If you’re planning to move into a new home, you’re likely experiencing a lot of stress.
You have to pack up, get rid of things, plan the move and figure out how to pay for it all. But your dog
might be experiencing some stress, too. Fido senses a lot of activity and can be confused about
it. Learning how to help your dog move is important to his overall well-being.
Before you move, start preparing your dog.
● Make sure his tags and microchip are up to date. If Fido gets nervous, he could bolt and
you want to make sure you can find him.
● Get his vaccinations up to date and make sure you have proof handy. If you’re moving to
a new area, find out what vaccinations are important there. Some places have special
circumstances that can affect your dog’s health, such as heartworm.
● If your move is not far away, take your dog to the new neighborhood and go for a walk.
Visit any dog parks in the area, too. Walking him around the new neighborhood gives you both a chance to get to know it. You can meet your neighbors, and your dog can
take in the sights and smells of his new home.
● Keep him on the same schedule. New homes often mean new lifestyles, but if your
pooch has a daily agenda, try to keep to it and reinforce it before the move. Dogs are big
fans of routine — they like to know what’s going to happen every day.
On moving day, keep your dog in mind.
● During the hubbub of the move, it’s easy to forget about your pooch. But make sure to
take some time to spend with him. In the morning, take him for a good, long walk to get
him nice and tired. This will help keep him out of your way.
● When the movers arrive, allow them to greet your dog with treats so that he doesn’t see
them as a threat.
● Lock him up in a small room, such as a laundry room, where he can’t be in the way. This
also makes him feel safer. Put his bed and toys in the room with him, so he will feel
comforted. He might still bark and whine, but if you visit him regularly, he’ll feel better.
● Don’t wash his things because he really loves the smells in them. You might not, but
your dog gets comfort from his smelly blankets.
● Give him lots of love. Take puppy breaks to let him out to potty and then give him some
extra cuddles. This will reassure him and also ease your own stress.
When you arrive at your new home.
● Show him around the house while on a leash. Let him go through the house and sniff
every room. Don’t let him run loose just yet. There might be dangerous things still in
boxes that you haven’t put away yet.
● If the previous owners had a pet as well, any lingering smells might make your dog a
little nervous in his new home. So, do what you can to eliminate these odors: perform a
deep cleaning, use essential oils to freshen the air, and change out any air filters —
though make sure you’re using the right size for your system.
● Set up a puppy room at the new house, just like you did the old. He’ll be able to feel
safer while the movers are bringing in your stuff.
● Walk him around the yard and look for holes in the yard and the fence where he could
get out. Don’t let him loose until you’re sure it’s safe.
Letting your dog get to know the area on his own schedule will help him adjust. Many people
just show up with their dog and expect him to feel safe. You have to make the effort and give
him reassurance that this is your new home together. In a week or two, your pup will be the
master of his domain and feel right at home.