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Why does moving negatively affect dogs?

Allow your dogs to find comfort during a move to help reduce stress.
Allow your dogs to find comfort during a move to help reduce stress.
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During the hustle and bustle of a move, it can be easy to forget that dogs can also be affected by the process. What many dog owners don't realize is that moving to a new home can be stressful for a dog and can lead to behavioral changes. As an owner, you may be making the stress even worse, but there are things you can do to help make the move easier for your pet.

Causes

A move can be stressful for everyone involved. Dogs may feel unsure about their new environment and may even feel the need to establish their territory in the new home. The problem is that this can cause dogs to act out. If you've moved to an area that has a completely different environment this can also be stressful for dogs. For example, if your past home had a lush green yard to run in, and you had to move to a condo, this can be very hard on the dog.

The human's role

Without realizing it, you may be making the situation worse. Dogs can pick up on their owner's anxiety, which in turn makes them anxious. This can cause the dog to be extra sensitive to the new environment and he may even be a bit jumpy. Dogs can even pick up on your frantic behavior and feel insecure because of it.

Signs and symptoms to watch out for

Signs and symptoms that your dog may be having a hard time adjusting to the new home may include indoor accidents, hiding under the bed, behaving in ways she hasn't before and even separation anxiety in which the dog parks continuously when you leave the house or exhibits destructive behavior.

How to help

The first thing you can do is be confident about your move. As alpha, your dog looks to you to determine if something new is a good thing. You also want to avoid being anxious. Try to take time to do calming things throughout the move, such as curling up on the couch with your dog for some nightly TV. Another tip is to be consistent. Continue to feed your dog and talk him out at the same time. Changing the routine can be stressful and can also lead to accidents. Lastly, keep your dog's favorite toys and treats handy for whenever he starts to act anxious. This can help take his mind off the stressful situation.