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The Happy Courier & Removals People

Moving house can be a stressful experience for everyone involved, including our furry friends. Dogs, like humans, can feel the anxiety and confusion associated with a change in their living environment. This article will guide you through the process of How to Prepare Your Dog for Moving House, ensuring a smooth transition for your canine companion.

Understanding Your Dog’s Perspective on Moving

Moving to a new home is not just a physical transition; it’s a significant change in your dog’s environment, which can be challenging for them to understand and adapt to. Dogs are creatures of habit, and a sudden shift in their surroundings can lead to stress and anxiety. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s essential to view the moving process from your dog’s perspective.

Recognising Stress Signals in Dogs

Understanding the signs of stress in dogs is the first step in easing their moving experience. Signs of stress can include:

The Importance of Routine for Dogs

Dogs find comfort and security in routine. A consistent schedule for meals, walks, and playtime can significantly mitigate the stress associated with moving. Here are some ways to maintain routine:

Preparing Your Dog for Change

Gradually prepare your dog for the upcoming change:

Emotional Support and Assurance

Dogs are sensitive to their owner’s emotions. Maintaining a calm and positive demeanour can reassure your dog. Regular affection and reassurance will help your dog understand that despite the changes, the bond and love you share remain constant.

By understanding your dog’s perspective and emotional needs during a move, you can significantly reduce their stress and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.

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Pre-Move Preparations for Your Dog

Preparing your dog for a move requires thoughtful planning and execution to ensure their comfort and safety. Here are essential steps to take in the weeks leading up to your move:

  1. Update Identification: Update your dog’s microchip information and tags with your new address and contact details. This step is crucial in case your dog gets lost during the moving process.
  2. Create a Safe Space: Start by designating a quiet area in your current home where your dog can retreat to when the moving chaos becomes overwhelming. This space should include their bed, favourite toys, and water bowl.
  3. Acclimatise to Travel: If your dog isn’t used to car travel, take them on short drives to get them accustomed to being in a vehicle. If you’re moving a long distance, practice longer trips.
  4. Packing Strategy: Pack your dog’s belongings last so that they have familiar items around as long as possible. When you arrive at your new home, these items can be unpacked first to help your dog feel more at ease.
  5. Familiarise with New Rules and Layout: If there will be new rules or a different layout in the new home (like no dogs on couches or a different sleeping area), start introducing these changes gradually before the move.
  6. Prepare an Overnight Bag: Pack an easily accessible overnight bag for your dog that includes food, water, bowls, lead, waste bags, grooming supplies, medication, and a familiar toy or blanket. This bag will cover your dog’s needs during the transition and the first few days at the new home.
  7. Plan for Moving Day: Decide in advance how your dog will be managed on moving day. Consider having them stay with a friend or in a doggy daycare to keep them safe and reduce their stress.
  8. Safety Measures in the New Home: Before letting your dog explore the new home, ensure it’s safe: check for any toxic plants, secure windows and doors, and block off any dangerous areas.
  9. Create a Familiar Environment: When you arrive, set up a space for your dog similar to their safe space in your old home. This familiarity will provide comfort in a new environment.

Settling into the New Home with Your Dog

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, helping your dog settle in is a critical part of the moving process. Here are key steps to ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend:

  1. Establish a Routine Quickly: Dogs thrive on routine. Try to establish a regular schedule for feeding, walks, and bedtime as soon as possible. This consistency provides a sense of security and helps your dog adjust faster.
  2. Explore Together: Allow your dog to explore the new home, but do it gradually and under supervision. Start with one room, then slowly introduce them to other parts of the house. This method prevents overwhelming your dog with too much new information at once.
  3. Set Up a Familiar Space: Immediately set up an area for your dog that closely resembles their space in the old home. Use their familiar bed, toys, and bowls. This familiarity can be comforting in a new environment.
  4. Safe Outdoor Introduction: Introduce your dog to the new garden or outdoor space slowly and always on a leash at first. This precaution ensures they don’t run away or get into a dangerous situation in an unfamiliar area.
  5. Maintain Calm and Positive Energy: Your dog can pick up on your emotions. Staying calm and positive can significantly influence how your dog perceives the new environment.
  6. Keep Close Watch: Pay extra attention to your dog’s behavior and mood in the first few weeks. Look out for signs of stress or anxiety and address them promptly.
  7. Introduce New Rules Gradually: If there are new rules for your dog in the new home, introduce them gradually. Reward compliance with treats and praise to reinforce good behavior.
  8. Neighbourhood Walks: Regular walks in the neighbourhood can help your dog become familiar with the new sights, sounds, and smells. Keep them on a leash initially for safety and control.
  9. Patience and Affection: Change can be hard for dogs. Show extra affection and patience as they adjust. If you notice persistent signs of stress or behavioral issues, consult a vet or a professional dog trainer.

Settling into a new home is a process that can take time for your dog. By providing a familiar, stable, and loving environment, you can help your dog adapt more comfortably and quickly to their new surroundings.


Moving house with a dog requires careful planning and consideration. By understanding your dog’s needs and maintaining a sense of routine and safety, you can make the transition as stress-free as possible for your four-legged family member.


How can I tell if my dog is stressed about moving?

Signs of stress in dogs can include changes in appetite, excessive panting or drooling, increased restlessness or lethargy, more frequent barking or whining, and changes in toilet habits. You might also notice your dog hiding more or being clingier than usual. Pay attention to these behavioural changes, as they are often indicators of stress or anxiety in dogs.

How should I handle my dog on moving day?

On moving day, the best approach is to keep your dog away from the chaos. This could mean confining them to a quiet room in your old house (if possible), having them stay with a friend or neighbour, or boarding them at a kennel for the day. Ensure they have familiar items with them, like their bed, toys, and water bowl. Also, maintain their regular feeding schedule to provide some normalcy.

How should I handle my dog on moving day?

On moving day, the best approach is to keep your dog away from the chaos. This could mean confining them to a quiet room in your old house (if possible), having them stay with a friend or neighbour, or boarding them at a kennel for the day. Ensure they have familiar items with them, like their bed, toys, and water bowl. Also, maintain their regular feeding schedule to provide some normalcy.

What are the best ways to help my dog settle in the new home?

To help your dog settle in, establish a routine quickly, create a familiar space with their bed and toys, and introduce them gradually to different areas of the house. Keep walks consistent and explore the new neighbourhood together. Provide lots of affection and positive reinforcement to make them feel secure. Keeping a calm demeanour yourself can also help your dog feel more relaxed in their new environment.

When should I seek professional help for my dog’s post-move adjustment?

If you notice prolonged signs of stress, such as persistent changes in eating habits, aggressive behaviour, prolonged lethargy, or any other significant changes in behaviour that don’t improve with time and your efforts, it’s advisable to seek professional help. A veterinarian can rule out any medical issues, and a professional dog trainer or animal behaviourist can provide targeted strategies for easing your dog’s anxiety and helping them adjust to their new home.

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