Checklist: Moving a dog to your new home

Local Real Estate News

The author with her dog, Lily

Are you a dog owner who is looking to move to a new home in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area? Moving can be a stressful experience, but it is important to understand that moving can be just as stressful for your pets as well. Dogs are innately territorial animals, so a change in scenery could be a cause of an alarm for them.

Before the Big Move — Research is an essential component prior to making the actual move. It may sound like common sense but you should make sure any real estate properties you look into are pet-friendly. Keep in mind that some properties may have extensive rules regarding pet ownership. For example, they may not allow dogs of certain breeds and sizes. Other properties may require you to register your dog first before you move in. Fortunately, this is when a real estate agent comes in handy as they are already equipped with such information. You may also want to look into new vets around the area and see if they are able to comfortably handle and care for your dog.

During the Move — The most important thing is to keep your dog away from all the moving activity. Ideally, you will want a friend or family member to take care of the dog while the boxes are being moved out. If that’s not an option then keep your dog in a quiet, secure room. Also, before you start traveling with your dog, make sure your feed him or her a few hours before the journey. Your dogs could easily get an upset stomach if you feed them just before you make the move.

After the Move — Before you introduce your dog to the new home, make sure you scope the whole household and store away anything that could be hazardous to your dog. Example items include household chemicals, food that is toxic to dogs like alcohol and chocolate, and poisonous plants. Next, if you are moving into a big apartment, refrain from letting him or her immediately explore the whole area. That could get your dog overwhelmed. Instead, keep your dog in a “safe” zone for a couple of days then gradually introduce him or her to other parts of the apartment.

—McEnearney Associates, “Moving a dog to your new home checklist”

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