Tips & Training
5 Tips for Moving with a Dog
Pet lifestyle expert Serena Faber-Nelson is the founder of Pretty Fluffy. A contributor to Everyday with Rachael Ray, Modern Dog Magazine, Cesars Way and more; her modern, stylized take on DIY dog treats has seen her recipes viewed millions of times over.
Serena is the author of the go-to dog mom bible, Dog Mama, and the popular dog treat recipe book, Healthy Homemade Dog Treats.
Let’s be honest, moving can be one of the most stressful times of your life – And it can also cause a lot of stress for your dog as well. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a person who just adores the moving process, but it doesn’t have to be the pits either!
I have moved several times with little Coco Bean by my side and I have gathered up my top 5 tips to help make moving with a dog a little easier on everyone. All dogs have their own personality and quirks and can react differently to moving, but I hope these tips can be of some help!
Safety First – Moving means digging those long lost items out of storage and emptying out all your cupboards and cabinets – This also means total Disney World for most dogs, and their curiosity will more than likely kick in. It is super easy to forget that some of these items can be potentially hazardous if your dog were to get ahold of them, they could also be items you simply don’t want torn to shreds. Remembering to sift through and keep those items out of reach can save you many headaches and most importantly prevent your dog from any potential danger.
Loading and unloading items between your home and a moving truck means that front door is going to be open numerous times and more chances for your dog to escape. Make sure the pupster is always in a safe spot indoors and wearing his or her collar and ID tag. The only thing that can be more stressful than moving is moving while also trying to find your lost dog.
Make it a Positive Experience – It is easy to get frustrated when tensions are high, to-do lists are full, the house is a chaotic mess, you haven’t had a moments rest, and your dog is at your feet wondering what on earth is going on. I know it is easy to say, but it will help you and your dog out so much by making it a positive experience. Keep it fun!
During any move I always try to talk positively to Coco, whether she is sitting next to me while packing, or watching me like a hawk as I clean out the fridge. It might sound silly, but having conversations with your pet is very therapeutic for the both of you. Also, rewarding their good behavior will make them feel like part of the team. Ex: Your dog waited patiently in a safe zone while you moved furniture – Reward them with either kisses, a belly rub, positive talking, a toy, or a treat.
Keep it Familiar – Your home being a chaotic land of piles and boxes or traveling across the country can really stress a dog out. Keeping their space familiar can help ease their worries. All dogs are different, but Coco always feels better when she has a toy and her blanket by her side at all times during a move. We keep it in the living room while we are packing, in the car during the move, and finally in the new living room when we get there. Even just setting her carrier with our suit cases makes her feel better. It’s like a little sign that she is coming with us. Using an item your dog finds familiar might be a huge help during your move as well!
Stick with the Routine – Well, as best as you can that is. I know how time can really get away from you during packing, hauling items to the truck, traveling, unloading and reorganizing. It’s a huge process, but the more you are able to stick to your dog’s routine of eating/drinking, walks, naps, and bedtime, the less stressed and grumpy your dog will be. Plus it will make you feel like you have some control over your crazy schedule.
Give Them the Tour – This one is simple but very important. Give your dog a tour of your new home, let them explore the empty closets, bedrooms and hallways. It doesn’t end there though, take them outside and let them explore their new yard and their surroundings. If you can, try to walk them around the block as soon as possible. They want to know where they are living just as much as you do! Letting them see their new neighborhood will be a huge comfort to them.
Coco had a new walking path memorized in just a couple of days and looks forward to it every morning. It is so fun to watch them take in the new scenery! Happy Moving to you!
Photography by Sarah Dickerson, Chic Sprinkles