Make moving stress-free with these moving with a dog checklist

Keep a pawsitive vibe when moving with your friendly pooch!

Talk to an expert mover

Published on

Does the thought of moving with your dog make you worried? Dogs have their own routine, and relocating to a new place can trigger their anxiety, making moving stressful for dogs. 

But don't worry! With a few simple steps, you can ease your furry friend's anxiety and make sure they feel comfortable and secure throughout the move. Our moving with dogs to a new home guide outlines a comprehensive plan specifically for moving with dogs, so you can make this big change manageable for both you and your companion. 

Things to remember when moving with a dog

What to do before moving with dogs

Moving a dog can be chaotic and stressful; unfortunately, there's no magical way to make it easier. Follow these tips to lessen your dog’s stress from moving:

☐ Keep your dog’s information updated

Update your contact information associated with your dog's microchip with your new address and number, as well as the ID tags on their collar to include your new home address and contact details. 

☐ Familiarize your dog with the moving supplies

Help your dog get familiar with the items by encouraging them to explore and interact with them as you pack your belongings. But never leave your dog unsupervised near them, as they could accidentally ingest something harmful or get tangled up in packing materials.

☐ Pack a bag for your dog

The bag should include their food, treats, toys, leash, collar, water bowl, and any medications they may need. This bag should be easily accessible to you during the move so you can attend to your dog's needs conveniently.

☐ Prepare for the drive

If you're traveling by car with your dog, consider getting a well-fitted car harness and travel crate to keep your dog secure during the ride. If you’re moving cross country with a dog, book a dog-friendly accommodation in advance.

☐ Bring them to the vet

It’s important to prepare for when your dog gets car sick or experiences severe anxiety while traveling in the car. Veterinarians can suggest ways to make the journey less stressful for your dog, like recommending medications to alleviate your dog's anxiety or motion sickness.

a corgi seating near moving boxes

Tips to know during the move

Moving day can be confusing and upsetting for dogs when they see strangers taking away their familiar things. Here are some tips to lessen your dog’s anxiety when moving to a new home:

☐ Place your dog in a secure and comfortable space

You can choose a crate or a closed room where your dog can relax and feel safe. This will prevent your dog from getting agitated or overwhelmed by the noise and commotion on moving day.

☐ Stick to your dog’s routine

Keep feeding and walking schedules consistent, as this can help your dog feel more relaxed and comfortable amid all the changes. Try to provide a sense of normalcy to your dog by following their typical schedule.

☐ Reduce their food intake to prevent motion sickness

Lessen it by about a third on moving day and the night before. Also, give them small servings of easily digestible food when you arrive at your new home and gradually increase their serving sizes to their normal diet.

☐ Keep your dog with you in the car

Travel with your dog to make them feel more at ease. Don’t forget to take regular breaks during the trip, so your dog can go potty and drink up. Make sure to plan your route ahead of time and find rest stops or parks where your dog can relieve themself. 

☐ Use pheromone products

When dogs are stressed or anxious, their body produces different types of pheromones that can trigger a calming effect in other dogs. Pet products, such as collars, diffusers, and sprays, can provide synthetic versions of these chemicals that can be used to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. 

a dog in a car seat

How to help your dog adjust to a new home

You’ve finally relocated! But your dog adjusting to a new home only starts here. It will take your dog weeks or months to feel fully comfortable in its new home. Give them plenty of love, attention, and reassurance, and let them acclimate at their own pace. Here are a few tips on how to get a dog used to a new home:

☐ Explore the new home and neighborhood

Give them the freedom to sniff around and get familiar with their new surroundings, but also keep a watchful eye on them to ensure their safety.

☐ Maintain a consistent routine

Keep their daily schedule as close to what it was before. Consistency helps your dog feel more secure and can reduce anxiety and stress. You may need to adjust the routine to fit the new environment but try to keep the overall structure as similar as possible. 

☐ Put out familiar items

Setting up your dog’s bed, toys, and other belongings in the new home can provide a sense of comfort and security in the new environment. Choose a quiet and comfortable spot for your dog’s bed, away from any potential disturbances or high-traffic areas.

a woman and her dog on the floor at their new home

Additional moving tips

  • For those moving internationally with a dog, you may need to do additional steps beforehand:

    • Check import requirements: Each country has different dog import requirements, such as vaccinations and health certificates. Research these requirements in advance.

    • Choose a pet-friendly airline: Pick an airline known for being pet-friendly and having comfortable accommodations for pets.

    • Acclimate your dog to their crate: If your dog will travel in a crate, let them get comfortable with it weeks or months before and gradually increase their time inside. Use treats and positive reinforcement to help them feel comfortable.

  • Plan for emergencies. Keep a first-aid kit, your dog’s medications, and a copy of their medical records in case of an emergency.

  • Be patient. Moving can be stressful for dogs, so be patient and understanding if your dog is anxious or has a different dog behavior after moving. 

Make moving with a dog a breeze

Relocating takes a lot of energy; it can be overwhelming, not just for you but also for your furry companion. But don’t fret! With the practical tips above, you can ensure your dog can transition to your new home smoothly.

And if you’re a bit anxious about the entire process, you can hire expert packers and leave it to pro movers to take care of your belongings and tick off more items on your to-do list. Get moving safely and efficiently! 

Find pet transport experts, fast

Post a task

FAQs on moving with a dog

The time it takes for a dog to adjust to a move can vary depending on the individual dog's temperament, age, and other factors. Generally, a dog can take several weeks to a few months to fully adjust to a new home and environment. Giving your dog love, affection, and patience can most likely speed up this process.

Yes, dogs can experience sadness and anxiety after a move, especially if they have lived in the same place for a long time and have formed strong attachments to their previous home and environment. 

Dogs may exhibit signs of stress, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, or changes in behaviour when adjusting to a new home. Be patient and provide comfort and reassurance to help your dog adjust to the new surroundings.

Related articles

Related price guides

Let's do this!

It's free and takes only a minute.