We (more so I) was concerned with how Fisher would handle our move, even though it was just down the street. I had heard of a lot of stories of animals getting depressed and not eating well for the first couple of weeks they are in a new environment. I wanted to do whatever it took to make sure Fisher felt comfortable and adjusted well to his new home.
After talking to our trainer and Vet, we compiled their advice to these points:
- If we are able to, take Fisher to the new house as often as we can. Allow him to explore inside with 100% attention to make sure he does not use the bathroom inside. Take him in the backyard and when he uses the bathroom reward him instantly with a treat to show him, “Yes! This is where you go to the bathroom here, good job!”
- Taking him to the new house as often as we can allows him to familiarize himself with the smells, sights, and overall environment of the new home. This allows for a smoother transition because it won’t be completely new to him for the official move.
- When physically moving – Keep him in the old location in a crate or play pen. This is a comfortable environment, where although you’ll be going in-and-out constantly, he is more familiar with his surroundings.
- This would be different if you were moving farther away and had a 1 day move that also included movers. In this case, asking a friend to watch him or placing him in a trusted doggie day-care (that he’s been to before) would be the best.
- For the first two weeks of the new environment be very strict with giving him 100% attention inside the house. Take him in the backyard ever hour to two hours even if he doesn’t show signs of needing to go to the bathroom. This again shows him where he should go potty and for inside, helps you trust him sooner knowing he will be well behaved inside.
- Keep him in his crate/play pen while you’re in the new location and can’t give him 100% attention. This is when he will be more likely to either go to the bathroom inside or be destructive. Moving is overwhelming for your pet too, so if you let them have free range while you’re unpacking you can’t expect them not to take out their uneasy, confused nerves on your stuff.