Moving house top tips: Keeping your dog safe and stress free

Moving House With Dog

Moving house can be one of the most hectic times in your life. The days leading up to, and immediately after, your move can be stressful for everyone in the family including your dog. All your dog has known and become familiar with, in terms of household objects and smells, changes dramatically and it is not surprising that our four-legged friends can become stressed.

Before the Move:

  • Update your dog’s microchip information to ensure a speedy reunion with your dog should they escape or get lost. In addition have an updated collar tag with your new details at the ready.
  • Inform your pet insurance provider of your new address.
  • If you are moving a fair distance, look up your nearest Vetsure vet practice. Vetsure vets allow you to register your dog online so you can do this prior to your move. Note down their telephone number (just in case)!
  • Look up dog walks in your new area so you can settle your dog back into their route as quickly as possible after moving day.
  • If your dog does not travel well in the car try to get them used to it in advance.
  • If your dog suffers from car sickness there are treatments that can be prescribed by your vet to help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Buy a new toy or chew to keep your dog entertained once you arrive in your new house.
  • You may wish to consider placing your dog in a boarding kennel or with a friend or family member for the duration of the move, collecting them when everything is unpacked and order is restored.
  • If you intend boarding your dog, their vaccinations and worming will need to be up to date – contact your vet if you are unsure.
  • There are anxiety-reducing collars, drops and sprays and also diffusers that you can start to use a few weeks before you move with your dog. Speak to your vet to get advice and to pick up the appropriate products.

Moving Day:

  • If you are not putting your friend in a boarding kennel then dedicate one member of the family to be solely responsible for your dog on the day of the move.
  • Find the time to take them for a long walk to relieve the stress of both you and them.
  • Try to keep their routine the same e.g. feed them (however: do not feed them immediately before travelling) and walk them at the same time on the day of the move.
  • If it is safe to do so – put your dog in one room with all doors and windows closed early on the day of the move, so that you know your dog is safe. Let everyone know which room the dog is in – the front door will be left open so keep them from straying!
  • Ensure your dog is safely behind a dog guard or in a crate whilst travelling or use a canine harness and make sure the car is well ventilated.
  • If you are travelling a long distance make sure you take plenty of breaks for your dog to have some water and stretch their legs.
  • When you arrive make sure your new garden is ‘dog proof’ and free from any possible escape routes before letting them explore.

 After the Move

  • Settle back in the same routine when you’re in your new home so your dog starts to feel at ease.
  • Put their bed and toys in a quiet corner in your new home so they can have the comfort of a familiar scent – don’t take the move as an opportunity to wash their bed and/or toys.
  • Give them a new activity toy to keep them entertained in their new surroundings.
  • Introduce your dog to your new neighbours and post man!

Some dogs need space whereas some like extra attention – it is best to follow your friend’s lead, but should you become concerned about your beloved pet, speak to your vet who may be able to discuss medical options to help ease the stress for your dog over this time.

Dogs are so in tune with their owner’s feelings they often pick up on our moods, therefore, try to keep calm yourself throughout the whole process.

Download your “Moving House: Dog to do List