Moving With a Dog: 8 Steps for Success
Moving with a dog can be challenging. As much as you love your furry best friend, you may find it hard to tend to their needs during the big move.
After all, moving can be stressful on both you and your dog. All the planning and organizing leaves little time for you and your pup to connect.
Don’t worry, moving with a dog can be a breeze when you follow the 8 steps we share below.
1. Introduce your dog to moving supplies
Your dog probably isn’t very familiar with moving supplies. Getting out the packing tape and boxes early can help your dog feel more at ease with the moving process.
Place the boxes in a corner that your dog can access and explore. Giving them treats as they sniff the moving supplies will help them create positive associations with moving. The next time you bring out boxes, your dog will feel less anxious because they know what’s to come.
2. Keep a consistent routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. They feel safest when they have predictable routines and structures in their day.
During a big move, it can be difficult to stick to your regular schedule. However, it’s important to do your best to continue walking, feeding, and playing with your pup at roughly the same time each day.
Even if things get a little chaotic, your dog will feel more at ease knowing that they still have their daily routines to look forward to.
3. Provide a safe space for your dog
It’s important for your dog to have a safe and familiar space in both your old and new house.
Their safe space can include their bed, favourite toys, blanket, water, and clothing with your scent on it. Be sure to have a similar safe space ready for your dog at your new home. This will help your dog to feel more comfortable during the transition.
4. Visit the new neighbourhood
If possible, introduce your dog to your new neighbourhood. This will allow them to explore their future stomping grounds.
Take them for a walk so they can take in all the new smells and sights. Or let them run free in a nearby dog park. They’ll love sniffing out the pee-mail from their new doggy neighbours.
5. Keep your dog’s mind occupied
Mentally stimulating toys and activities will help focus your dog’s attention and reduce stress.
For example, treat puzzles are a great way to keep your dog busy as you pack. They’ll forget all about the hustle and bustle as they try to get their paws on a tasty treat.
Allowing your dog to dig at the beach or lake will also help tire out their brain so they feel as relaxed as possible during the big move.
6. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
Just as running on the treadmill helps humans sweat away the stress of the day, taking your dog for a walk helps reduce their anxiety.
Even if you’re busy with moving preparations, try to take your furry friend out for some exercise. Whether they swim, walk or run, the physical activity will help your dog cope with the stress of moving house.
7. Moving day with your dog
Moving day can be very chaotic and stressful for dogs. All the commotion and loud noise makes them feel anxious. Open doors can also be a problem because your dog may run out into the street.
If possible, leave your dog with a trusted dog sitter or friend until you’re fully moved in. This will help your dog to have a positive experience when they arrive at your new place.
If you can’t leave your dog with a sitter, use a baby gate or enclosure to keep them away from the commotion during the move. Be sure to check in on them and give them the occasional treat so they know you haven’t forgotten about them!
8. Settling into your new home
When it’s finally time to take your dog to their new home it’s important to give them time to safely explore.
Give them an on-leash home tour. They’ll feel safe knowing that you’re nearby. You’ll also prevent them from sticking their nose in off-limits areas.
Let them take their time and go at their own pace as they sniff out the new surroundings. Be sure to give them lots of praise and cuddles so that they have positive associations with their new home.
It will all be worth it
Moving with a dog may be difficult, but it’s worth it. Just like a home, a dog is a long-term commitment. With a little bit of effort you can make the move a happy and stress-free experience for your dog.
Hiring professional movers will help make the transition go as smoothly as possible so you can spend more time with your furry best friend.