Moving to a new home is a stressful event for anyone involved, but for a dog it becomes even more stressful since he can't quite understand what is happening. All he sees is that everything is different--it smells different, looks different, and where are all his favorite spots where he was so used to sleeping? The stress from moving to a new home can cause behavior problems, emotional distress, and even physical ailments. So how can you reduce the stress of getting a new home and attempt to limit the damage?
Before you move
The de-stressing can start before moving day. An appointment should be made with your dog's veterinarian to get up to date on vaccinations and collect his vet records for his vet in the new city (if you're moving out of your current city). Another process to start about a week before moving (if you don't already use it) is to start your dog on Rescue Remedy. It's a Bach flower extract, and it works wonders for calming animals (there is an animal-only version and a human version). Because it's homeopathic, it's safe and doesn't make your dog too tired or confused.
Another important thing to remember when packing and moving everything around is that your dog doesn't know that he's going with you, and he doesn't know why everything is changing. That's why it's important to talk to him in reassuring and happy tones. You can tell him he's coming with you, and even though he won't know what you're saying, he'll hear your tone and know that nothing is wrong.
Moving day will be the most stressful of the moving experience for your dog. The Rescue Remedy will help keep him calm, and something else that could aid with the stress and constant movement of moving day is to try to find somewhere for your dog to stay during the day. This could be a friend or family member's home or even a doggy daycare that is nearby. In the Akron area, there are many options all within the surrounding area. This will provide a safe place for your dog to stay that isn't under moving feet, big furniture, and strange people.
Moving day dog crate
If you are unable to find a place for your dog to stay, an alternative is to place the dog's crate with his bed, food, and water in a quiet area of the home. This would be a place where not a lot of furniture is going to be moved, such as the laundry room or basement. The bathroom could even be an option depending on where it is in the home. Let the dog rest and stay away from the commotion throughout the whole day so that he doesn't get hurt, and when there are quiet times during the move, make sure he gets outside to go to the bathroom. Be careful to keep his harness or collar secure because nerves could cause him to want to run away, and his tags and microchip will not be up to date.
After moving day, your dog needs time to adjust to his new home. To avoid behavior problems such as eliminating on the carpet, your dog must have a decent amount of adjustment time. To facilitate this, a dog room can be created. In an extra bedroom or laundry room, your dog should be kept with familiar items such as his crate, his bed, toys, food, and water, and anything else he finds comforting (like a blanket from his crate). He should be kept in this room for a few days or until he seems comfortable and calm. It will allow him to keep the comforts from his own home and things he is used to while also smelling his new home and accommodating himself to that. After this, a small area of the home near that room (with access to the dog room) should be gated off so that your dog is not overwhelmed with the whole house quite yet.
Make sure while your dog is in his dog room and even after he is let into the entire home that you keep up with a regular feeding and walking schedule so that your dog feels normal. Soon, he will get used to your new home and not even remember that he was anywhere else. He won't ever want to leave.