The Dog Days of Moving

Real Estate

The Dog Days of Moving | Tips on Making Your Transition When You Have Pets


Unless you’ve already devoted your life to minimalism, packing up a home’s worth of belongings is a huge undertaking. When one or more of that home’s occupants come with four paws, it’s even more challenging. But moving with your dog does not have to be a daunting task. While we can’t promise you won’t be exhausted at the end of the day, the following tips can keep you from getting frustrated with your furry friend.

 Plan ahead for Fido’s care. Outsource your dog’s care for the 24 to 48 hours surrounding launch time. It’s important to keep your dog out of the way of movers, especially when they are loading the moving truck. also notes that having someone on hand to adequately exercise your dog may keep them from destructive behaviors. If you cannot find someone to keep him out from under foot, put him in his own room or in his crate. Make sure he has access to food and water and plenty of toys to keep his – and therefore your – stress levels low. 

 Keep things clean. One thing that’s even worse than having a pet when you’re trying to move is having a pet when you’re trying to sell a house. Whether you realize it or not, your dog may thwart your home sales efforts. Keep things clean and do whatever you can to eliminate your dog’s impact on your home. Modern Dog Magazine offers more information on cleaning when you have pets. 

 Move his stuff first. Before letting your lucky lab loose in your new home, make sure it is fully outfitted with familiar items. His bedding, food bowls, and favorite toys should be located in areas that he will frequent, including the living room and wherever he will sleep.

 Get him used to the car. The long road to your new home is a tough one to travel for a dog.  Take your dog for trips of increasing lengths in the days and weeks before departure. This will help them acclimate to the vehicle and will reduce the chances of his internal alarms going off come moving day.

 Create a survival box. Speaking of being in the car, you’ll need to put together a puppy moving pack to keep your pet safe and comfortable on the road. HireAHelper lists a leash and collar, dog food, bottled water, towels and blankets, puppy pads, a photo of your dog, toys, and treats among the items that you should keep on hand.

 Visit the vet. If your dog has been ill or is well past his prime, visit your veterinarian to ensure that he or she is well enough for travel and to obtain a certificate of health, which may be required if you’re moving across state lines. 

 Look for pet-friendly overnight accommodations. If your new home is more than a few hours’ drive of your current residence, it may be best to stop overnight so that you and your pet can have some downtime. Don’t leave it to chance – always call ahead to confirm your hotel allows dogs and ask them to verify weight or breed restrictions before booking. can help you find accommodations for your entire family. 

 With the right planning, and a positive mindset, you can make your moving day a stress-free zone, at least where your dog is concerned. But remember, he doesn’t know what’s going on and will likely exhibit signs of nervous curiosity. Be patient and know that undesirable behaviors such as barking, whining, and bathroom accidents are common when your dog is under stress. Stay in touch with his veterinarian and make sure to give him plenty of breaks. Soon, you will all be settled into your new home and can return to his much-appreciated and predictable schedule.