Just because you’re ready to shack up with your squeeze, don’t assume your best friend is on board. Strategic planning is critical to avoiding meltdowns.
“It’s like marrying into a family with kids,” says Amber Burckhalter, a master dog trainer and CEO of K-9 Coach in Atlanta.
Dogs need consistency, so if you’re going to be changing basic routines like exercise or meal times, start a month before the big move. Make sure everyone is on the same page about house rules. If you both have dogs, avoid feeding them together in a small space and, for the first few weeks, separate them when you leave the house to avoid fights. “It’s normal for one dog to run the show, and owners should not intrude on that,” says Burckhalter. “They’ll figure out their system and you have to go with it—as long as one of the dogs isn’t being injured.”
Most important: the more the dogs have fun together, the sooner they’ll become a pack.