Moving House with Your Poodle

traveling with poodle

Whether you’re moving across the country or down the street, your poodle will sense the tension and change coming into his life. Moving is stressful any way you look at it- add kids and dogs into that mix and it can be downright traumatic.

And your poodle is smart. You know how you’re always saying he’s half-human because he looks at you like he knows what you’re saying? Well, that almost-human quality can cause poodles to feel higher amounts of stress.

Your poodle can read you and can tell when you are stressed out. You’re probably thinking to yourself, great, I’m already stressed about the move. The last thing I need is to be told that I’m stressing out my dog. It’s okay. Take a deep breath.

First, realize that it is okay that you’re feeling a little stressed about your move. Everyone feels some level of stress when they are moving. And you can’t help that your poodle is so intuitive that he is in tune with your emotions. It’s okay to feel a little stressed during this time in your life, but there are some ways that you can deal with this stress in a productive way, and there are different tactics for helping your poodle deal with stress, too.

moving house with a poodle
Moving Day!

Start Early

I’m sure you have heard this advice thousands of times in your life. Whether it’s your parents bugging you about your English term paper in high school or your boss asking about your latest project, you’ve heard the phrase “don’t procrastinate” enough times to make you feel pretty certain you’d be okay if you never his those words again.

But when it comes to moving, it really can’t be stressed enough. Do not procrastinate. The last thing you want to do is approach moving day having done nothing.

If you are so lucky as to have some advance notice about your move, start packing up your unnecessary items as early as possible. This includes anything in storage, books you are not currently reading, movies you won’t be watching for a while, camping supplies, and off season clothing.

Keep in mind as you start packing early that doing so is not only beneficial to you, but also to your poodle. Give your poodle a lot of time to watch you packing up your things so he gets used to living around boxes for the time being. Spend time with your poodle as you pack so he doesn’t feel neglected. Starting early will give you time to do this.

Work Often

If you get into the habit of boxing up a few items every day, your poodle will get used to this routine, and you will be making progress early and often.

Take Your Poodle Outside Often

The last thing you need when you are getting ready to move is messes in the house. Poodles do tend to get digestive upset when they are nervous. Since moving can make them nervous, you will want to make sure you are aware of you’re poodle’s needs and that you are able to let him outside whenever he signals that he needs to.

This is especially important when you get to your new house or apartment. Your poodle will not be used to the new environment and may feel nervous. You don’t want that to end in a mess on the brand new carpets! Show your poodle his new area to go potty at the new place and be sure to take him out more often than usual.

Use a Crate or Kennel

This is only advisable if your poodle had a crate or kennel in your prior residence. Some people think it is mean to put a dog in a kennel when he is nervous, but this is not true for crate trained poodles. Poodles who are crate trained often feel most relaxed and at home in their crates.

If you can bring the same kennel your poodle has always used and set it up in your new home right away, you can leave the door open or close him in there for short periods of time. Do not try this if you have never crate trained your poodle as it will only cause him to become even more stressed.

Use a Stress Coat

There are a few different options available for stress coats for dogs. If you think your poodle might benefit from one, order it a few weeks before your move and start getting your poodle used to the feeling of wearing it before you move. This way, when you are packing and unpacking, you can put the coat on him and hopefully reduce his stress.

Use Melatonin If Advised By Your Vet

Some veterinarians will advise giving your poodle small doses of melatonin to calm him down temporarily. Only give melatonin under the guidance of your vet. If you sense that your poodle’s anxiety is severe, you may also want to talk with your vet about other anxiety medications available for your poodle.

Consider finding a Dog-Sitter on Moving Day

Moving day can be intense! Consider finding a friend or family member to watch your dog for the day. It would be best to find a dog sitter with whom your poodle is already familiar since she will be under enough stress with the move. Then, you can introduce her to her new home in a calmer environment in which you will have the time and availability to help her acclimate to her new home.

Continue Training

Of course, you will be extremely busy during your move, but you will need a break here and there, so consider giving your poodle commands. If your poodle is busy following the command to sit, stay, rollover, or play dead, then he will be keeping his mind and body working. He will enjoy the familiar interaction with you, and it will help keep the routine during this time of change.

Use Calming Treats

Try using some calming treats throughout the moving process. If your poodle knows a few commands, giving her these commands will keep her mind occupied, giving her something to do. At the same time, you can use calming treats as a reward. This works on two fronts, giving your poodle something to do and helping her to stay calm throughout the process.

Take Some PTO

If you have the luxury of a few days off work, you may want to consider taking off around her moving day so you can spend some time with your poodle. You will not want to leave her alone in a brand new home.

Spend the first few days with her, reminding her that you are still there, training her, giving her treats, and walking her around the perimeter of her new home. This will show your poodle that even though she is in a new environment, her routine has not changed, and you are still her companion.

Enjoy Your New Home with Your Best Friend!

Now, there’s nothing to do but start enjoying your new home with your best poodle pal! Poodles are intelligent and adaptable. As soon as your poodle realizes that he is safe and secure and that you are still his human, life will get back to normal and he will feel comfortable in his new residence. Then you can both go on enjoying life together in your new home!

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