17 ways to make moving with dogs easier

by | May 23, 2024 | Moving, Moving Guides

Moving home is stressful enough, but moving home with dogs adds a whole new set of complications.

Here are our top tips to make moving with dogs easier. Are you looking for more help when you move? Check out our complete moving home checklist or use the link below to sign up for our free utility set-up service.

Is moving stressful for dogs?

In short – yes. Moving is one of the most stressful life events for humans, and the same is true for dogs!

Dogs are usually territorial, and the move to a new area can be disorientating. They also tend to stick to routines, which are disrupted by the new environment.

Even more than this, dogs are sensitive to the emotions and body language of the people around them. If you are stressed by your move, your dog will pick up on it.

That means one of the best ways to make moving with dogs less stressful for both of you is to keep as calm as possible.

Essential Tips for Moving with Dogs

Ahead of your move 📦

  1. If you’re using a dog crate, introduce your dog to it a few weeks ahead of the move so they have time to get used to it.
  2. Leave out packing supplies like boxes, tape and bubble wrap. Give your dog a few days to explore and get used to these new items before they appear en masse.
  3. We recommend packing a day one bag with the essentials you’ll need right away – including your dog’s food and water bowls, lead, favourite toy and anything else they use every day so you can access it right away.
  4. Let your pet insurance provider know that you’re moving, and your new address. This means there’ll be no breaks in your coverage.
  5. Update the details on your dog’s microchip and collar with your new address and current phone number just ahead of the move.
  6. Don’t buy a new dog bed for your new home – at least at first. The smell of your old home will be important for helping your dog stay settled in your new home.


Moving day with dogs 🚛

  1. Nominate one person to be responsible for taking care of the dogs during the move. This helps make sure they don’t get overlooked at any point.
  2. Moving day means a lot of new people coming and going – keep your dog in one cleared-out room until it’s time to leave.
  3. Take your dog on a long walk the day before or in the morning morning to help them stay settled. Then, take them on another walk after you arrive to burn off some anxious energy and explore the area.
  4. Try not to disrupt your normal feeding schedule too much, but avoid feeding them right before you travel to avoid nausea.
  5. If you’re travelling further to your new home, break the journey. Give your dog a chance to stretch their legs and drink some water.
  6. Never leave your dog alone in your vehicle.


Helping your dog settle in 🏡

  1. Don’t leave your dog home alone for the first few days. This will help them understand that this is your new home together and you won’t be leaving them.
  2. Closely inspect your new garden. Look for holes in fences, potentially toxic plants and hazards like ponds. Fix any issues before letting your dog out into the garden.
  3. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible when you arrive at the new house, with feeding and walks at the same time as before.
  4. Consider keeping your dog on the lead for the first few walks in the new area. With so many new things to see (and smell) even well-trained dogs might struggle with recall.
  5. Register with a local vet. You can even do this before you move, but if you want to visit in person then make this a priority in your first few days. In an unfamiliar environment and with lots going on your pet faces a higher risk of accident and injury.


Two people packing moving boxes with a dog in the front right of the photo.

Dogs are sensitive to the emotions and body language of the people around them. If you are stressed by your move, your dog will pick up on it!


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