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Moving House with a Dog: Essential Tips for Success

From One Home to Another: Moving House with Your Dog

Moving to a new home can be stressful for everyone, including your furry companion. Dogs are creatures of habit, and the sudden change in their environment can be overwhelming. However, proper preparation and patience can help make the transition smoother. In this blog post, we will discuss some essential tips on preparing them for the move, coping strategies on moving day, and helping them adjust to their new home. We will also delve into the importance of patience and understanding during this transition period and answer the question: How long does it take for a dog to adjust to a new home? Keep reading to ensure you and your furry friend can comfortably move to your new abode.

Preparing Your Furry Friend for the Move

Preparing Them for the Move:

Before the big day arrives, there are a few things you can do to ensure your dog is prepared for the move. First, familiarise them with the packing materials. Introduce them to boxes, bubble wrap, and tape calmly and positively to reduce any anxiety they may feel.

As you start packing up your home, create a comfortable space amidst the chaos. Please set up a designated area where they can relax and feel safe. Place their bed, toys, and familiar items in this space to give them a sense of security.

When it comes to the journey to the new home, it's essential to prepare your dog in advance. Consider plugging in a diffuser, applying some bedding spray to their bed or giving some calming tablets at least 24 hours before any changes begin, including packing. This can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Moving day can be overwhelming for your furry friend. Help them cope by keeping their routine as normal as possible. Time their meals and walks strategically to minimise disruptions and provide a smoother transition to the new location.

Familiarising Your Dog with Packing Materials

To familiarise your dog with packing materials, it's essential to introduce them gradually. Start by allowing your dog to explore and sniff the materials at their own pace. Use positive reinforcement to create a positive association between the packing materials and enjoyable experiences for your dog. You can even incorporate the materials into playtime to make it fun for them. Additionally, provide your dog with a safe space away from the packing materials if needed; this will help them feel more comfortable during the moving process. By taking these steps, you can help your dog adjust to the new place and reduce any potential anxiety they may have.

Creating a Comfortable Space Amidst Packing

Creating a comfortable space for your dog during the chaotic packing process is essential. Set up a designated area with their bed, water bowls and favourite toys. This familiar space will be their safe place amidst the hustle and bustle. Consider using a pheromone diffuser to create a calming environment for your dog. Spend quality time with them in this space, reassuring them with your presence and love. To minimise stress, try to keep their routine as consistent as possible. Avoid disruptions and loud noises in their designated area to create a peaceful atmosphere. By prioritising their comfort, you can help your furry friend navigate the challenges of moving house with greater ease.

Preparing for the Journey to the New Home

When moving to a new place with your dog, taking specific steps to ensure their safety and comfort throughout the journey is essential. Start by ensuring your dog wears its collar with updated contact details in case they get separated during the move. Pack important items like food, water, and medications to ensure your dog's needs are cared for during the trip. Consider using a booster seat, dog carrier or car harness with Isofix seatbelt to keep your dog secure and prevent them from moving around too much during travel. Bringing familiar items from your old home, such as their bed or favourite toys, can provide comfort and familiarity during the journey. You can also try tablets for pet travel. 

Additionally, schedule regular breaks for bathroom breaks and playtime, especially during long trips. This will help your dog stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and burn off some energy. By taking these steps, you can help make the journey to your new home as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Coping Strategies on the Moving Day

During the moving day, you must employ coping strategies to help your dog navigate the stress and chaos. Consider calming measures such as pheromone diffusers or natural remedies to create a soothing environment. Stick to your dog's regular meal and walk schedule to provide a sense of familiarity and routine. Offer reassurance and comfort by staying calm and providing physical affection. Additionally, create a safe space for your furry friend amidst the chaos, where they can retreat when overwhelmed. If possible, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to watch your dog during the move, ensuring their safety and well-being.

Calming Measures

When moving to a new place with your dog, keeping them calm and comfortable throughout the process is essential. One way to create a calming environment is by using pheromone diffusers. These diffusers release synthetic pheromones that mimic the natural scent of a dog's mother, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Another option is to try natural remedies such as lavender or chamomile, which have calming properties that can help relax your dog. Providing your dog with a familiar bed or blanket can also offer them a sense of security and comfort during the transition. Calming activities like gentle massages or soothing music can further promote relaxation. Petlife also make the KarmaWrap which is fantastic calming product. Lastly, remember to give your dog plenty of reassurance and affection throughout the moving process to help them feel safe and loved in their new environment.

Timing Their Meals and Walks on Moving Day

To ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend during the hectic moving process, it's essential to consider the timing of your dog's meals and walks on a moving day. Stick to their regular feeding schedule as much as possible to maintain a sense of familiarity amidst all the changes. Plan walks strategically, allowing your dog to get some exercise and enjoy a break from the moving chaos. However, avoid feeding them too close to travel time to prevent travel sickness. During mealtime and walks on a moving day, offer reassurance and comfort to alleviate any anxiety they may be experiencing. Additionally, make sure water bowls are easily accessible to keep hydrated throughout the day. Considering these timing factors, you can help your dog feel more at ease when transitioning to your new location.

Helping Them Settle into Your New Home

Maintaining regular routines and schedules ensures your dog's comfort when transitioning to a new place. Please set up a familiar space in the new home with their bed, toys, and belongings to create a safe place for them. Introduce them to the new surroundings gradually, allowing them to explore and familiarise themselves with their new address. Taking your dog on a good walk around the new location can help them acclimate to their new neighbourhood. Providing enrichment activities and playtime will stimulate your dog and help prevent any separation anxiety they may experience. Patience and understanding are key as your dog adjusts to their new home.

Maintaining Regular Routines and Schedules

Maintaining regular routines and schedules is crucial when moving to a new place with your dog. Stick to their familiar feeding, walking, and sleeping schedule to provide a sense of stability and normalcy during this transition. Consistency in playtime and exercise is also essential as it helps structure your dog's day and maintains its physical and mental well-being. Creating a routine that includes quality time and interaction with your dog strengthens your bond and helps them feel secure in their new surroundings. Remember to establish designated potty areas to maintain familiarity with bathroom routines and incorporate training sessions into their daily routines to provide mental stimulation. Maintaining these regular routines and schedules can help your dog adjust to their new location more smoothly.

Setting Up a Familiar Space in the New Home

Upon arrival at your new place, keeping your dog secure is essential until you've sorted out one room in the new house. Create a safe and comfortable area by setting up their bed and belongings. Consider using a pheromone diffuser in the new space to establish a sense of familiarity. Make the transition easier by providing their favourite toys and blankets. Ensure they have access to water and food in their designated spot. Spending time with your dog in their new space and reassuring them will help them feel secure.

The Importance of Patience and Understanding in the Transition Process

During the transition process, giving your dog the time to adjust to its new environment is vital. Understand that behavioural changes may occur during this period, and it's essential to be patient and provide reassurance to ease their anxiety. Creating a safe space in the new home can help them feel secure. Consider using pheromone diffusers to promote a sense of familiarity and comfort. Additionally, it's a good idea to avoid leaving your dog alone in the new home for extended periods, especially in the first few days, as it gives them time to acclimate with you present. You can help your furry friend navigate the transition successfully by practising patience and understanding.

What Changes Can You Expect in Your Dog's Behaviour?

During the transition, your dog may experience stress or anxiety, leading to increased vocalisation or restlessness. They might struggle with eating or sleeping in the new environment. Temporary regression in potty training and clinginess towards you are also common. Some dogs may exhibit destructive behaviour due to stress.

Last but not least! Update address and Vet details

Make sure Microchips, collars and harness ID tags are updated with your new address to ensure your dog's safety. Familiarising yourself with the nearest veterinary clinic in your new area and registering your dog there if needed is also recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Adjust to a New Home?

On average, it takes a dog about 2-4 weeks to adjust to a new home. However, this can vary depending on the dog's age, temperament, and past experiences. Consistency, routine, gradual introductions, and mental/physical stimulation are vital in helping your dog adapt to their new environment.

How can I keep my dog safe during the move itself?

To keep your dog safe during the move:

  1. Create a secure area away from the movers.
  2. Ensure your dog wears identification tags, and consider using a dog harness or carrier for transportation.
  3. Allow your dog time to adjust to the new surroundings and establish a routine.

Should I hire a pet-friendly moving company?

Hiring a pet-friendly moving company can make the process less stressful for you and your dog. These companies have experience handling pets during a move, so they know how to ensure their safety and comfort. Inform the company about your dog's needs, such as medication or specific care. Researching and reading reviews from other pet parents who have used the moving company's services is also helpful.

What types of natural remedies are recommended for calming dogs during the move?

Several natural remedies can help calm your dog during the move. One popular option is using pheromone sprays or diffusers, such as from Pet Remedy, which emit synthetic calming hormones to create a sense of security for your dog. Another natural remedy is a CBD oil, which you can dilute with water and spray in the air or on your dog's bedding. Additionally, you can give your dog chamomile or valerian root supplements, which have calming properties. It's essential to consult your veterinarian before using any natural remedies to ensure they are safe for your furry friend.


Moving can be a stressful experience for both you and your furry friend. However, you can help them adjust to their new home smoothly with proper preparation, patience, and understanding. Remember to familiarise your dog with the packing materials and create a comfortable, safe space amidst the chaos of packing. On a moving day, implement calming measures like pheromone diffusers, time their meals, and walk accordingly. Once you arrive at your new home, maintain regular routines and set up a familiar space. Be patient and understanding, as they may exhibit changes in behaviour during the transition process. It may take some time for your dog to adjust to their new environment fully, but with love and care, they will soon feel at home in their new surroundings.

Have you got a question about your dog? Ask our Very Important Pets experts. Our veterinary nurses are an email away to answer any questions you may have about the care of dogs, including information on common problems such as fleas, worms and urinary tract infections.

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