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November 9, 2020

How To Make Moving With Your Dog A Breeze

Jack Russell Terrier sits on stack of moving boxes in front of window in room with no furniture or curtains.

Moving is one of the five most stressful things you can do in life (getting married, getting divorced, losing your job, and facing a serious illness or injury round out the list). Moving is also a very stressful experience for your dog too. Here is a list of things you should not to and that you should do to make the transition easier for your best friend.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t let your dog freely roam the house and back yard until you have checks for hazards. If your home is new, check for nails, broken tiles, and other building debris that may have been left behind. Make sure your fence is secure and has no gaps your friend can sneak through. A stressed dog will run and if you are in an unfamiliar neighborhood, it will be much harder to find your pet.
  • Don’t let your dog off a leash when exploring your new neighborhood. Make sure your dog is not nervous or excited before you do so, and only if your city or county allows dogs to be off-leash.
  • Do not put your dog in daycare during your move if you have not put him there before on a fairly regular basis. He will already know something important is happening as you pack and being separated from you will add to his uncertainty and fear. Keep your dog with you so he doesn’t feel abandoned. Stress can lead to illness.
  • Don’t buy a new dog bed or toys right away. Your dog will be comforted by his familiar bedding and toys and the smells and taste that come with them. You can get new toys or dog bed after a few weeks in your new place.
  • Don’t punish your dog for any unusual aggressive behavior, stress-related chewing, or accidents in your new house. You may want to put down puppy-pads while you are focused on furniture arrangement or unpacking boxes and can’t get out for frequent walks. Act as if you have a new puppy and treat it as having to do a little bit of re-training.

What You Should Do

  • Before moving day, take your dog to his new home once or twice so he can get familiar with its smells and sounds. If you normally walk your dog, take him for a walk around the new neighborhood so he can mark his territory and get comfortable with the area.
  • Keep your dog’s bedding and toys out. They are familiar and comforting.
  • Stick to your routine as much as you can. If you have set feeding and walk times, keep those times consistent.
  • Keep your dog confined to one room or area while the move is taking place in both locations. Make sure he cannot sneak out an open door or get under the feet of the movers and get hurt.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and that the information is up to date. Also make sure your dog’s collar has an ID tag with your new address and contact information on it. You can do this way in advance so there is no last-minute worrying. While you are at it, make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. You can also try this new dog collar with GPS tracking and long battery life.
  • Make sure you have water available wherever your dog is. Excitement and worry can increase your dog’s thirst.
  • Consider giving your dog a “chill pill” if he is prone to overexcitement or hyper stress. Check with your vet on the best options. In some cases, your vet may simply recommend a Benadryl or quercetin to help take the edge off, but only do as your vet advises.
  • Keep extra cleaning supplies handy in case of accidents.
  • Keep a printed photo of your dog with you. You don’t want to have to worry about printing one out in case your dog escapes. It is far easier to copy a picture than to have to set up your computer and printer to have some to pass out.
  • If your dog is on medications, keep those and some dog food in a bag you keep with you.
  • If you have the time, take your dog for a long walk before bedtime to wear him out. He won’t be as anxious once the lights go out and you’ll both rest more comfortably.
  • Remember that your dog picks up on your stress levels, so take care of yourself during the move. Take frequent breaks, stay hydrated, and breathe!


Sources: HomeZada, HireAHelper, CeasarsWay

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