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Ask McEnearney: How do I make sure our next move isn’t too stressful for our dog?


This week’s Q&A column is written by Sallie Seiy of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Sallie at 703-798-4666 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How do I make sure our next move isn’t too stressful for our dog?

Answer: We’re in the Dog Days of Summer. Even in this heat, a dog’s love is never wavering. Mine have certainly made my life whole and have made my home a happy (albeit 80% chaotic) place! I moved earlier this year, and it’s taken quite a bit of time for my dogs to adjust.

Whether you are a new or seasoned homeowner, the stress of moving is always there. That stress doesn’t go unnoticed by your four-legged family members. In preparation for National Dog Day (Aug. 26), I wanted to provide you a few tips for making a move a little less overwhelming for you and your dog(s).

Bring in moving supplies early on. Make a couple of boxes and leave them out for your pup to start to sniff and recognize. When I moved, I threw a few treats into an empty box to make the “intruder” more friendly and fun! In my experience, dogs can get anxious with the new scent, schedule and disruption to their space. Prepping them with enough time can make the amount of time you have left in your current place more enjoyable.

Head over your new neighborhood and walk around. Let your dog get used to the new smells and sounds. And, hopefully, meet a new neighbor or two! It’s less overwhelming to them if they can sniff out the new spot and then return home to their comfort zone. It will make the transition of moving that much easier.

Update your vet records and change your address on your dog’s microchip (if applicable). In case your pup is the wandering kind, it would be a good idea to tell your vet the new address sooner rather than later. If you’re looking for vet recommendations for your new neighborhood, check out the local Nextdoor page, or you may find a neighborhood pet page on Facebook.

Organize a playdate or make a doggy daycare appointment on the day of the move. Less stress and your dog can have fun! They’ll also be really tired when they go to the new place.

Set up your pup’s own special space in the new house before bringing them home. Make their crate or put together their special spot with all their favorite blankets, toys, and maybe even a treat or two.

Stick with some of your original, familiar furniture. Even though you may need a new sofa or a new chair, it’ll help your dog — and your wallet — feel more at ease.

Keep the routine. When you move to the new home, try to stick to the same times of feeding and walking. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t sleep well, aren’t eating or just aren’t feeling their regular self. It’s a lot to adjust to!

If you and your pup are looking to make a move, please give me a call!

As a fifth generation Realtor and the granddaughter of an architect and builder, Sallie has deep roots in real estate. She is passionate for the charm, history and architecture of Alexandria and its surrounding communities. If you would like more information on selling or buying in today’s complex market, contact Sallie today at 703-798-4666 or visit her website SallieSeiy.com.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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