A guide for moving house with a dog
With a significant portion of the UK population owning a dog, finding the easiest way to move house is complicated. We know how stressful relocating to a new place is and have covered moving house with a cat so what about man’s best friend?
Dogs can be more difficult than cats when moving house. Not only do you need to find a place that will let you keep a dog on the property, but transporting your pet can be a nightmare. That’s why we’ve selected a few tips that can help you before, during and after moving house with your dog.
Before you move
To keep the move simple, focus on doing all you can in the early stages. There are a few simple steps that can save you a lot of trouble later. So before moving house with your dog, follow these steps for a smoother transition.
Speak to your veterinarian
If your dog gets upset being in a car or suffers from motion sickness, speak to your vet. They can give your anti-nausea medication or sedatives. This will help your furry friend in the car journey to your new home.
Change microchip details
You need to change the microchip details to show your new address. This is extremely important as there’s no chance of your dog returning back to you if they do get lost and attempt to find you.
Register with a local vet
You need to register your dog with a local vet. Your dog is more likely in an unfamiliar environment to react differently than normal. Worst-case scenario, this may mean an emergency trip to the vet. So having a local vet you can visit is extremely important.
Buy a pheromone diffuser
Dog appeasing pheromones, or DAPs, is released by mothers after birthing their litter. DAPs can help calm down a dog during a stressful situation. There are now diffusers on the market that release these pheromones. Our recommendation is to use it in your house before you leave and once you arrive.
Maintain your current routine
Maintain your daily routine to the best of your ability while you pack. This means continuing to take your dog on regular walks to keep them active and in a good mental state.
Pack everything your pet will need on day one
From food and bowls to toys and bedding, make sure you have everything ready to take with you to your new home. In an article by Tractive, they explore the 6 top reasons dogs run away. Number 6 in the list is being forced into unfamiliar surroundings. You can alleviate this by bringing in as many familiar possessions with you to the new home.
Visit the new property
If the house you are moving into is occupied by dog lovers, they might allow you to visit with your pooch. Becoming familiar with new surroundings depends on the dog, but it is good to get them comfortable as soon as possible. If the current owners are not happy to help, walk your dog around the new area. You never know, you could meet some like-minded locals walking their dogs. Giving them something familiar in the first few weeks and days is very important for their stress levels, and yours!
Day of the move
There are a few steps you should make on the day of moving that will not only alleviate your stress but your dog’s stress.
Do your routine on the day
Taking your dog on a walk and giving it a good meal before you leave will tire your dog out. A long walk with your dog may help your dog nap during the journey. If they are comfortable off the lead play a bit longer than usual or even play around the house or in your garden. The aim is to tire them out for the journey.
Secure your dog in the car
Secure your dog in the car with a harness or keep them in the boot. If you or your dog aren’t used to being in the car together, it might be a stressful situation for you both. However, if a dog is left unrestrained, it could lead to a fine or even a car accident.
If they are diagnosed with travel anxiety consider:
- Bringing treats for the journey
- Bringing their favourite toy in the car
- Playing relaxing music during the drive
- Keeping the window open for fresh air
Bring their comfort toy or blanket
If your dog has a comfort toy or blanket, you will absolutely need to pack it while moving house. However, you should also bring it in the car with you. Your dog’s comfort item can keep them relaxed during the journey.
Feed your pet a minimal amount of food in the car
When travelling in the car, make sure you don’t feed your dog too much food. Instead, feed your dog their meal an hour before leaving. Leaving an hour after its meal should allow the dog to have a reasonable time to digest the food.
We recommend you bring treats but give a limited amount along the journey. If the journey will take a long time be sure to make a stop so your dog can have some food and go to the toilet.
Keep your dog close
Be calm and soft-spoken to your dog during the journey. Keep them close and provide extra support. Your dog will appreciate it and be less stressed during your travel.
Once your dog has moved house
The first few days after the move are the most important for settling your pet into their new home. If you want them to settle in, carry out these steps.
Let your dog explore the house
Take them through each room and let them sniff around. If the journey took a long time, feed your dog when you arrive. Most dogs love to explore new places, just be careful that they don’t feel the need to mark their new territory inside your new home.
Unpack their possesions
Once you’ve moved in, unpack their possessions. Dog beds, toys, food and bowls should be out early in the unpacking process.
Return back to your routine
Get back to taking your canine friend on walks and continuing the routine you had with them back at the previous property. Dogs love routine, changing routine takes time and patience.
What to do if your dog won’t sleep in the new house
If your dog is struggling to sleep in your house, the first thing you should do is visit your local vet. Moving to a new house can be particularly stressful for a pet. Therefore you need to explore the possibility of any underlying health conditions affecting their ability to sleep.
If the behaviour persists, you should see a dog behaviourist. If they are losing sleep, it’s likely that they are experiencing some form of anxiety. Getting an expert involved will help you and your four-legged friend
The behaviourist may recommend setting up a cage in your bedroom for your pet with comfortable bedding. You will want the cage to have a blanket covering all the sides except the side that faces you. Placing a dog in a smaller space can help. Dogs can become stressed if they feel they have a larger area to guard. Therefore, the crate should be a remedy for this concern. However, crate training does take time to come into effect, so you may have a few sleepless nights until they are used to the new environment.
Bryceland can help!
We provide a door-to-door pet shipping service that can help you even if you are relocating to a new country. For global journeys, we will select the best flight for your pet and if possible the flight you are on. We work with trained animal transport consultants to make sure you and your pet arrive at your destination hassle-free. To find out more, contact us on 0800 772 0799.