4 Steps to Make The Moving Process Easier on Your Dog

Your canine companion has no idea of the changes that will rock her world when you relocate to a new home; it’s up to you, dear pet owner, to help prevent her from tapping into the stress and chaos that permeates the air during moving day. You don’t want to have to deal with a traumatized dog on top of a hurt back (due to carrying all those boxes), lack of Internet, un-baby proofed fixtures, faulty wiring, and all the other typical challenges of moving into a new home.

Yet, from your dog’s vantage point, everything she knows and loves about her environment will change except you. The new house will have new sights, smells and sounds that could potentially scare her, or at the very least make her nervous. To make things easier for everyone in the family, both human and canine, consider the following tips:

1. Make Her Favorite Items Readily Available

Every pooch has belongings they love and can’t live without. From her bed, to favorite toys, to “her” chair, to food and water bowl, the ready availability of these possessions upon arriving to your new home can do a lot to give your pet the familiar assurance she’ll crave in a new, unfamiliar house.

Now would also not be a good time to introduce new toys or to wash the old ones to a point of smelling “clean.” Instead, launder them just a few days ahead of the move so that they take on the smell of the old place – a scent certain to comfort your dog as she settles into your new home.

2. Stick to the Old Routine

Dogs take comfort in healthy routines – in knowing when they will be fed, when they will be taken out for a walk, and when best to take their naps. Disruptions to this normal daily pattern can stress them out. So, no matter how hard it may be for you to stick to routine, when moving with a dog honoring your scheduled times with your canine pet can greatly reassure her as she adjusts to the new surroundings.

A good tip is to take your dog out for an especially long walk on the morning of the move, so that she is more sedate and tired during the long moving day, as opposed to full of boundless energy and excitement.

3. Work Out a Plan During the MoveIs your dog prepared for the move?

If you hire movers, be sure to inform them of your dog’s temperament before moving day and to inform yourself of their policies (and those of the specific state you’re moving to) regarding pets. You won’t want accidents, misunderstandings or fees to result due to lack of communication.

Because nobody wants a nervous, excited and barking dog nipping heels on moving day, it’s likely you and the movers will agree to keep the dog in a separate space during the physical move. A family member, neighbor, or friend may volunteer, or you can find a local dog boarder to keep her safe and contained until the worst of the moving mayhem is over. If your dog is easygoing, she could also just stay in a separate room as the movers haul boxes and furniture around.

4. Offer Constant Reassurance

Most dogs are acutely sensitive to the moods of their owner and look to their human master as “pack leader” during times of stress. It’s important, then, to act the part when moving into your new house. Be calm and confident, gently talk to your pet and offer constant affectionate pats. This will make your dog feel safer, as she observes how you are reacting to the new environment.

Implementing these four steps will go a long way to making the moving-to-a-new-home transition smoother for your furry companion. Exercise foresight and concern, and remember to constantly monitor the emotional state of your animal on moving day itself. If you make your pet an emotional priority, you’ve done your best to secure a successful moving day for your pet as well as the rest of the family.


This guest post was provided by Cindy Aldridge of Ourdogfriends.org