So you have a dream to live by a beach and stare at the palm trees waving in the breeze. The bit of humidity catches your cheek while playing fetch with your dog and you are in absolute serenity. Then, you flash back to reality and wonder how your dog, Fido, will acclimate to this new weather. Will Fido see it as beautiful as you do? There are a few key factors to think about when relocating to a tropical region with your beloved dog.
Dogs will experience the anxiety of moving at any capacity. When relocating with your dog, specifically to a region much different from your current one, many steps are needed to help your dog relieve the anxiety of a new home. Dogs get scared and flustered just as people do when their lives are uprooted. Plenty of reassurance and attention is necessary for a smooth transition. Fido may get overwhelmed if this move happens abruptly. To prevent this, try to maintain a similar schedule (IE: morning walks and same feeding times). Always remember, Fido will feed off your emotions, so if you are overwhelmed and stressed he will feel it also.
Water, Water, Water
Aside from the emotional stress a move can put on a dog, there are health hazards you must take into consideration as well. When moving to a warmer climate with your dog, water is a key component. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of water throughout the day. The new, humid weather is a shock to him and he can become easily dehydrated. It is a good idea to put out a couple water bowls for him until he become better acclimated with his need for more water in this warmer home. Depending on the heat for the day, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your dog will have water throughout the day while you are at work or running errands. A great idea is to cut the top off a gallon jug and fill with water. Freeze this each night and in the morning pull it out to put it in one of the water bowls so it will thaw throughout the day. Most dogs also like licking the ice. You can also add a bit of flavor to this for them if you would like. Just add a bit of chicken stock or another stock of choice but be sure to get the lower sodium version. You do not want to dehydrate your dog while trying to hydrate them.
What’s “Bugging” them?
We all know in warmer climates, mosquitos are a nuisance to us but, dogs have other pests you need to worry about as well. Dogs in warmer climates are at an increased risk for getting fleas, heartworm and in some cases, ticks so it is a good idea to schedule a wellness vet check prior to relocating. Those pesky mosquitos that just make you itch like crazy can wreak havoc on your dog. Mosquitos are known for spreading heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is a disease that can result in severe lung disease, heart failure or other organ damage. In rare cases it can be life- threatening. Grabbing some heartworm medication from your current vet would be a great idea before relocating.
Fleas are another common pest to look out for. Fleas thrive in hot, humid and muggy weather so it is a good idea to make sure your dog is caught up on their preventative flea treatments as well. While fleas are more irritating than life-threatening, you do not want these pests brought in to your new home. You definitely do not want to have to do a flea treatment on your dog either. That will be no fun for anyone. Just in case, it is a good idea to keep baking soda on hand. Mix the baking soda into a paste and apply to the affected area to soothe the itch. You do not want your dog to itch their skin raw.
Ticks, anyone who has ever gone camping in humid climates has heard about ticks. There are many different types of ticks ranging from the nuisance ones that are much like a mosquito bite to the paralysis tick that can be life-threatening. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever along with many other diseases. You will want to take preventative measures especially when living in a warmer, more humid climate. Picking up topical medications and using tick collars when out on walks is an easy and effortless way to keep your dog safe. While you are at that wellness vet visit, be sure to ask about a good tick prevention medication. When you get to the new area, be sure to find a reputable vet for annual visits for your furry friend. Do not let that dissuade you from moving yourself and your furry companion to a new, warmer and very beautiful new area though as it will be well worth it.
After figuring out where to move and if Fido will be okay there too, it is time to make that move. Stay calm on moving day, as your dog will be feeling the emotions of moving. Do not just tie Fido up in the back yard and let him watch you move out all your belongings. This is the quickest way to get him panicked. Let him run up in the moving truck before you put your belongings in. Let him know that you are packing his stuff too. You can even pack his favorite toy or bed in a box with something he associates with you. Let him see you pack it and put it on the truck while telling him; WE are going to our new home. Most of all, enjoy the move and look forward to a bright, sunny future in your new home with your favorite furry friend.
Adam Conrad is a dad of 5 Shih Tzu pups and the creator of Shih Tzu Expert (shihtzuexpert.com). His passion for helping people in all aspects of dog care flows through in the coverage he provides about dog health issues like Parvo, CDV (Canine Distemper Virus), pet containment systems, dog grooming tools and techniques, and best food for dogs with specific dietary requirements. In his spare time he is an avid scuba diver and a trail runner.