14 tips for moving with dogs

14 tips for moving with dogs

When you plan out your next move, be sure to make special plans for the canine members of your family. Dogs can be very sensitive to change, so follow these 14 tips to make sure their transition to the new space is as smooth as possible.

1. Exercise

Dog walking and leash

As you begin the packing process, your dog may experience increased anxiety. One way to reduce their stress is by increasing their physical activity. The simplest way to do this is by walking your dog. Physical activity helps use up your dog’s energy so they are more relaxed.

2. Restrict Access

Dog looking out window

While you pack up your home, it is wise to limit the rooms your dog has access to. This will keep them safe as boxes and furniture are being packed and moved around. It will also give them a place to relax with their essentials.

3. Wait Til the End

Dog under blanket

If possible, pack your dog’s items last. This will help them feel secure while everything else is packed. Also, be sure NOT to wash your dog’s toys or bedding before the move. The familiar smells will help them settle into the new home.

4. Get a Dog Sitter

Dog laying in room with children

On the day of the move there will be a lot of activity. This means a lot of stress for your dog, and a lot of opportunity for a stressed dog to escape. It is best to have your dogs out of the house during this time. So, see if they can spend the day at the home of a friend or family member.

5. Move Dogs Last

Dog getting into car

For a short-distance move, take your dog to the new home on the very last trip. This will allow you to spend time with them in the new space and help them acclimate.

6. Make Frequent Stops

Dog walking with owner

If moving long distance, you need to carefully consider how your dog will travel. In a car, your dog will need to get out and walk every 4 to 6 hours. This will probably increase your travel time. You also need to be sure to plan ahead, so that you have a pet-friendly place to spend the night.

7. Consider Air Travel Carefully


If you are traveling by plane, be aware that larger dogs will probably need to travel in the cargo area. Most of the time this is a completely safe option, though there is a slightly higher risk because of greater temperature variations.

8. Be Mindful of Older Dogs

Old dog

If you have an elderly pet, it is possible that a long-distance move, whether by car or plane, may just be too much of an ordeal for them. If it is best for the dog, you may need to make the difficult decision to re-home them locally.

9. Start Outside

Dog outside with owner

At the new home, the first place you should introduce your dog to is the area they will use the bathroom in. This will allow them to relieve themselves and mark their new territory before going inside.

10. Have a Designated Space

Dog laying down

Have a restricted space set aside with your dog’s essentials and their favorite bedding and toys. This will provide them with familiar smells and will keep them out danger while other rooms are unpacked.

11. Establish a Routine

Dog eating

While you might be sleeping odd hours because of unpacking, your dog needs the security of routine. Try as much as possible to stick to the routine you had at your old home.

12. Take Walks

Dog walking on path

Try to include walks in your routine. This will help your dog work off energy and become familiar with their new surroundings. It will also help neighbors to recognize your dog if he or she ever escapes.

13. Update Contact Information

Dog collar

Don’t put off updating your contact information on chips and tags. It is better to be safe than sorry.

14. Find a Vet

Dog visiting vet with owner

Finally, find a new veterinarian as soon as possible. You want to know who to call if the need ever arises.

If you have any comments or suggestions, we would be love to hear from you on the Sparky’s Facebook page, by phone at (806) 353-9500, or via email.