Moving House with a Dog – All You Need to Know

Moving house is not stressful just for you. Your dog will be as twice stressed as you, even if it's the calmest dog in the world. And we are talking about the whole process – from the very beginning with the packing to the end in your new home. Don't take our word for granted, check out that real and funny story by Allie Brosh.




If you want to minimize the stress of your dog – follow these tips, so your house moving with a dog is easier and safer.

How to move house with a dog – tips and preparation.

  • While you are packing for the moving your dog(s) may become anxious and distressed. The best thing you can do is to leave him in a quiet room. That way he can rest and you won’t be worried about him.
  • If your dog can’t travel good – start taking it with you in your car for a while before moving. This way he’ll get used to it and won’t be stressed as much during the move.
  • Try to keep his daily routine as normal as possible while you are preparing for the move (walks, food, etc…).
  • Don’t be in a hurry to pack his things (toys, bedding, dog dish). Held them to the last moment, so he is comforted as much as possible.
  • Don’t wash his bedding for a while, even when you arrive at your new place. The smell of it will be the only familiar smell In the new house, and will help him to adapt faster and easier.
  • If it’s possible – arrange some place for your dog to stay during the move (friends, neighbours). That way he’ll be safer and calmer. Not to mention you will have one thing less to worry about, so you’ll be able to concentrate on the move. If there is no one available – it’s always an option to leave it with some professional caretakers.
  • Prepare new tag for your dog, with your new phone and address. Put it on him on the moving day. If you don’t have such tag you can check out www.thekennelclubshop.org.uk for more information.
  • It’s recommended that your dog is registered with Petlog and micro-chipped. If it’s not yet – think about that option, and if it is already – don’t forget to change the detail of the microchip. For more information visit www.petlog.org.uk.
  • If your new home is far from your vet you could think of searching a new one in your new area.
  • Try to research your new neighbourhood early, so when you move in you’ll know some walking paths already and you can get your dog in a new routine as quickly as possible.

What to do with your dog during the move?

  • If your dog is staying with you during the move – put him into a quiet empty room. Leave his familiar accessories and his unwashed bed, so it feels comfortable. It may seem a bit harsh to isolate him like that, but this will prevent escape and possible injuries.
  • Put the new identification tag on your dog’s collar.
  • Make sure your dog is secured safely in your car/vehicle. The best way to transport it is with dog
    guard, car harness or travel crate on the back seat.
  • If you are moving abroad – don’t forget to make stops for a toilet, water and food breaks during the trip.
  • Make sure the car is ventilated well. Never leave your dog alone in the car with closed windows in very hot or cold days.

If you will be leaving the UK, make sure to research laws and restrictions about pets and dogs.

Symptoms of anxiety in your dog.

Your dog might look around anxiously and sniff everything. If the ears are flat on their head, the tail is tucked, it steps around carefully, these are sure signs that your pet is feeling uncomfortable in the new territory.

Here are the most common signals of your dog having issues with the moving:

  • Lower activity than usual
  • Tucked tail
  • Withdrawal and hiding
  • Trembling

Keep in mind that your dog can also pick up your anxiety. If you are anxious or nervous, the dog can pick up on that and start experiencing the anxiety as well.

So to prevent this from happening, you should be calm as well.

There's also the possibility that the dog starts doing his business inside of your new home, to mark its territory. Be on the lookout for such behaviour.


Check out our MOVING CHECKLIST.

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What to do when you move house with a dog?

  1. Find a new vet ASAP. Do not wait until there's a problem or an injury. Research good vets in the area and take your dog to meet the new vet.
  2. Research local laws concerning dogs, breeds, vaccinations, etc.
  3. Research local parks that allow dogs. Whether you've decided to move to the countryside or the big city, you should find a place where your dog will be free to run and play without a leash. Inform yourself if the grass areas are sprayed against fleas and ticks, as it's important to keep your dog safe.
  4. When you're already settled in your new home, do everything you can to maintain your dog's same routine as before. At least at the very beginning after your move.

How to deal with dog anxiety after moving house?

  • When you arrive at your new home keep your dog in one room, with all of his items and his unwashed bed while your furniture and belongings arrive.
  • If you have a garden where your dog will play – check carefully if there are holes and routes that your dog might find an escape.
  • Introduce your dog to your neighbours, the postman/milkman and every person he would see often.
  • Think about buying a GPS tracking collar or at least renting one for a few weeks, until your dog becomes familiar with the new place.
  • Try to stick to your old routines for walking, and feeding. This may be hard for you, as you have a brand new home to take care of, but it will help your dog to settle easier.
  • Be patient with your dog in the new house. He will probably make some accidents on the carpet and make some mess. Don’t punish him or make a fuss, as it’s because of the new surroundings. Give him rewards when he does his job in the right place. Once your dog settle in the new house – he will stop the β€œaccidents”.
  • Take out furniture that’s been used by another dog. Its smell might make your dog anxious and restless. Sofa collection or any other type of furniture pick and delivery service is a great option for people who want to get rid of old furniture and deliver it to a charity. Strong Move can helpΒ you with this.

Image credit: mbtrama


After all, the question "how to move with a dog" has one certain answer - be prepared for everything! The moving house with your dog might have a great effect on its behaviour. So, make sure to create a plan and to follow it strictly. Keep calm for yours and your dog's sake during the whole process.

Read also: How to move house with a cat?

If you own a removals business, you should be informed about the specifications of how moving is done not just with dogs but with things such as fine art, fragile items and more. Before you get into these details, read carefully the things you need to do when starting a man and van business.


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