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7 Tips for Moving With a Dog

Moving is difficult enough when you only have yourself to worry about. Add a dog to the mix and things can get even more complicated.

If you’re planning on moving with a dog soon, it helps to be prepared. Your dog will likely be worried, just like you. They may be stressed out for several reasons:

  • The journey is long.
  • They may be uncomfortable in cars.
  • They have to adjust to a new space.

With this in mind, it’s important to do what you can to make things comfortable for your dog as you prepare for the move. Keeping the routine as normal as possible can be helpful. Here are some tips for moving with a dog with the least amount of stress possible. 

1. Gather Important Documents

During a move, you’ll want to be prepared for the unexpected. Be sure to obtain a copy of all your dog’s essential medical information before you go, such as vaccination records, prescriptions, dog food recommendations, and adoption paperwork. If your dog is microchipped, make sure all the info is up to date. Even if your pet doesn’t have a vet emergency, having this paperwork on hand can be helpful when establishing your dog as a patient at a new vet. 

2. Bring in the Boxes

Start the moving process little by little. Bring in boxes and moving supplies. Let your dog explore them and get used to the new surroundings. This will help your dog feel more at ease rather than suddenly packing up everything in one day. 

3. Maintain a Sense of Normalcy

Dogs, like kids, thrive on routine. Therefore, when moving with a dog, you’ll want to maintain your dog’s schedule and keep things as normal as possible at home. Keep up with their routines, such as feeding schedules, walks, and playtime. If you find it hard to do so while moving, consider dropping your dog off at puppy daycare or with a friend or family member who can maintain a sense of normalcy while you move.

4. Keep Their Favorite Things Nearby

When moving with a dog, keep their favorite toys, blankets, and beds within reach. These things provide comfort and security during the move, so make an effort to keep these things accessible for your pet. A good idea is to create a safe crate with a favorite blanket, bed, and toy for your pet.

5. Provide Plenty of Exercise

As moving day gets closer, your dog may be feeling some anxiety. Dogs feed off their owners’ energy, so if you’re feeling stressed, Fido may be stressed as well. Release some of this stress with plenty of exercise. On top of regular walks, be sure to play fetch and give your dog off-leash playtime outside. If your dog knows how to swim, a dip in the pool is a great form of exercise. A little activity will help your pooch relax and sleep better, which will make moving with a dog much easier. 

6. Get a Dog Sitter for the Big Day

You’re going to be busy on moving day. Do you really want your dog underfoot? With the hustle and bustle of moving, your dog could end up injured or lost during all the commotion. Instead, have someone like a trusted friend or family member watch your dog for the day. You can also hire a local dog sitter to help.

Your dog will likely feel more comfortable with someone who can focus on them. Plus, you don’t have to worry about entertaining and tending to your pooch while you try to focus on the moving process. Everyone will feel more relaxed.

7. Introduce Your Dog to the New Home

Once you and your dog get to the new home, make sure to spend some time getting to know the layout—inside and out. Have areas set up for your dog to eat and sleep. Take your dog on a tour of the new home, exploring each room (as long as it’s safe). Let your dog take in the new smells. 

Make sure to spend time exploring the new outdoor space as well. Tour the front and back yards. Take your dog on a walk to check out the new neighborhood. Who knows—he might meet some new friends (you might too, as an added bonus).

It takes time and patience to move with a dog. Ideally, you should be home with your dog for the first few days after a move to reduce anxiety and help them adjust to a new routine and location. Focus on toys, treats, and playtime as your furry friend adapts to his new home.

Contact Us Today

Now that you know how to move with a dog, count on Colonial Van Lines for help with your long-distance move. We can take most of the moving responsibilities off your plate so you can help your pet relax and settle into its new place. Contact us today to get a quote or learn more.

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