Moving is stressful enough in and of itself. You have to schedule the movers, pack up all your belongings and ensure everything will be in place when you arrive. For those of us with furry friends, we have one more critical item to add to our moving checklist – taking care of the dog!

Unlike people, dogs get no warning before a move and cannot voice their concerns. You’ll need to be proactive to ensure Spot doesn’t suffer during this major life transition.


Update Their Veterinary Care

It’s important that your dog has a vet waiting for them at your new home. Ask for a copy of your pet’s medical records and check the laws regarding dog vaccinations before moving across state lines.

Make Sure They Don’t Get Lost

Dogs may try to run away during the chaos of a move, or they may get loose if your new home isn’t dog-friendly. Avoid losing your beloved pet by updating the address and contact info attached to their microchip or engraved on their dog tag. Be sure you have a recent picture of them just in case.

Stick to Your Routine

Just like young children, dogs benefit from a daily routine. If you always wake them up and feed them at seven, take them for a walk around noon and put them to bed at nine, keep doing that to the best of your ability.

Routines apply after arrival, too. Try not to switch all your dog’s routines the moment they step foot in the new house and keep items in familiar places. For example, if you let them sleep in your room in the old house, let them do this in the new house. Or, if you want them to change routines, start making these changes gradually before the move while they are still in a comfortable environment.

Pack a Box for Them

It may sound silly, but it’s helpful to pack a box or two just for your dog’s items. Include anything you may need for the first day of the move, like bowls, food, toys, a leash and pet medication. Be sure to bring this box in your own car so you can access these essentials on the road.


Surround Them With Comforting Items

Dogs like being able to smell their own scent and the scent of their owners, so giving them a frequently used blanket to lay on or letting them play with their favorite stuffed toy will go a long way in alleviating their anxiety. Do your best not to purchase a brand-new crate or bed until a few weeks after your move, as this could increase your dog’s stress.

Be Open to Medication

Even if you do everything right, some dogs have naturally high anxiety levels. If your dog is fraught with fear and worry, you may want to ask the vet if they could benefit from anti-anxiety meds. These can come in handy if you are traveling by car or plane because they can make your dog groggy for the most anxiety-inducing portion of the trip.

Consider a Pet Sitter

Moves are noisy and movers are strangers to your dog. If you’re moving locally, it’s a good idea to keep your pup out of the home on move day, and even in the days leading up to and right after the move. Go to your long-time pet sitter or a friend or family member so your dog feels relaxed while you’re scrambling to unpack. If this isn’t an option, set a room aside where your dog can relax by themselves.

Ensure Your New Home Is Dog-Friendly

In your haste to finalize the move, you may forget to dog-proof your new home. Before letting Fido roam free, you’ll want to ensure everything is A-okay for canines. Be sure to check the following:

  • Gates – Put up dog gates to block your pup from going into rooms where you’re unpacking and prevent them from traveling up and down stairs.
  • Fences – Your backyard should be completely fenced in with either a traditional fence or an electric fence paired with an electric collar. Look for any holes or digging spots around the fence, or double-check that the electronic collar is working. If your dog is new to e-fences, give yourself time to teach them how it works.
  • Hazards – Your new home may be in an unfamiliar location or have an entirely different setup than your old home. Be aware of toxic plants (e.g., daffodils, many ivies, hydrangea bushes, sago palms, tulips, azaleas, lilies and many more), open pools, pesticides, chemical pest sprays, allergens and anything else that may harm your dog.


Keep a Close Eye on Them

As your pup gets used to their new home, they may exhibit some strange behaviors. They may mark your new furniture to spread their scent around the house, or they may run and hide away in rooms. Watch your pet’s behavior closely for these first few days to make sure they are okay and to prevent your furniture from being destroyed in their panic.

Plan Your Move With Continental Van Lines

If you’re too concerned about the well-being of your pooch to plan your move, fear not! The experienced movers at Continental Van Lines have helped residents move between homes for more than 65 years. We prioritize professionalism and customer service above all else, which is why we have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Whether you’re moving within your neighborhood or across the country, we can help you pack and unpack, disassemble and reassemble your furniture and transport your items safely. Get your FREE quote online or call us at (206) 937-2261 for more information.