Moving House With Your Dog

Moving can be stressful not only for you and your family but also for dogs. Here are a few tips on ensuring your pet is safe and settles quickly into a new home when moving house with your dog.

Moving House With Your Dog

When moving house with your dog, his entire routine goes out of the window and within a matter of days, everything he has known and grown familiar with – from objects within your home to smells in and around it – suddenly changes. The days immediately before, during and after your move are subsequently particularly stressful for your dog.

The best way to keep your dog stress-free and safe while moving is to book him into a kennel for the time shortly before and after the move, which will allow you to:

  • Get everything packed, moved and unpacked without worrying about your best friend’s safety and well-being.
  • Collect him and dedicate your time to helping him settle into your new home once everything has been restored to comparative ‘normality’.

When considering this option, you must, however, bear in mind that your dog’s worming and vaccinations must be up-to-date for a kennel to accept him.

  • If you cannot book your dog into a kennel or simply prefer to keep him with you, make the transition as smooth as you can by:
  • Familiarising yourself with the area around your new home prior to your move so you know where you can take your dog for some exercise as soon as you have moved.
  • Putting your dog into a specific room, ensuring all windows/doors are closed early the day you move to ensure he is safe and can be found when it is time to leave. Make sure to let removal staff know where he is 1), because not everyone is fond of dogs and 2) to prevent someone accidentally opening the door to his room and allowing him to escape. You should feed your dog as usual, although not too close to the time of moving to prevent illness during the trip.
  • Making one member of your family solely responsible for your pet on moving day to ensure someone always knows where he is. If possible, you may also want to consider keeping him in a secure pet cage or on a lead.

On arriving at your new home:

  • Keep your dog secure until you have sorted one room and installed familiar belongings (his bed, favourite toys, his water bowl). Ensure the doors/windows in this room are kept close, locking them or posting signs to prevent accidental opening if necessary.
  • Feed him as usual and, if he appears to be cold, give him a hot water bottle wrapped in a jumper, towel or blanket that smells of you/your old home to make him feel warm and secure.
  • Taking your dog for a walk/some exercise during the day to give him a well-deserved break from being locked in a room.

Once the house is organised, allow him to explore his new environment, ensuring all external doors are closed and, if you have one, your garden is secure. Accompanying your dog throughout this first exploration is recommended to prevent him becoming overwhelmed and ensure you know exactly where he is.

Helping Your Pet Settle into His New Home 

Helping your pet settle into his new home is important for his well-being. You can help your pet settle in and feel at home by:

  • Furnishing your new home with your dog’s scent. Preventing your dog becoming insecure because familiar smells are replaced by alien ones, this can be easily done by picking up your dog’s personal scent profile by gently rubbing a soft cloth (cotton) around your dog’s face to and then dabbing this scent (at your dog’s height) around the room/s he will initially be in/have access to help him bond with his new territory and feel at home. This process should be repeated daily to build up the scent all over the house.
  • Establishing a regular feeding routine. Frequently offering small meals will give you more contact to begin with and help reassure your dog.

Knowing when & where he will get fed allows your dog to anticipate meals, rather than worrying about them, which in turn allows him to relax and promotes a general feeling of well-being.

Successfully Integrating Your Dog with His New Surroundings

Unlike cats, dogs do not have to be kept indoors for several days before being allowed to explore their new neighbourhood’s smells and geography. You should, however:

  • Make sure to always accompany your dog (or have another responsible and familiar person accompany him) and, especially for the first couple of days, always keeping him on a lead. If you want to allow him a little more freedom, consider purchasing an extendable lead, which is an excellent compromise between restraining him and allowing him to run around freely.
  • Ensure your dog has some type of identification. It is now a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks to be microchipped (make sure the company knows about your change of address/phone number). Your dog should also wear a collar & tag with his/your name, address and contact number.

Spending as much time as possible playing with and making a fuss of your dog while out exercising him will help him to associate his new environment with pleasurable experiences and prevent him roaming off.

Making Your Move Less Stressful for You

Having ensured your dog has a reasonably stress-free move, all you have to worry about is making the process easier on yourself and your family. We offer a comprehensive range of services designed to make your move as stress and hassle-free as possible. Call us now on 08000 741 741 now to learn more and/or get a free, no-obligation quote.