What You Need to Know About Moving with a Dog

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Moving is hardly easy, but moving under special circumstances can become overwhelming fast without a plan. If you’re moving with a dog and you want to make the transition from one home to the next as easy as possible, this short guide should help. Read on to learn about how to pack, travel, and settle in when you’re moving with a dog.

Packing Your Stuff

When something in your life changes, your dog is often the first to pick up on it. While some dogs tend to go with the flow no matter what’s going on, others are more sensitive to new behaviors and alterations to their home environments.

To prevent triggering your dog’s anxiety when you’re getting ready to move, it’s a good idea to plan early. Bring home some moving boxes a few weeks before you plan to pack and stack them neatly against one wall. If your moving boxes have been flattened, set a few up over the next few days. Keep an eye on your dog’s reaction and if he or she seems unbothered by the boxes, set up a few more.

Let the animal approach the boxes on his or her own time, and if you notice that they make your dog particularly anxious, offer treats and comforting words until these new items in your home become no big deal.

After your dog gets used to the boxes, you can start packing items you won’t need right away. Take it slow and work your way toward packing everything according to how soon you’ll need it. Save essential items for the day before you move, and try to keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible in the meantime.

If a professional moving company is going to handle packing and transporting your property, determine whether you’ll be able to remove your dog from the stressful moving process while the movers work.

Simplifying Transportation

If your dog isn’t used to traveling, spend some time in the weeks before you move by taking him or her on short rides in the car. Additionally, some dogs spend very little time in a crate. If one or both of these situations apply to your dog, you’ll want to introduce him or her to the crate and the car weeks before you move.

Practice crating your pet for short periods at home, then when the animal responds well to it, secure the crate in your car and take your dog on short rides in the car. Practice this step a few times before the official move so that your dog’s anxiety is one less thing to worry about when the time comes.

Plan your route as well when you’re moving with a dog. If your new home is a significant distance from your old home, check out Google Maps to find a few places to stop along the trip so that your dog can go to the bathroom on occasion. If your trip is going to take several days, pack your pet’s food, toys, and water in an easily accessible area of your car. You should also ensure that you have pet-friendly accommodations available when you need to stop and rest during the long trip.

Pet-Proofing Your New Home

Keep pet-proofing in mind when you’re unpacking boxes. Follow these steps to keep your pet safe and calm while you’re preparing the new house or apartment.

  • Put any hazardous chemicals (cleaners, medications, etc.) in secured cabinets right away.
  • Unpack your dog’s necessities to help him or her recognize the space as a new home. Place all of these items in one area for now, and allow your pet to get used to one part of the house at a time.
  • Tuck electric cords away so that they’re not accessible to your pet.
  • If you have a garage, double-check that no chemical spills have been left behind.
  • Store tools and sharp objects on shelves your pet can’t reach.
  • Cover your trashcan and if possible, keep it behind a closed door.
  • Even if your dog doesn’t usually chew up laundry, keep your clothes put away for the time being, as stress can trigger chewing behavior.

Remember to take time away from unpacking to check in your dog as well. Pet the animal and speak in a calm voice, because when you express that you’re calm and happy with the move, it will help establish a sense that everything is okay.

When your dog realizes that you’re staying in the new home too, he or she will start feeling more at ease knowing that this move is an adventure you’re going to do together.

Introducing Your Dog to the New Neighborhood

Depending on how far away you moved, this step can differ from one situation to the next. If possible, take your dog for a short walk around the new neighborhood after you’ve settled in and stick to the same path until the animal gets comfortable with his or her surroundings.

Visit a local veterinarian to have your dog’s microchip information updated, and determine whether there are any vaccines required to keep your dog healthy in this new environment.

If possible, avoid leaving your dog alone in the new house until he or she starts to feel comfortable there. You’ll also want to provide the animal with ways to stay engaged. Offer toys, create a calm spot for him or her to rest, and if needed, place your pet in his or her crate when you have to leave home to prevent any furniture from being chewed up in your absence.

Moving with a dog doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you plan accordingly. Furthermore, working with a professional moving company can really help take some of the work off your shoulders during your move. Around the Block Moving Company, for example, offers a wide range of moving services for customers in and around the Dallas area. Reach out to us for a free estimate and explore the services we can provide to simplify your move.


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