Changes in your home environment can be a stressful time for the whole family, and often people forget that this includes your dog as well. Some dogs are very sensitive to change and may react negatively to a change in their schedule, which can lead to them showing symptoms of stress in dogs, such as: While chewing your furniture or using the toilet in your house.
Here, we understand how difficult these changes can be. Whether you’re going through a breakup and deciding who’s going to get the dog, or wondering how to move a dog into a new home, we’ve created this handy guide to help them adjust to the change as painlessly as possible.
Symptoms of Stress in Dogs
If your dog is going through a change in its life, it is important that you keep an eye out for the dog’s symptoms of stress, which may indicate that they are having trouble dealing with them:
- Excessive howling or barking
- Go to the bathroom in the house
- Lack of interest in food and games
- Digestive problems such as diarrhea
- Increased sleep
- Destructive behavior
How to move a dog to a new home
The first step you should take when moving home with your dog is to check that the place you are moving to is pet-friendly. According to Tierarztstrasse, moving home is one of the main reasons dogs and cats are placed in rehab centers every year. This is mainly due to the fact that the new home has no pet policy.
When you start moving it can be a very stressful time for your dog, which is why many choose to do it onboard your dog in a kennel or let them stay with friends or family for the duration of the move. This way, not only will they be kept safe and out of the way of the moving companies, but it will also allow them to feel calmer since moving home is a busy time. When considering how to move a dog into a new home, we recommend that you unpack some of his or her familiar items before collecting, as this will help reduce stress and make them feel at home.
If your dog needs to stay with you for the duration of the move, place him in a quiet room with the door closed, while everything is packed and loaded. This ensures that your dog is safe at all times and that you know where he is when he needs to move. Once you get to the new home, immediately unload some of their belongings and give them plenty of time to settle in.
Help your dog deal with a breakup
Divorce or a relationship breakdown can be very annoying, and many owners forget about the impact it can have on their dog. For your dog, your partner could have been his play companion and he could have spent a lot of time having fun with him. If that person is no longer there, they may have separation anxiety.
The easiest way to help your dog adjust painlessly is to slowly give him time to get used to it. If this is an option, once you know what your new schedule will be, start with it as early as possible. This makes the job a lot easier and can help prevent severe symptoms of stress in dogs.
If introducing the new schedule slowly is not an option, you can help your dog by keeping his routine as normal as possible. During the adjustment process, it is important to make sure that you are reinforcing good behavior and ignoring bad behavior. For example, if your dog is crying at the door, it is best to ignore him. Then when they’re calm again, give them a fuss and comfort. It is also a good idea to use the exercise as a distraction to get rid of any anxious energy. Try stimulating their brain with some tidbits or puzzle toys, or take long walks to tire them out.
Who will get the dog?
Also, the big question is who gets the dog? This can be an incredibly difficult decision to make, but the fairest option is choosing who the dog is most attached to. In some cases where you have an equal bond and you have separated from your partner amicably, joint custody of dogs may be an option. For this to be successful, it is important that basic rules are agreed upon between both parties to ensure that the dog does not become confused. For those considering dog joint custody, it’s usually a good idea to test it out for a period of time first. Then if it doesn’t work, reconsider it.
If you are concerned about your dog and he doesn’t seem to be adapting well to changes, take him to the vet. They can help you with the symptoms and suggest ways to reduce stress.
For more Dog behavior and training, advice Check out our training hub.