Stress-Free Moving with Your Dog

INTRODUCING_NEW_DOG_FeaturedEarl looked at me with is big brown eyes and his black droopy lips asking, what’s going on?  Where are we?  Howie has been following me from room to room for the last week.

No matter how easy you try and make it your pet feels the confusion and stress of a move as much as you do!  Don’t take it for granted that your dog is not under stress when a household move happens.  Take as many precautions as possible to help them through the difficult and confusing time.

  • First and foremost, get new ID tags BEFORE YOU MOVE and attach them to your pets collar right away.
  • Get to know the veterinarians in your new area and pick one ahead of time if you can.
  • I feel it is best to board your dog at a familiar kennel for a few days while the packing is underway and the house is getting torn apart.  Think about it, think about what your dog is seeing and he cannot use the human language to tell you of his confusion and fright.  Always put yourself in your dog’s paws and try and see things from his point of view it’s a real eye opener.  What if someone came into your home started pulling things off the walls, putting your belongings into crates and boxes WITH NO EXPLANATION TO YOU? There is no doubt you would be very frightened and freaked out by the overwhelming process that was taking place. That’s how your pet can feel when they are being moved out of their familiar home into a new home.
  • My next suggestion is plan on boarding your dog on the other end of the move as well until you can get at least two rooms in some kind of order. Your pet needs to have some type of safe area in the new home one that is not full of boxes.  Keep a favorite toy or bed with them at all times.
  • Remember, even the best-behaved pet may turn into a bit of a door dasher in an unfamiliar house so keep a sharp eye when going in and out until the house becomes “home” to them.  Every dog is different so adjustment time will vary with each dog.
  • If there is a fenced yard you must walk the perimeter and do a fence check to make sure there are no gaps or holes where your dog could get out.  Making sure your new backyard is secure for your pet is a must. Do not take it for granted that the yard and fence are secure and safe you must check it.
  • It is best not to leave your dog outside for extended periods of time in a strange yard unsupervised they may try and dig or jump out.  Sometimes owners just assume a yard is a yard and if the dog stays outside at home for extended periods its no different in the new yard.  Don’t make that mistake, your dog does not know where he is yet, this is not “home” he may try and escape if he is feeling overwhelmed. As each day passes and things settle down so will everyone in the family and soon the strange smelling, funny looking new place will become “home” to everyone.

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Positively Expert: Amy Sandmann

Amy Sandmann is a VSPDT trainer in Monticello, Minnesota. As a lover of dogs and the outdoors, her mission is to get people re-connected with their pets through positive reinforcement training and exercise. She believes that every owner should focus on unconditional love of their dogs and create a solid human/animal bond.


10 thoughts on “Stress-Free Moving with Your Dog

  1. Annette

    This is great advice, but it is also important
    to consider that all kinds of things are left out
    when packing, like vitamins or things dogs can chew
    and get themselves in trouble. We also acclimated
    our dogs by introducing them to the new place, letting them
    sniff it out before actually moving in.

  2. Jisoo Kim

    You are so insightful and this is a great article because I feel that many pet owners don't think about how a move will affect the dog other than being in a new house. Thank you for this article and I will definitely have to remember this when I get my own place when I'm out of college!! 😀

  3. Sally

    Green aventurine helps pets adjust to a new environment.
    Use on their collar or place under where they are sleeping.
    All the best in your new home.

  4. Jana P.

    Hello, I have read your article and start to thing how is it with our dog when we take her for travel abroad for 2 or 4 weeks? She was not used to travel before we took her in age of 2, and now she travels with us staying in a tent. The first night on a place is usually more difficult, because she react on every noise, but then it gets better she seems to relax. Do you thing it is stress for her or can she get used to it and "enjoy" it?

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