Moving with your dog can be extremely stressful for both you and your pup. But, hopefully with these tips your next move will be less of a stress.
When it comes to moving, it can be stressful, no matter how big or small the move is. As someone who has moved multiple times in a single year (and written about it for one of our fellow FanSided sites, Culturess) I know how much work and stress goes into packing, unpacking, finding the perfect place, and so much more. And when you have a dog (or multiple dogs), it can be even more difficult.
Not only are you worried about getting everything moved and cleaned up, but we also have to worry about our dog and how they are handling this major transition in their life. When you know you are moving, it is important to make a plan for your pup to make the move as easy on them and you as possible. This includes coming up with a before, during, and after plan in order to keep stress levels low, and allow your dog a chance to feel taken care of and happy.
Moving your dog may require the use of a crate depending on how far you are moving, how long they may need to be in the car, and also how packed the care will be. If your pup isn’t crate trained, it may be best to use this pre-move time to get them comfortable with being in a crate, this includes getting them ready to be in the crate inside of the car.
In order to get ready for any issues that pop up, a contingency plan is needed, and that means putting together a few things that will make things easier. Among the things you need to have put together for moving your dog is a leash and collar (may seem obvious, but when you are moving even the obvious goes out the window), some dry food, a bottle of water, towels, some of their toys and treats, and the folder with all of their medical papers.
On the day of the move, you have to be prepared to not only keep your dog out-of-the-way, but also to give them their own space. Even though you have a lot to do and get done on moving day, you still need to give your pup attention. They should also have access to water, a few toys, and even a treat or two in order to keep them occupied and as stress-free as possible.
While all of my moves have been within the same city, that doesn’t mean that we forget these tips. It is important that our pup feels as secure as possible, because as a rescue, he has anxiety and needs to know he is not being left behind or forgotten. Which is a reminder to all of us that if your dog is a rescue, they may need more attention and reassurance than you may have been prepared for.
Once you get to the new place, make sure they once again have their own space to feel comfortable in. Not only does this give you the space to unpack and get your new place in order, but it allows them a chance to acclimate slowly to a new environment.
Before you allow them into a yard if you have one, make sure you check it out first. Make sure there are no holes in fences they could get through. Check for anything that they could hurt themselves on or even garbage left over. Basically, you are checking the area out to make sure they are safe and their new space is ready for them.
It is a good idea to try to set things up in a way that your dog is familiar with. And while that may not be entirely possible, try to at least be consistent with schedules.
When we moved, we arrived before our stuff and the movers, which allowed us a chance to let the dog explore a bit before everything came inside. Once the movers arrived, we gave him his space out-of-the-way and in a safe space. After we had at least unpacked the living room (which didn’t take as long as it may seem), we let him out into the apartment and let him get used to a new home.
Our final step was to make sure we set up all of our pup’s stuff and show it off to him. From his bed to his toy bins, we made sure he sniffed everything out.
When it comes to moving, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Stress is to be expected. But the last thing we want is a stressed out dog, which is why it is important to plan your dogs move out just as much as you plan your own.
Do you have experience moving with a dog or dogs? What was your experience like? Did you have a plan in place? Tell us what your moving experience was like in the comments.