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 for submitting this blog post. Photos courtesy of Pexels.

How Seniors Can Pack Wisely for A Move

Many seniors choose to live in their own homes during their golden years, but for some, making a move to a smaller place or into a family member’s home is the right decision. Preparing for such a big change can be a little overwhelming, especially during the packing process; there are so many things to consider, including what to keep and what to get rid of in order to downsize.

Fortunately, there are several easy tips on how to pack smart before a big move. Here are a few of the best.

Find the Right Boxes

One of the first things you’ll need for a move is boxes, but it’s important to make sure you get a variety of sizes so you can have smaller containers for fragile items. Bigger boxes should be reserved for bulky items--pillows, blankets, etc.--rather than several things that will make it too heavy to carry.

Clean and Organize

Before you pack up, it’s important to go through your belongings one room at a time and create three piles: keep, toss, and donate. If you’ve lived in the same place for a while, it’s likely that you have quite a few things stored in closets and drawers that you don’t use anymore. It might be helpful if you have a family member or two around to help you go through these things, because they may take a few items off your hands. You can also take this opportunity to give possessions such as jewelry or photos to grandchildren or other loved ones.

If you have a lot of belongings, it may seem overwhelming at first to go through everything. Start in one section of one room and work your way out from there rather than trying to multitask. Also, clean as you go--come armed with paper towels, furniture polish, trash bags, and rags--so you can reduce the amount of work you’ll have to do later.

It’s also important to think about new ways to keep prized possessions; for instance, if you have a lot of photo albums, consider condensing them all onto a thumb drive that you can use in a digital picture frame. This way, you can create space and look at all your photos at the same time.

Keep Track of Your Things

As you pack, write down each item on a piece of paper and, when the box is full, tape the paper to the outside so you can find things easily once you get to the new house. Keep like items together and stack the boxes in the room they were packed from after marking them with the section they go in.

Leave the Important Things for Last

Reserve a box just for your medications, toiletries, and other necessities which can be packed up last and keep these in the car with you rather than in the moving van or truck. Also, keep a box free for paper towels, trash bags, cleaners, hand soap, dishes, cups, utensils, napkins, and anything else you might need on the first day in the new place. This way, you won’t have to dig through several boxes to find those necessities.

Remember, making any move can bring up a lot of emotions and can take a toll on your mood, so try to de-stress as much as possible. Compare rates for movers. Designate family members or friends to help out as much as possible and take breaks often. Stay hydrated and keep several small snacks available throughout the day to help you stay motivated and energized.

*Jim Vogel created along with his wife after they became caregivers for their aging parents. The site is dedicated to promoting senior health and providing valuable information to seniors and their caregivers to help ensure our nation’s seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years.