Moving With Dogs

Here’s Why Moving with a Dog Does Not Have to Be Stressful

 Thank you to Cindy Aldridge for writing this article

Dog owners are not immune to the cosmic forces which cause a move. Whether you have a new job or found the home of your dreams, moving is an inevitability for many. And, for dog owners, decisions regarding the move must be made with the pooch in mind. Fortunately, much has been written from experiences which can help immensely in making the move less stressful on you and your furry pal.


Let the Movers Know: I Am a Dog Owner


Movers do the heavy lifting, and courteous dog owners should take the time to alert the moving company to the fact that you have a dog. Even if your dog’s temperament is one of eternal sunshine, it’s best to let the movers know that you have a dog, as some companies have dog-related policies intended to limit liability.


Movers should be given freedom to roam when it comes time to move heavy objects. Your dog, whether excited, confused, or experiencing some other range of emotions due to the movers trouncing around your home, will likely get in the way more than once. For this reason, Modern Dog recommends that the dog be kept completely off premises during the actual moving period.


While keeping the dog with a friend or a boarding service for the day is wise, some may find it adequate to keep the dog in a separate room, take it to the park, or in your arms while the movers are on premises.


Keep the Essentials on Hand


The upheaval central to any move means many items will be stashed away in boxes which are quickly lost in a sea of cardboard. For this reason, it is important that you identify and keep handy essential items necessary to both you and your dog as you move.


Obviously, your wallet or purse – including cash for unforeseen costs and the movers’ tip – are to be kept near you. Chargers for your phone and computer are also wise to keep near, and paperwork which you will need in relation to the move should be kept on hand. Lastly, important medications and other personal care items should not be left in the U-Haul, as you will likely need them sooner than the movers can guarantee.


With respect to your dog, its food, chow and water bowls, any medications, a collar and leash, and a few toys represent the most essential items. You may also want to keep its bed and/or crate in your vehicle, as you may need to provide a sleeping surface before the movers arrive at your new property.


For a complete list of the items you should keep on hand, check out this moving day survival guide.


Maintaining a Routine


After you have arranged movers, met with property managers, and signed the necessary paperwork, much of your stress relief will arise from keeping your dog happy. I Heart Dogs suggests that owners maintain a consistent feeding schedule amidst the moving madness.


In addition, the day should not be without play or walks. As mentioned, the movers’ arrival at your home could signal the ideal time to take a long walk or a trip to the park, which will distract you and your dog from the surrounding sense of moving-induced uncertainty. Keeping a few of your dog’s most beloved toys can help it to relax and feel a sense of normalcy, whether you deploy their services at the park or at home.


The ASPCA recommends that you set up some familiar sites – the dog’s bed, its water and food bowls, etc. – before introducing your pup to the new home. Dogs can be easily overwhelmed by new surroundings, so introducing them to one room at a time may be best for more skittish hounds. Establishing an outdoor bathroom location early and often can help avoid the need for too much re-potty-training.




Moving is stressful, there is no way around that fact. Moving with a dog, for most, is even more overwhelming. However, with a bit of foresight, planning, and effort, the uncertain variables of a move can be minimized as much as possible. If you keep the dog at a healthy distance from movers, establish some sense of consistency amidst the upheaval, and introduce your dog to its new home gradually, the day should breeze by before you even know it.

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