The Ultimate Guide to Moving House with a Dog [2022]

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Home with a Dog

moving home with a dog

How Do You Transition a Dog to a New Home?

moving house with a dog

A dog’s life is largely based around routines and familiarity. So, when those routines are disrupted, it can be very difficult for your precious pup to adjust. 

With this in mind, moving house can be just as stressful for your dog as it is for you. If you’re moving house with a dog, you’re probably wondering how you can help them transition into their new home. 

Well, there’s no need to worry! We’ve got all the answers when it comes to moving home with a dog. We’ll outline all the simple strategies you can try to help make moving with a dog easier and safer for both of you. 

So, go ahead and follow these expert tips for settling a dog into a new home. Being properly informed will make the process of moving house with a dog a little less painful before, during and after.

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Can Moving Stress a Dog?

moving house with a dog

When you’re preparing to move house, starting to pack boxes and pack everything into a van, your dog can definitely sense something strange is happening. 

Dogs like routine and can become unsettled and even stressed when they sense change. Therefore, it is essential that you allocate plenty of time to reassuring your dog when moving home to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Some common signs that your dog is feeling anxious during a house move, include: 

  • – Lower level of activity than usual
  • – Tucked tail 
  • – Withdrawal and hiding 
  • – Trembling

You should also note that dogs often pick up on their owner’s feelings and emotions. So, if you’re anxious or nervous about the move, this will likely affect your dog too. 

Thankfully for you, there are a number of things you can do before moving, on moving day and after moving to help your dog settle into their new home as quickly as possible.

What Do I Need to Do Before Moving House With a Dog?

moving home with a dog

Your dog’s stress is likely to start as soon as they see you’re packing everything up to move. Therefore, it’s important that you start making preparations for moving with a dog before the big day. 

Here’s what you can do before moving house with a dog to make it as stress-free as possible, for both you and your pampered pup: 

  • Pheromones – these are the chemical signals animals use to send messages to each other. Dog appeasing pheromones (DAP) is the pheromone that female dogs release after they have puppies to keep them feeling safe and secure.

    One way to sooth your dog when moving house is to buy plug-in diffusers or dog collars that release DAP into the air. This should be done at least 24 hours before you start making any changes at home, including packing. The pheromones will then help to keep your dog calm before the actual move.
  • Routine – dogs like a set routine, so you should try to keep your routine the same while you pack. This includes keeping things like walks, food and rest times the same as usual. This will give your dog a sense of security and control in their normal home environment.
  • Travelling – if your dog doesn’t travel well, you should speak to your vet in advance about how to manage this. They should be able to offer strategies depending on whether the problem is behavioural (fear of the car) or physical (motion sickness).
  • Register with your local vet – just before you move home with a dog, you should register your pet with a local vet. In an unfamiliar environment it is easy for your dog to get in an accident. Thus, making sure you have somewhere to go if there is an emergency with your dog is essential. Also, just in case the worst does happen, you should double-check that you have pet insurance cover in place.
  • Change microchip details – in a new environment, the risk of your dog going missing is enhanced. With lots of open doors and strangers, it is easy for your dog to sneak out and get away from all the havoc of moving day. Therefore, ensuring your dog’s microchip details are up-to-date with your new address should be on your to-do list. You’ll need to find out which microchip databse your dog is registered with e.g. Identibase or Petlog.

What Do I Need to Do On Moving Day With a Dog?

moving house with a dog

Moving day is likely to be the most stressful part of the process for your dog. So, when moving home with a dog it is important that you make proper plans of what you’re going to do with your pooch when making the big move. 

There are various ways you can make moving day less stressful for your dog: 

  • Leave your dog with someone – consider leaving your dog with someone you trust during the move. Then, bringing your pup into your new home in the evening, after you’ve unpacked all your belongings, will help them see it as somewhere to relax.

  • Be reassuring – it’s important not to overly fuss your dog on moving day as this will give them a sense that something is wrong. However, they will need a little reassurance – try to act like it’s a normal day and keep as calm as possible.

  • Set up a ‘safe’ area – if you can’t leave your pooch with family or friends, set up a room or specific area where they will be comfortable while you move out and unpack. It’s also a good idea to pack your dog’s belongings last, so they don’t feel like their possessions are being taken away from them.

  • Scent-swapping – scent is a key part of the way your dog identifies an area as safe. To help them feel more settled, bring in your dog’s blankets, cushions and toys that smell like home.

  • Let your dog explore – when your new house is secure, let your dog explore their new environment in their own time. If securing the house isn’t possible, make sure to keep your dog on a lead and accompany them around the house.

What Do I Need to Do After Moving Home With a Dog?

moving house with a dog

Finally, you’ve moved into your new house. Now, it’s time to start getting settled. However, not only do you need time to settle into your new home, your pampered pooch does too. 

Here are the best ways to make the period after moving house with a dog as stress-free as possible: 

  • Allow for accidents – moving to a new home is always going to be a bit stressful for a dog. Even the best behaved dogs might have an accident or two. But, it’s important to be patient. If they have a toilet accident, don’t tell them off – show them how to do it and reward correct toileting going forward.

  • Take precautions – it’s quite common for dogs to try to find their way back to their own home. While microchipping can help with this, it’s also a good idea to give the new owners of your old home your details, so if your dog arrives there, they can contact you.

It’s important not to expect perfection when moving home with a dog. You need to remember that they don’t understand what’s going on and it’s only natural for them to be a little nervous.

How Long Does it Take For a Dog to Get Used to a New Home?

identibase change of address

Unfortunately, there is no set answer to how long it takes for a dog to settle into a new home. This depends on a whole host of factors, including your dog’s personality, how hectic your move is and the techniques used to make them feel at home. 

For example, an older dog or one who is nervous by nature will likely require much more time to adapt to their new surroundings compared to a confident, care-free pooch. 

No matter how nervous they are, moving house with a dog takes time and patience. Inevitably, you will experience some teething problems along the way.

However, by utilising the above tips and tricks for moving with a dog you can make the whole process much easier for both you and your furry friend.

If you’re more of a feline-lover find out how to move house with a cat


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