by conducting "practice visits" before you actually move in, and be sure to bring your pup with you, of course. Act happy and enthusiastic during your visits, and make sure your dog sees it.
Investing in a "safe haven" for your doggie may make the adjustment to a new home easier for him, too. Whether you choose a doggie house or a doggie crate, make it as relaxing and soothing as possible for your pet, with a comfy bed, favorite toys and treats. If you bring this piece of "home" to the new place, your dog already will be off to a good start. Familiarity is key to easing canine nerves. Remember, a dog can't exactly turn to you and ask you what's going on.
Rehoming a dog is a whole other ballgame. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to keep caring for your pet, whether due to financial constraints or a major move abroad, you may have no choice but to place your cutie in another home, as tough as that may be. When you care for a dog for an extended period of time, a bond inevitably will form. Combining a new home with the absence of you may be very difficult on dogs, triggering not only the stress of a strange atmosphere and new owners, but also separation anxiety. To make your pooch's adjustment as smooth and easy as possible, introduce him to his new owners several times before he actually moves in with them. Also, be sure to bring the owners all of your pet's previous "favorite" familiar comforts, including toys, bedding, carrier and food bowls. The more familiarity your dog has in his new home, the easier the change may be on him for the long haul.
By Naomi Millburn
Partnership for Animal Welfare: Moving Preparations for Dog Owners
Oregon Humane Society: Moving
The Humane Society of the United States: Finding a Responsible Home for Your Pet
Dogs Trust: Moving House With Your Dog
Cesar's Way: Rehoming Your Dog
AARP: Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Home
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.