Moving With Your Dog

Moving your household is always stressful.  You have to get everything packed, then the movers come, and then you have to unpack everything.  As stressful as it is for you, it is even more stressful to your dog.  He doesn’t understand why these people are taking things from his house and he is confused when he is transported to a new house in a new neighborhood.  Here are four tips for moving successfully with your dog and as little trauma as possible.

  1. ID your dog. You should make sure that your dog is microchipped before you start moving.  Dogs are significantly more likely to be found and returned home when they have been microchipped than when they have not.  Veterinarians and shelters have a microchip reader and can help get your dog home.  Good Samaritans who find your dog, however, will not have a microchip reader and so the dog should have a name tag on his collar with his name and your cell phone number.  If your dog does get lost, notify your veterinarian and shelters in need your old home and near where the dog got lost.
  2. Health needs. If your dog has a health condition requiring medicine, make sure you have enough to last about two weeks after your move.  Keep at least a two week supply of dog food with you when you move as well.  This way, if your things are delayed in transit, the dog will still have his medicine and the food he is accustomed to.  Sudden changes in food can cause upset tummies, and so can stress. By feeding him the food he is used to, you can help avoid upset tummies.  Make sure you carry his water bowl and food bowl with you, too, and a toy or two to make the new house more fun.
  3. Packing and loading. Dogs like to chew on boxes, paper, and bubble wrap.  These are not good for the dog and if he swallows the bubble wrap, you will have a very sick dog.  To avoid this, keep the dog confined in a room away from where you are packing.  On moving day, put the dog in the bathroom with food and water and put a note on the outside of the door telling the movers that the dog is there and to keep the door closed.  That way, the dog will not slip out while the movers are going in and out of the house.
  4. Traveling to your new home. When it is time to leave the old house, put your dog in your vehicle just before you leave.  If you are driving the moving truck, keep the dog in the cab of the truck.  Never transport your dog in the back of the truck.  He could get sick or injured or exposed to temperatures that are high enough to make him sick or even kill him.  During the move, never leave your dog in the car when you are not there with him.  Cars heat up fast, especially in the summer, and the high temperature can kill your dog.

Take breaks every two hours or so and let your dog go potty.  Remember to always keep your dog leased so he doesn’t get lost. Even very well trained dogs can dash off in the excitement of the moment.

When you get to your new home, confine your pet to the bathroom with food and water until everything is moved in.  Once the door stops opening and closing and it is safe to let  your dog out, then he will be a little confused at first.  The new house will smell different, but the scent of your belongings will help ease the transition to the new house.