Moving Day: Considerations for Moving with a Dog

Pet care & safety

As the real estate market bounces back in some areas, more households are relocating.  With the stress of packing, financial concerns, and re-organizing your life, it’s important to take a few steps to make life a little easier and safer for your canine moving companion.  After all, moving your dog to a new home can be confusing and scary, as they’re clueless about what they’ve just been dragged into. However, there are a few easy steps to keep them safe and help your dog adjust to the new home.

Plan Ahead

First, be sure to have the contact information for the local emergency vet in your new neighborhood. Have a new vet lined up, your pet’s documents transferred to the new clinic in advance, and be sure to fill any prescriptions. Finally, pack plenty of food, water, and an emergency kit for your travel.

If you’re making a major move, find out about how your new climate can affect things like flea, tick, and heartworm concerns.  Are their policies or laws with your new city or homeowner’s association that may affect your pet?  If you’re leaving the country, what medical precautions are required? Sorting these issues out beforehand can save a lot of aggravation when you’re in the thick of the move.

Secure your Valuables

With all the chaos of moving furniture and having strangers around, moving day can be quite traumatic for many dogs.  Many will door dash to escape the craziness. All it takes is one mover leaving a door open to leave you in panic mode. Firstly, it’s important to make sure your dog is wearing current tags and their microchip data is updated.  Even if you must write your phone number on their collar with a sharpie, it’s key to getting them returned to you. 

Some other ways to help your pet cope with moving day are:

  1. Crate or kennel your pet in a quiet, familiar place such as a bathroom or bedroom.

  2. Ask a friend to take them for the day can allow you and your pet to avoid the drama entirely.

  3. Board your dog or let them go to doggy daycare. They’ll be safely away from the hubbub and might even get tired enough to sleep while you’re getting settled in the new place.

When moving day comes, be sure to secure your dog in the car with a crate, carrier or travel harness.  Don’t assume that just because you can let your dog off leash around the old neighborhood that the same rules apply in the new area.  If left unsecured, some dogs might try to head back to your old home.

Create a Safe Haven

Once you’re in the new home, consider unpacking your dog’s comfort items first.  Having their bowls, bed, and favorite treats or toys can be a solace in a strange new place; this will help to reduce your dog’s anxiety about moving to a new home. If your dog continues to have anxiety after moving, talk to your veterinarian, as they’re likely to have product or medication ideas that may help.

Even though you’re exhausted after a long day of shuffling boxes, prioritize taking your dog for a walk or throw a stick for them in the new yard. Not only is it a good chance to get the energy out, but a little TLC can reassure your dog that all the fun will continue - just in a new place.