Updated: Jun 21, 2019
Buying a home is a huge milestone in anyone’s life, but a huge milestone can often create a stressful experience. This stress also causes negative emotions for what should be a positive experience. Planning can help reduce your stress, but in this case, you have to think about your dog as well. While not usually something to remember, a moving experience can stress your dog out just as much as it stresses you out.
There is a lot to consider when moving with a dog. In this article, we’ll share what to watch out for, so you and your dog are happy for moving day.
What should I look for in buying a dog-friendly home?
When looking for a home that can accommodate your dog, you need to think about your dog’s personality. If they prefer wide-open spaces, you’ll want a house with some land or a big backyard. If they don’t like loud noises (more so than usual, anyway), look for a quiet suburb or location where there’s not a lot of activity.
One of the most overlooked factors in finding dog-friendly homes is determining if an area is dog-friendly. Find out by driving around the area to see how many people are out walking dogs or if there are signs people there have dogs (dog houses, dog park, etc.)
How can I prepare for a stress-free move for me and my dog?
Once you’ve found a location that works for you and your dog, the next step is getting ready for the move. Your planning will change depending on how far away your new home is. If it’s a local move (in the same city or close to it), then the trip will be like a normal car ride to your dog — pack some snacks and water and you’re good to go.
If the move is long-distance, where you’ll be in the car for multiple hours, then plan for multiple stops. Pick a designated timeframe to stop (every 45 minutes, every 90 minutes, etc.) to give your dog time to stretch and explore the new area. This may help ease their nerves since they’ll get a break from the car, go to the bathroom, and play for a couple of minutes. This will add time to your commute, but it creates a better experience for you and your dog.
As you plan the logistics of your move, you may be considering movers. If you’ve got a skittish pup or one who is especially anxious about change, hiring professionals to move your belongings will enable you to devote more attention to your dog and other details associated with the move. When browsing for the right moving company, you should alert them to your dog’s presence, as many moving companies have requirements about pets on the premises.
What should I do on moving day?
There will be a lot going on during moving day, so you need to make your dog feel like it’s any other day. Put them outside while you pack everything, or keep them inside with a gate (so they’re not in the way where they could get hurt) with some of their favorite toys. It’s a way for them to pass the time and distract them from all the activity in your house.
When it comes time to get in the car and go, keep your dog with you. You want them to feel as safe as possible, so keeping your dog near you helps comfort them. If you have a dog that gets anxious/nervous, a weighted dog blanket (around $80 on Amazon) can calm them down.
What else do I need to remember?
As much as you can plan to have a normal routine for moving day, the routine will be different, and that can cause stress in your dog. Stressful and anxious dogs, even if they are trained, may have bathroom accidents. If you’re not able (or don’t have the time) to clean up the mess, you may need to hire carpet cleaning services. While it’s definitely an added expense, in these cases, it’s better to leave it to the professionals so you can focus on getting through the move.
Moving into a new home should be a fun experience for everyone — including your dog. So, plan ahead, expect some nervousness, and keep close to your dog so they feel comfortable and embrace their new surroundings.
Cindy Aldridge is passionate about dogs and pets and loves sharing her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner.