Moving House with Pet Dogs

If you’ve moved before, you’ll know how stressful it can be even when everything is going well. Moving with a dog, however, is an entirely new level of stress. There’ll be incessant barking preventing you from thinking straight, a small animal running around the house when you need peace and quiet to unpack…it can be very overwhelming at times. In this article, we’ll be going over a few ways to make moving with your dog a lot easier.

Moving home with dogs
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

Before the move:

Give them an outlet to release any pent-up energy.

As the saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog”. When your dog doesn’t have a proper outlet for its emotions, it’ll lead to heightened levels of stress which may cause your dog to act out – which isn’t the best thing in a new house that might still need to be renovated before it can be called home. The solution to this is obvious: Make time for play every day, regardless of your other responsibilities. It doesn’t have to take hours – a game of ball in your backyard or lengthening your daily walk should be sufficient to keep your dog physically active.

Pack a pet essentials bag.

Trust us: this will be a lifesaver.

Having all of your dog’s favourite treats, toys and bowls within arm’s reach is essential if you want to keep your dog occupied while you deal with everything else. Your dog might get excited when he sees your new environment or many people moving in and out of your home. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have to dig through dozens of identical brown boxes to find the one chew toy you know will calm your dog down. Having an essentials bag will save you time, energy, and grief.

Try to have the house set up as much as possible before bringing your dog over.

Doing so will promote a sense of normalcy around the home, and your dog might not suspect you’ve moved houses at all (until it goes outside…). We understand that this is a luxury not everyone can afford when moving, but it’ll increase your quality of life exponentially. If circumstances don’t allow you to do this, try to set up your dog’s space right away once you do move in. This will give your dog a place to be while you can run around fixing up your house.

During the move:

Keep your dog away from the action.

Moving is a hectic affair. Movers, electricians, real estate agents, painters.. your house might seem like a warzone for a while. It’s easy to see how this can stress out a human being, and it’s even easier to understand why your dog might begin to misbehave or panic due to all of the new changes. This is why we recommend keeping your dog away from all of the action until things begin to quiet down. Set up a separate puppy corner where your dog can amuse himself with his toys for a few hours. Make sure you still spend time with your dog to prevent it from developing separation anxiety. If you must be away from your dog for several hours at a time, try and arrange for your dog to be left in the care of a family member.

Give your dog attention, even when it’s hard to do so.

Yes, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be busy. However, you need to bear in mind that your dog is used to getting your undivided attention all the time. Going from this to seeing you buzz around without so much as giving it a second glance…can be nerve-wracking. To avoid stressing your dog out, try to interact with it for at least 20 minutes a day. It might not be as much time as you used to give it beforehand, but it sure beats nothing.

After the move:

Delay inviting people over.

We understand your excitement in moving to a new home, and it’s natural to want to share that with others. However, throwing a rager at your new home can be a significant cause of stress for your dog. Focus on getting your dog adjusted to the new home before slowly introducing them to strangers or bringing them over to the neighbour’s house for a playdate. If you do need people moving in and out of the house, try to minimize any noise they might make or keep them in a different part of the house for the duration of their stay.

Keep a consistent routine.

If you usually take your dog out for a walk at a specific time, don’t let your new location change that. The same rule applies to feeding times and any other routines you established with your dog before the move. Like us, dogs are creatures of habit. Since they don’t know why they’re in a new place, keeping their mealtimes and daily walks consistent will ground them and help them sniff out their new life.

Scroll to Top