The Ultimate Guide To Moving When You Have Pets
Nature Animals

4 Ways To Prepare For A Move When You Have Pets

While you may love your furry friends, moving with them isn't too easy.


Moving is stressful even when everything goes as planned. Living in a space while you're packing it up takes a ton of time, and leaves you lost in the shuffle for a few weeks at least. Unfortunately, you're not alone in these stressful times, your dog will likely find the situation uncomfortable too. Minimize these feelings of anxiety with tips and suggestions from You Move Me for how to have a relatively peaceful moving process with your dog.

1. Set Up a Playdate with a Human Pal

No matter how much you love and adore your dog, there are just some things they're better off not being around for. Moving is one of them. No matter how well behaved and relaxed your dog is, moving is a stressful process and one that really doesn't lend well to a small (or large) furry friend milling about your home as it's slowly uprooted. In this case, your best bet is to find somewhere safe and quiet to leave them until the bulk of the furniture movement is done. A close friend who your dog is familiar with is a good candidate, although DoggyBnB is also a great option if nobody is available to lend you a hand.

I've also used a Groupon for discounted doggie daycare. The Phoenix Things To Do page has several options, some more than half off. If your dog is spending a few days with a friend, pack them an overnight bag with everything they'll need to not be a burden. To help ease the transition you can try medication, portioned out food, and leaving basic instructions about their routine and quirks, at least until you're ready to return for them.

2. Pre-plan Your Route for the Smoothest Ride

This plan only really works if you've got a good moving day schedule, and you aren't moving very far. But if things are more prolonged, and this move is long-distance, your dog preparations are going to need to change. If you plan on driving the distance on a road trip, you'll need to keep in mind your dog's needs for stops. It might slow your pace, as some dogs get restless inside of cars, and they'll need regular breaks to stretch their legs and use the bathroom (just like you do). Planning your route and making note of rest areas is key to your dog's comfort. Just remember to keep your dog on a leash at all times. This is both for your dog's safety, and to abide by whatever legal restrictions you may be passing through. If you're flying, you need to intimately familiarize yourself with how dogs are handled by the airline. Dogs going in with luggage is a horribly stressful experience and should be avoided.

3. Create a Familiar Space that Feels like Home

Moving in is going to be a process, for both you, your furniture, and your dog. The new location may be a new and exciting adventure, or if you have an anxious dog, a terrifying experience. Either way, eventually your dog will be expecting you to leave and head home, and that time won't come. You'll need to ease your dog back into some familiarity. Set up an area in your new place specifically for your dog. Put their bed, their toys, bowls, etcetera together in a single area. It will centralize your dog's comfort zone, which you can expand out later, preferably after you've unpacked and finalized all your furniture placement.

4. When You Update Your ID, Don't Forget the Pooch

If you are crossing state lines, you may want to update your dog's information too! Make sure their animal license and vaccination records are up-to-date and valid in your new location. Likewise, contact information on their collar or microchip should list your new address and phone number. You may have to find a new vet, so that should be on your priorities, in case anything goes wrong.

Like most things in life, all of this comes down to some foresight and planning. You're intimately aware of your dog's needs and anxieties, which makes you the best candidate to design a moving process that will cater specifically to them. Your dog will adjust to the new house or apartment, but it will take time. The best you can do is make a smooth transition into the new place and provide the opportunity for your dog to follow in kind. With these directions, you'll be set for success no matter where you're going.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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