A Stress-Free Move: Making Moving Day Go Smoothly for Your Dog


Relocating to a new home is always a stressful experience. In all the chaos and anxiety of preparing for a move, pet owners are apt to forget that being uprooted and moved to unfamiliar surroundings is also stressful for dogs. All the objects, sights, and smells of home gradually give way to confusion and fear. Dogs also sense and reflect their owner’s uneasiness and may react in unpredictable ways if an owner is agitated, which can make moving day even more stressful.

Bear in mind that taking care of your dog on moving day is not only good for your pet, but for you and your family as well. It gives everyone one less thing to worry about and one less uncertainty. The last thing you want on moving day is to worry about your dog getting upset and running away. Besides, your dog is a member of the family and, as such, deserves emotional support just like anyone else. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help make moving day go smoothly for you and your furry friend.

Keep it normal

One of the biggest favors you can do for your pooch is to keep everything as normal as possible leading up to moving day. Don’t change his feeding schedule or forget to take him for a walk at the usual time. Dogs can sense when things are out of whack, especially when their surroundings are gradually altered one piece of furniture at a time. If your dog has a space or room that’s his, keep his water and food dish in place as well as his toys, blanket, and other familiar objects. The key is to keep things as close to normal as possible.


Take time out for your dog

Moving means you’ll be busy with all kinds of responsibilities like packing, decluttering, and taking care of details like switching your kids’ schools, changing your address, hiring movers, and much more. In all the hubbub and upset of moving, it can be easy to overlook your pet’s needs. Take time out for a walk or play fetch or tug of war. Your dog needs your attention from time to time, especially when you’re busy. Don’t neglect him.

Let the movers know

Some movers have rules about allowing dogs to be on the premises while they’re trying to move your belongings. If you’re hiring professional movers, make sure they know if a dog will be around while they’re loading your belongings. Also, make sure they know that you’ll keep your dog out of the way while they’re doing their work. One very good way to keep things from getting out of hand on moving day is to board your dog or turn him over to a dog walker. Your pet will get excellent care and the opportunity to play with other dogs while your belongings are being loaded and moved. Doggy day care is an increasingly popular option for dog owners who have to be away at work during the week and want their pooches entertained and taken care of every day. It’s also a great way to keep your pup happy on moving day.

Don’t forget about you

Although you want to take very good care of your pet during this stressful time, it’s also important to remember to take good care of yourself. After all, you can’t look after your pooch if you’re too stressed to provide plenty of love and attention. One way to keep your anxiety and stress under control is to get your home move-in ready before you get settled in. Take some time to clean the home — really deep clean those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies — and make any slight modifications before unpacking. Also, to help prevent pet hair and dander from taking over your new space, consider picking up an air filter that addresses these pet-related issues. There are many on the market these days, so take a moment to check out what’s good and what’s not.


Be patient with your dog once you’re all moved in. Just like you and your family, he’ll need some time to get used to his surroundings. If possible, keep his favorite toys and eating area in the same general place as before (such as the laundry room). Make sure his tags are up to date and, if possible, have him microchipped just in case he runs away. After the movers are done unloading your belongings, go for a walk around the perimeter of your new property so your dog can get familiar with his new home.

Don’t overlook your dog’s needs when moving day arrives. He’ll need your presence and assurance as his living environment is radically altered overnight. A little tender care can go a long way toward making the move less disruptive and frightening.

Thank you to Cindy Aldridge of Ourdogfriends.org for submitting this blog post. Photos courtesy of Pexels.