Tips on Easing the Stress of Moving With a Dog – P.L.A.Y.

By Guy Fuchs on Dec 21, 2022

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Dogs are our best friends, and we want to take the best care of them. They can get stressed when things are different than what they are accustomed to. We can help them stick to a routine to keep them calm and happy.

But sometimes life has changes that have to happen. At some point, you will probably move to another home or even a new city. What can you do to ease the stress of moving your dog? Here are some tips you can try.

Keep Everything Calm

Moving with dogs can be stressful for everyone, regardless of how far the trip is. All of the packings, arranging movers, scheduling utilities, and travel wears on everyone involved. Keeping your dog from getting overstimulated and having anxiety mostly depends on your attitude.

If you keep your voice calm and refrain from jumping or running, you will have a better experience with your animal. Dogs do not understand what is happening or what you are saying. If you gently reassure them that everything is okay and they do not see you freaking out, they will be more likely to remain calm.

Get Them Up To Date

If you know you will be moving in advance, getting all of your dog’s medical necessities taken care of early will help his anxiety. Your dog may not like going to the veterinarian because exams and vaccinations raise his stress levels. Waiting until a week before a big traveling event is not ideal.

Be sure your dog is microchipped and get him some ID tags with your new address on them. You probably will not get separated during your travels, but if you do, it will make you feel better knowing his information is with him. When someone finds him, they can get him to you.

Get Them Used to the Idea

Moving day is going to be hectic for your dog. There will be people in your home that he has never seen, the rooms he lives in will start to look a lot different, and there will be a lot of sounds and smells he is not used to. Doing a few things to prepare him for that day might make it easier for him.

Start Packing Early

You will be boxing up a lot of stuff and carrying it out of the house. Your dog will see that as odd behavior, especially if you empty entire rooms in one day. You can get him accustomed to the idea by taping up a couple of boxes every day and taking them outside or to the garage. It does not matter what is in them as long as he sees it happening regularly.

Get Your Dog Accustomed to the Carrier

If you are moving a long distance, your dog will spend a lot of time in his carrier. You will want to get him used to being in there for a while so he can soothe himself and keep calm. It would be a stressful trip for everyone if he whined and howled the entire trip.

You can start by putting him in the carrier at home for a while. Start with about twenty minutes and work up to an hour. Put him and the carrier in the car and drive around so that he gets used to how it feels.

Some dogs are high-strung and might need a little help calming down. There is no reason to feel ashamed if you have to give your pet medication to relax. Ask your veterinarian what kind of medicine would help him the most and how often he should take it.

Reduce Your Dog’s Diet

You do not want your dog to travel on a full stomach. The movement of the car and being rocked back and forth might make him nauseated and cause a mess for you to clean. You also do not want him to be hungry, so finding a balance is the best way to go.

Start feeding him two-thirds of what you usually do. That will cause him to have less food on his stomach, but it will give him time to adjust to the smaller portion so he will not be hungry. If you feel your dog is not getting enough food, give him smaller meals more frequently.

Moving Day

The best thing for your dog on moving day is to be elsewhere. Find a friend or relative who can watch him and keep him far away from the activity. If you have to keep him around, be sure he has toys to play with and keep him in an area away from most of the traffic to keep him calm.

When it is time to go, put his carrier on last. Keep him with you and not with the cargo. Hearing your voice or sensing you nearby will do more than you think to keep him from stressing out.

When you put him in your vehicle, you should cover his carrier with a blanket. Dogs like to hang their head out of the car when they ride in a car, but just seeing things go by through a window can be stressful. After a while, you will be able to remove the blanket.

If you are planning to move your dog with professional movers, you need to provide vaccination records, proof of rabies vaccinations, and any other required documents. Once you have selected a moving company, make sure to provide them with all of the necessary paperwork for your dog.


Once you get to the new home, try to keep your dog secluded until everything is off the truck and the movers are gone. He should be able to explore his new home in safety without strangers walking around and making him nervous. There are a lot of things he has to get used to, so let him take his time.

Moving into a new house can be a stressful event for anyone. Dogs do not understand what is going on, making it even more stressful for them. Just taking some time to be sure his needs are taken care of and he has plenty of time to adjust to his new surroundings will help him be a happier, healthier pup.

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