No matter where you are moving or why – nothing changes the fact that moving is AWFUL! We pack everything in boxes and carefully stack them up to simply put them in large trucks – hoping that are careful packaging will protect our items – and then unpack these suckers at the next place. Oh, and then the boxes stack up and for a little while at least, you have no idea where to put things.
As a human, the simplicity of moving is stressful enough! Oh yeah, and I didn’t mention switching the bills, addresses and more! But, for your pet it is probably one of the most confusing times that they will endure!
Now, Lu Dog has moved A LOT! She was with me in college and we moved from apartment to apartment every other year, then we moved cities two times and finally rented our last apartment and then rented our last home. We have finally purchased our forever home and I can say – I am so glad to never pack up again!
Pippin on the other hand has only moved two times. He moved one from our apartment to our rental home and then he has moved to our forever home with us. It’s interesting because he honestly seemed LESSED stressed by the moving than my partner in crime.
So that lead to me thinking about the things we do to make moving a little bit easier on the dogs and how we do it. Everyone will have a different way of doing things but here are some of our tricks of the trade!
- Make sure you bring the dogs FIRST! That’s right – we don’t leave them during the moving process while we load/unload. When the moving starts I actually take the dogs to the new house and hang with them there waiting to unload. This let’s them familiarize themselves with the new dwelling before things get hectic. This time around, they even met the neighbor dog before the Uhaul showed up!
- WALK THE FENCE WITH YOUR DOGS! We actually walked the fence before bringing them over of course BUT we walked it with them too! Just in case they found something we didn’t! They even looked under the porch (which I am too big of a creature to do easily unlike my dogs) so I was able to make sure they didn’t get into mischief.)
- Move dog treats, food, bowls, beds and doggie stuff FIRST! So there was nothing in the house when we moved in but there were 5 dog beds. We wanted to make them feel like they had all of their things.
- Bring OLD bedding for your bed the first night. Okay, so I did put fresh sheets on the bed. Because well yeah. But, we did bring the same blanket, without washing, that we used at the other home. This was to again, bring the scent over and make the dogs feel better.
- Keep the routine to the best of your ability. If your dog is used to walks – go on walks. If your dog is used to eating at 7AM sharp – make it happen. Do your best to show them everything is okay.
- Make sure you allow them to be a part of the moving crew. I understand that they have to be outside while all the doors are open and the movers are going and coming in the doors. BUT we did let them in the moment they weren’t in and out and we even gave them pizza crust during the after party. Make them feel included and give them extra special loving.
- Here’s a big one – expect accidents! Even my perfect Lu has had nervous accidents! So BRING CLEANER! Pippin decided that he was going to mark the guest room with this stinks and make sure we knew that he could… We have to have a talk with him about that! But, make sure to expect that your dog may not be 100% themselves for awhile.
Now, we didn’t crate our dogs when we left the home but if you don’t crate make sure there is nothing hazardous they can get into and make sure you’ve trained them and can trust them 100% with all the boxes and more left out. If not, crate your dog. This will make them safer in the long run. We did A LOT of crate training (you can see our post here on Crate Training the Anti-Crate Dog and The Anxious Dog and What To Do to see how we did it) to get to this place so I am SO proud of my dogs!
Moving won’t be easy on anyone BUT we can try and make it a little better on the dogs! Have any moving tips? Let us know your best practices in the comments!