Moving house with a dog
Lost Pet Finders’ Guide to Moving House with a Dog
Recently, we asked our followers a question: What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s moving house with a dog? We’ve already discussed how to go about this with cats, but dogs have a completely different nature, so the advice is completely different. One thing remains the same, though: moving house can be very stressful for everyone involved, and that includes the pets.
Before we kick off the post, we need to thank everyone who got in touch with their incredible tips. Once again, we’re going to put together everyone’s great suggestions and unique ideas into a handy checklist so that readers can get advice from loads of people at once. You never know when this information will come in handy for you or someone you know, so make sure you save it somewhere it’s ready to share! So without further ado…
If at all possible, try leaving your dog in a kennel or with a family member or friend while you’re moving.
As Julie Cartwright explains, “Leave your dogs at friends, family or the kennels, until you have moved everything and the house is set up, beds are out and furniture is in place. The worst thing to do is take the animals with you while people are carrying things in and out. They can easily slip out the door without being seen.”
Allison Anderson did just this when her family moved house: “Was great for him and far less stressful for us knowing we didn’t have eyes in the backs of our heads worrying about where out pup was or him getting under people’s feet.”
MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS SAFE AND SECURE.
When you reach your new house, you’ll want to make sure it’s completely secure before letting your dog off their leash. The last thing you need right now is a prison break!
Teby Carrillo recommends: “Keep your pet indoors for a few days after moving to a new place. Make sure there are no gaps for them to escape, make sure all members of the family know the rules regarding keeping doors closed at all times. On moving day you can leave them with the vet for the day - you pay a bit of money but they will be safe during all the hassle of the removal.”
Elizabeth Chapman adds: “First and foremost make sure your garden is secure and that your dog cannot escape! While doing the move, close the dog up in a room or garage to make sure it does not escape while everyone is busy!”
TAKE TIME OFF WORK.
If at all possible, taking time off work makes a calm, happy move way easier. Your dog will be stressed out by the move, and having you around will be really soothing.
“Move the pooch last if possible. Stay home with the pooch for a few days after the move.” - Meegan Bennett
“Totally agree with the above. If possible, take some time off work after moving so that the pets can settle in.” - Brigitte Arianne
UPDATE PERSONAL DETAILS.
If the worst happens and your dog does go missing during the move, they’ll need the right information to find their way home.
Shannon Rosenberg reminds: “I like the new address tag to be on their collars immediately and don’t forget their microchip needs to be updated too!”
Isabella Elsley remembered to do all of this when moving house with her dogs! “We shifted one year ago with four dogs who seemed as excited about the new place as we were. I think as long as they are with us they are happy wherever that might be. But we did make sure their microchips were all working by having them checked at vets and have their names and phone numbers on their collars just in case.”
CONSIDER KEEPING INDOORS.
As much as your dog may enjoy running around the garden on a normal day, we’d strongly encourage you to keep your dog inside at all times, at least for the first few days in your new home.
Heidi Campbell explained her moving rules as simply as possible: “Just close the door and make sure they are inside? Have them microchipped and registered? Use common sense?”
The move may seem daunting, but that’s really all there is to it. So long as you use your common sense, it’s pretty likely things will go just fine!
“Keep him close till he gets used to his new surroundings,” adds Joanne Kearney.
Linda Ledwell also says: “Let him come inside to know this is their new home and you love them, and make sure he or she is safe and happy.”
SET UP THEIR SPOT.
Once you’ve established your dog’s new personal space - complete with their old favourite bed and toys - it’ll be much easier for them to get settled in.
Djardi Sutcliffe reminds us: “Set up a quiet room with a bed a blanket and a toy, food and water. Then on moving day they can go without anxiety.”
Amanda Powers says: “Tell them EXACTLY what is going on weeks before it happens. Explain to them that you are ALL moving, make it very clear that they are a part of the family and where you go they go. Tell them repeatedly and on the day let them know that is the day. When you arrive, put their bed where it will go when you move, and tell them this is their new spot in your new home. Tell them what a great new adventure it will be, just explain it all.” (What a lovely way to put it!)
Thanks once again to everyone in the Lost Pet Finders community who shared their tips to help us put this guide together!