Moving to a new home with your dog can be a nerve-wracking experience.
Whether you’re going across the country or just down the street, it’s definitely a process that I can relate to!
Between the packing and confusion at your old house, and trying to help Fido settle into his environment at a new house, you have your work cut out for you.
It is important to make the move as easy as possible on your pooch, so here are some tips on moving to a new home with your dog.
Related: Relieving Dog Anxiety While Traveling
Moving to a New Home with Your Dog
Before moving, there are some things you want to do to help get your dog prepared.
- If at all possible, take your dog for a few walks in their new neighborhood, ensuring you walk by the new home a few times. This will allow your pet to get used to the new neighborhood scents.
- If you can enter the new home with your dog, by all means do so. This will also help him get used to the scents of his new home.
- If that’s just not practical, but you can still access the house before the big move, try the blanket trick. If you’ve ever introduced your dog to a new baby, you probably know this one.
Leave a blanket or toy in the new home so it absorbs the scents, then give it to your dog. Okay, so it’s not going to absorb scents quite as well as a stinky new baby blanket, but dogs have amazing noses, so it can’t hurt!
- When you’re packing up the house, don’t crate your dog up the whole time.
Make the crate available in case he needs a break, but let it be his choice.
Let him move around and see what is going on.
If you have kids, you’re likely leaving comfort objects out for them, right? Do the same for your dog. Don’t pack his favorite toy or blanket up, take it with you in the car instead when you move.
On moving day, you want to avoid taking your pet along with you since it may be rather stressful for them
- Instead, take your dog to a friend or family member’s home while you move.
- If no one is available, you may choose to put the dog in a kennel for the day.
- If a kennel is not an option, put the dog in their crate in an empty room.
- You don’t want your dog roaming the house while you’re moving boxes in and out. Nervous dogs can escape right out the front door in the time it takes you to sneeze.
- If you have movers helping, they may perceive the strange men “stealing” all your stuff as a threat to the family and react aggressively. The last thing you want is someone getting bitten because your dog was simply being loyal.
Settling into the new home
It is without a doubt that your dog will want to explore their new home as soon as possible.
- Have them on a leash and allow them to be introduced to one or two rooms at a time. By having them on a leash, they will feel secure by your side.
- Be sure that your dog knows where all his stuff is, like his bed, food and toys.
- If you have a fenced-in yard, take your dog outside to explore their new domain. While you don’t need to leash them for this exercise (I didn’t), it’s a good idea to explore with them.
- Introduce yourselves and your dog to neighbors.
- Be prepared for your dog to bark a bit more often than usual as he familiarizes himself with the neighborhood.
- You’ll want to stay on top of that, so you’re not labeled “that new family with the loud dogs.”
- I also recommend keeping a closer eye on the front door for the first couple of weeks. Even if your dog isn’t a runner, after a move he may feel like he needs to get back to “his house,” especially when you’re away from the new home.
- If possible, have someone stay home with him until he adjusts, so he doesn’t feel like you dropped him off someplace and left.
Relax, the hardest part of moving to a new home with your dog is over!
Most dogs are pretty easy-going about a move, as long as they have their family and their favorite lovies. They’ll probably adjust long before you do!