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Keeping Moving-Day Stress at a Minimum for You and Your Dog


    Keeping Moving-Day Stress at a Minimum for You and Your Dog. Moving doesn’t just cause stress and anxiety for humans; dogs also experience the same feelings. Whether you’re traveling across town or across the country, your dog may feel stressed and anxious because their surroundings – including sites, sounds, and smells – will be different. To help make moving day as smooth and stress-free as possible for your dog, which helps reduce your stress and anxiety too, follow some helpful tips for moving with a dog.




One of the first and most important steps is to double-check your dog’s collar. The collar should fit properly and have an ID tag with your name and current phone number. Also, ensure that the leash is secure. Consider microchipping your dog if you haven’t already done so. A few weeks prior to the move, discuss feeding recommendations with your vet to avoid carsickness and to refill any prescribed medications.


Once you start sorting and packing your items, your dog will know something is up. Your schedule may become busier as you work on packing, cleaning, working with your realtor, repairing things around the house, and scheduling visits from potential buyers. Try your best to stick to your dog’s routine despite your busier schedule. Maintain her mealtime and exercise regimen, and don’t forget to give her plenty of attention.


For long-distance moves, locate pet-friendly hotels along your route and reserve rooms ahead of time. If you’re flying, double check that there’s room for you dog before you purchase a ticket, be aware of the airline’s rules, and follow some tips to keep your dog as comfortable and safe as possible. If you hire movers, even pet-friendly ones, it’s important to let them know ahead of time that you have a dog and what you plan to do with your dog while they’re in the home. Ask about their policies on pets, and talk to them about how they should interact with your dog, especially if she’s temperamental.


Moving Day


Moving day is hectic, and the activities and sounds can be frightening for your dog. Stressed and anxious dogs are more likely to attempt to escape, which is why you should check dog’s collar, leash, and ID tag again on moving day. If you plan on keeping your dog in the home while the boxes and furniture are moved out, place her in a secure area, such as a closed room, until you are ready to put her in your car.


While you may think placing your dog in a boarding facility is a good idea, it can cause her even more stress. “Your dog knew something was up prior to the moving day, and now you are dropping them off somewhere and driving away,” warns iHeartDogs. Having your dog with you or with a familiar person is ideal so that they have plenty of attention and time for exercise, which will reduce her stress and anxiety. You can also hire a professional dog sitter to keep your dog company.


Some dog owners decide to purchase all new items for their dog to go in the new house; however, it’s important to hold off on replacing items until your dog is comfortable after the move. Bringing along her current bed, toys, and crate keeps some smells familiar in the new home, which helps ease some of her anxiety.




When transporting by car, keep small dogs in a secure, well-ventilated pet carrier. Larger dogs can be in a crate or in the backseat of the car. If kept inside the car, keep your dog leashed at all times. “The stress of a move can cause even the most obedient dog to run away in unfamiliar surroundings,” says American Humane. Never place any pet in the trunk of a car, storage area of a moving van, or open truck bed. For longer rides, provide frequent bathroom breaks and fresh water.


Moving can be stressful for dogs, which can lead to behavior issues that weren’t an issue before. Some dogs will also mimic their owner’s emotions. For example, if you feel anxious, your dog may be jumpy, or if you feel chaotic, she may feel insecure. Ensuring you’re as stress-free as possible during the move will affect your dog’s mood. Adequately preparing your dog for the move, finding a suitable place for her during the move, and properly transporting her will also help to alleviate your dog’s stress and anxiety.


Author: Cindy Aldridge (

Photo Credit: lentn9x, Pixabay

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