Moving House With Dogs: Tips to Help Your Pet Adjust to New Home

Posted on March 4, 2023

We’re sure that you have moved houses at least once in your life, but have you ever done it with a pet dog in tow? You’re lucky if your dog will quickly adjust to your new home and won’t be too stressed upon arrival. But what if its response is to get stressed and uncomfortable?

Well, that’s actually the more normal response. Moving house with dogs means a break in routine, and dogs thrive on routine. Until they get more comfortable in your new home, you can expect them to be unsettled and unhappy as they encounter new smells and challenges.

But don’t worry - there are some things you can do to make a move a little easier for your dog.  Here are our tips before, during, and after your move. Hopefully, these suggestions will make moving into your new home a smoother experience for both you and your pet!

Key takeaways

  1. Before packing, you have to consider plenty of factors such as the timing of arranging the move, the sequence of packing, and so on. That way, your packing process will be as stress-free as it possibly can.
  2. Packing for the move also means truly considering what should be brought over to your new house from the old one. Take this as an opportunity to declutter.
  3. The key to a successful move is planning ahead and being organized. With some preparation and patience, you'll be ready to take on the challenge of packing and moving house.

Before the move

Ahh, if only you could just clap your ruby red slippers together three times and just say, “There’s no place like home,” and immediately arrive at your new location, right? However, you’re no Dorothy, you’re not in Oz, and moving is not that simple or effortless - especially with a pet. 

But before you become like your dog and get stressed, in no particular order, here are what you should make sure to do before moving day arrives. This part is especially important because this is where all the preparation comes in, all for the benefit of your furry friend.

Before packing 

  • Before you start packing up your stuff, try familiarizing your dog first with the materials involved. That includes tape, the different boxes you’re going to use, and even bubble wrap. Unless you live in a packaging factory or something, these things will be totally new to your dog. 
  • It’s best to get these materials a week or two (or even more!) before you actually start packing and leave them in a spot in the house where they won’t impede on your dog’s daily routine. That way, your dog will know they’re there and that none of them are threats or will disrupt its routine. And when you actually start using them to wrap up your stuff, your dog will not feel uncomfortable or threatened.
  • At the same time, don’t let your dog near these packing materials unsupervised, as it might damage them out of playfulness or curiosity. You can play with your dog using the materials though, if you think that will make your dog even more relaxed around these things. For example, you can place your dog in a box with its head sticking out and carry it around.

During packing

  • When you start packing, you can bet that no matter how familiar your dog got with your materials, there will still be instances of stress, especially when it sees all its familiar things disappearing into boxes and covered with tape!  So one thing you can actually do for some peace for both of you is to bring your pet over to a trusted friend, family member, or a professional pet sitter. That way, your dog won’t be around to get stressed or to playfully disrupt what’s supposed to be a generally smooth packing-up process.
  • If the above is not possible, it’s best if you let someone else do the packing for you so you can stick with your dog’s usual routine as much as possible.  Or try to maintain a balance of both: pack while making sure to pay attention to your dog. Take breaks also to take time and play or walk with your pet so that they are still enriched physically and mentally.
  • To reduce any stress your dog might feel, try to keep your house looking as “normal” as possible. Clean up when you’re done with packaging material so that the home doesn’t feel like it went through a storm. 
  • If your dog has a room that it loves the most, make sure to touch that last. Let your pet rest there when tired, away from the chaos of packing up your home. Turn on the air conditioning, give it snacks, leave its favorite toy there - whatever would make your dog feel comfortable despite all the action in the house. 

Preparing the dog for the trip

  • If your dog is not used to riding in a crate, and you’re going to need to put in one, it’s time to crate-train.  Dogs actually enjoy spending time in crates because, apparently, the experience brings up natural feelings of safety and comfort that they would experience in a den. However, if your dog is not used to it, it might not enjoy spending a long time inside one, especially if it will be your pet’s first time. Train your dog to spend time in the crate as early as possible so you don’t experience any problems on the moving day.
  • Check out your route for your move. If your trip will take more than a day, make sure to book a dog-friendly hotel or AirBnb. That way, both you and your dog will be comfortable during the stopover - you won’t have to leave it in your car.
  • Before you leave, make sure that your dog is not only microchipped but that the information in the microchip and in your dog’s ID tag has your current information, especially the number. That way, even if the unfortunate event that your dog gets separated from you, the person who finds your dog can easily contact you.
  • Make sure also that you have undergone basic obedience training with your dog. That way, you will be able to regulate your dog’s behavior during the entire moving process all the way to settling in the new home.

During the move

Here’s one of the more stressful parts of moving house with dogs: the actual moving day! Here are some things to consider during this occasion:

  • On the day of the move, your dog will encounter plenty of strange people going in and out of the house. If your pet will be more than a handful on the day, it’s again best to keep it in a crate or get a sitter to keep your dog out of the way while you supervise. That way, there will be no unfortunate incidents such as your dog biting the movers, tripping them up, or getting hurt by falling items.
  • If your new destination is far, you might want to talk to a vet about any medication you can give your dog that will make it feel more relaxed on the trip. 
  • Speaking of relaxation, try to stay as calm as possible on the day, even if some things go wrong. Remember, your dog will catch your emotions, so if you exhibit signs of stress, your dog will likely feel the same thing.
  • The night before all the way up to the day of the move, reduce your dog’s food by about a third. Your dog may experience motion sickness during the trip, so it’s better to make it as comfortable as possible with the added pressure of a full stomach.
  • As much as circumstances can allow, try to keep your dog with you as much as possible. That way, despite all the events happening on the day, your dog will know that its owner is constantly there and that you’re not leaving it alone. 
  • When on the trip, pack your dog into the car last to avoid any cases of overheating. After that, cover the dog crate with a light blanket to avoid frightening your dog with moving scenery. When it is calm, you can remove the blanket.
  • Make sure to take plenty of breaks, especially if it’s a long journey, so that you and your dog can both recharge.

Helping Your Dog Adjust To a New Home

You’ve finally arrived! So it’s all over, right? Your dog can just run into the new home, inspect it thoroughly, and everything will be peachy!

Well, not exactly. Your dog will not immediately take to the new house right away - in fact, it might take your pet weeks or even months to get used to being in a new place. Don’t rush the process and just let your dog become comfortable over time.

That’s a crucial step in making your dog see that the new place is a place of happiness and comfort. And of course, here are a few things you can do to help that along.

  • Dog-proof your house. And with that, we mean you should make sure that the new place is safe for your dog. Remove any hazardous items, such as broken glass, chemicals, or anything that could endanger them. Also, make sure that there are no holes in fences or there are no areas where your dog can escape.
  • While letting your dog explore the new house is a good thing, make sure not to leave them alone. Stay close to them as they check out the place. Show them all the areas they can explore, and put their old items there, like blankets and toys. Letting them feel something familiar will give them a sense of comfort and help them welcome the place.
  • Establish a routine that’s similar to your old one. Remember, routines are important to dogs. Doing this will reduce its anxiety in being in an unfamiliar place.
  • Just be patient and compassionate to your furry friend. Your dog will not likely understand the reason for your move, no matter how good the reason. Always be positive with your dog and extend patience while trying to alleviate your dog’s worried feelings.

Moving house with dogs can be stress-free with the proper preparation.

Moving to a different house can admittedly be a stressful experience, not just for you but also for your dog. It can actually be worse for your furry friend with the many changes happening in a course of a few weeks or months.

Proper preparation is key to making moving house with dogs as stress-free as possible. By following the tips above, you can help your furry friend feel at ease and adjust to their new surroundings. And the end result will be that your dog will be able to embrace your new home - and enjoy staying in it - instead of feeling afraid of the unfamiliar environment.

Contact Quality Removals for a stress-free "moving house with dogs experience."

Planning on moving to a new house but not quite sure how to give your dog a good and peaceful moving experience? Get us at Quality Removals. We are dedicated to supporting all our customers’ needs, and that includes making the process as smooth as possible for your furry friend.

Aside from us packing and transporting all your belongings safely and securely, we can also help with logistics, such as arranging for temporary care or boarding for your dog. We can also provide you with a guaranteed safe crate for your pet as you move.

We recognize that this time is a very important moment for you, and we’d be more than happy to help you with moving house with dogs in the best way possible.

Call Quality Removals today at +44 (020) 8146 7955 to get your free quote! We look forward to hearing from you!

We Provide Professional and Experienced Moving Services in London.

Quality Removals is a nationally renowned removals company based in London. We cater to both individual and corporate orders. Since our inception in 2011, we have continuously expanded our offerings to include both domestic and international routes, as well as upskilling our experienced drivers.

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