Moving with Dogs to a New Home – Tips for a Smooth Transition

Moving with dogs to a new home can be a stressful and challenging experience, both for you and your furry friend. Dogs are creatures of habit and they may not appreciate the sudden changes in their environment, routine, and social interactions. However, with some planning and preparation, you can make the transition smoother and easier for everyone involved. Here are some tips on how to move with your dog to a new home.

Moving with Dogs to a New Home Tips

Before the move

Check the local laws and regulations regarding dogs in your new area. You may need to get a new license, update your dog’s vaccinations, or comply with breed restrictions. You should also find a new veterinarian and make sure your dog is microchipped and has an ID tag with your current contact information.

Get your dog used to moving supplies, such as boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. You can leave them around the house for a few days before packing, so your dog doesn’t associate them with you leaving. You can also give your dog treats or toys when they are near the moving supplies, to create a positive association.

Keep your dog’s regular routine as much as possible. Stick to their usual feeding, walking, and sleeping times. This will help them feel more secure and calm during the hectic moving process.

Consider boarding your dog or leaving them with a friend or a pet sitter during the actual move. This will prevent them from getting scared, stressed, or injured by the movers or the heavy furniture. It will also reduce the risk of them escaping or getting lost in the chaos.

Moving with Dogs to a New Home

During the move

If you are driving to your new home, plan ahead for the road trip. Pack a travel kit for your dog that includes food, water, bowls, leash, collar, harness, waste bags, toys, bedding, and any medications they may need. You should also have a crate or a seat belt for your dog to keep them safe and comfortable in the car.

Make frequent stops along the way to let your dog stretch their legs, go potty, and drink water. You can also use this time to play with them and give them some attention. Avoid leaving your dog alone in the car, especially in hot or cold weather.

If you are flying to your new home, check with your airline about their policies and requirements for traveling with pets. You may need to book a reservation for your dog, pay a fee, or provide a health certificate. You should also choose a suitable carrier for your dog that meets the airline’s specifications.

After the move

Introduce your dog to their new home gradually and calmly. Start by showing them one room at a time, preferably the one where their bed and toys are. Let them sniff around and explore at their own pace. Praise and reward them for being brave and curious.

Set up a safe and comfortable space for your dog in your new home. This could be a crate, a bed, or a mat that has their familiar scent on it. This will help them feel more at home and give them a place to retreat if they get overwhelmed.

Maintain your dog’s regular routine in your new home. Feed them, walk them, and play with them at the same times as before. This will help them adjust to the new environment and reduce their anxiety.

Be patient and supportive of your dog during this transition period. They may exhibit some behavioral changes or signs of stress, such as barking, chewing, hiding, or having accidents. Don’t scold or punish them for these behaviors, but rather try to understand the underlying cause and address it accordingly. For example, you can provide more exercise, mental stimulation, or socialization for your dog to help them cope.

If you notice that your dog is having trouble adapting to their new home or showing signs of severe stress or depression, consult your veterinarian or a professional trainer for advice. They may be able to offer some solutions or medications to help your dog overcome their fears and feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.

dog bed in new home

How long does it take for a dog to get used to a new house?

In about three weeks, most dogs start to adjust and act as if they’ve found their home, but it usually takes around three months for them to truly integrate into your daily routine. Be patient and keep in mind that even if you’re doing everything correctly, it might take some time for a new adult dog to fully settle in. However, the wait is worthwhile.

Do dogs get stressed when you move to a new house?

Moving to a new place is a journey filled with various emotions. It can bring about feelings of happiness and anticipation, but it can also lead to significant stress and a sense of feeling lost. It’s widely understood that dogs tend to pick up on the emotions of their owners.

How do I calm my dog’s anxiety after moving?

Dogs thrive on routine and value stability. When you introduce familiar items such as your dog’s toys, treats, food and water dishes, crate, and bed to its new environment, it provides a sense of comfort and recognition. This can significantly reduce a dog’s anxiety during the move and contribute to a calmer transition.

How do I make my dog comfortable in a new home?

During the initial week or more, try to maintain a peaceful and unchanging environment. Stick to a regular schedule for feeding, walking, and your work routine with consistent timings. When you need to leave the house, think about providing your dog with a stimulating activity like a filled treat toy or a puzzle food bowl to keep them engaged.


Moving with dogs to a new home can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By following these tips, you can make the move easier for both of you and start enjoying your new home together. Remember that dogs are resilient and adaptable animals who can thrive in any situation as long as they have your love and support.

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