Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Helping an Adult Dog Adapt After Moving (A Guest Post)

Recently, we've been busy with offline life. One of my friends asked if I could help him find a dog for his kids. To my luck and surprise, I was able to find a juvenile dog from a good breeder. Unlike puppies, they're a little more challenging to transport from one place to another. We've had obstacles like ship travel cancellations, pet embargo issues with plane (Shih Tzus are no longer allowed to ride the plane, by the way), and other hiccups like the pup's absence of anti-rabies vaccination. Since Benjie, the Shih Tzu, was registered here in our city, anti-rabies shots are free. However, the sticker for the Rabisin vaccine was not given to us by the City Veterinary Officer. We had to go back and ask for it, so Benjie (along with his quarantine papers) is given a shipping permit and can travel along with other doggies.

Just relaxing with his new owner on the bunk bed...
Moving house is never easy, not for humans and not for dogs either. If you've got a pet pooch and are planning to take him – and everything else – to some place new, then we’ve got the low down on how to help him adjust to his new environment in the most painless way possible. Read on to find out more.

Plan Ahead

To ensure your dog adapts to moving house, there are a number of things you should do before the big move. Plan ahead, and you will avoid unwelcome surprises later on down the line. Check the local laws in your new area: if there are any breed bans, different leash laws, what licenses you need to own and so on. Also make sure your landlord or neighborhood associations will accept your breed of dog. Make sure your dog has I.D and is microchipped, in case he runs away from (his new) home. Organize a new vet, and do your research into whether your dog will need any new vaccinations or preventative medication.

Shih Tzu Travelling by Ship in the Philippines
Prepare your beloved canine for the big move by crate training him in advance! You can easily do that by first utilizing a puppy playpen to get your dog used to crating and then moving on to using an actual crate. Because your pup won't be too keen if he's forced to go in a crate for the very first time on moving day. Also start packing and putting boxes out ahead of time, so that by the time the big day arrives he is used to it. Again, you don't want to put your dog in a tizz by packing up the whole house right before you go. If you are down-sizing to a smaller home or apartment (or doing the opposite), your dog will probably have to play by a different set of rules once you move. For example, you might be living closer to neighbors now, in which case your dog won't be allowed to make as much noise. So you should start training him for that well in advance.

Also check with your vet to see if he can give your dog any anti-anxiety medications during the big move: you will probably want to trial one or several of these beforehand.

On moving day

Once moving day itself comes round, it may be a good idea to have your pet absent from proceedings. Boarding your dog with a good pet sitter is a good way of shielding him from the chaos of the move. He will have to be packed eventually though, and when doing that, try to make the experience as painless and as comfortable as possible for him. Pack plenty of towels, treats, bedding and his favorite toys. A good idea is to bring the smell of the old, familiar house with him using these items. Make sure your dog's cage or container is properly ventilated and secure, in order to prevent the possibility of any escapes. Try to feed your dog lightly on the big day so that he doesn't get sick during the journey.

Adjusting to the new home

Phew! Moving to a new home made some doggy so tired.
Immediately after arriving at your new home - this is the time that a dog is most likely to escape. So make sure escape is impossible, first by locking all the gates and ensuring the fences surrounding your home are secure, and by keeping your dog on a leash when exploring his new territory. Re-create as much as you can the set-up at your old house, so that the new living space is still somewhat familiar to your pet. Retain the old walking and feeding schedules. When getting to know the new neighborhood, broaden your dog's horizons very gradually, so that he is not overwhelmed. And make your dog's new life fun! Be sure to reward him with plenty of treats, snacks and games: before long he will not miss his old life at all, because the new one is so enjoyable.


  1. When getting to know the new neighborhood, broaden your dog's horizons very gradually, so that he is not overwhelmed.

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