Travel With Pet: 6 Steps To Help Moving Day Run Smoothly for Dog Owners [updated 2022]


Travel With Pet: 6 Steps To Help Moving Day Run Smoothly for Dog Owners [updated 2022]


This post is all about moving with a dog.

Moving to a new home is taxing enough for you, but it can be even more stressful for your dog. The packing, disruption of routine, and strange environment is enough to cause anxiety for any canine family member. This post is all about moving with a dog.


If you are planning on moving with your canine, use these tips to make the experience a happy one for all humans and animals involved. Traveling with your pet does not have to be a nightmare. But you should be aware of his anxiety too.

RELATED: How to Find Cheap Motels that are Pet Friendly

Can Dogs Get Sad When Moving?

Yes, dogs (and cats) can get very sad, very confused and overly anxious if they are uprooted from their home. Since you cannot explain to them all the details, they will not completely understand what is going on when you are packing things up. This can be very confusing for them. They may think you are leaving them or that you are sending them off. Either way, their territorial instincts could kick in and this can stress them out.

  • Work with a dog behaviorist before moving with dog
  • Provide additional attention to your dog during the different packing and moving stages
  • Do not punish your dog if he acts out with crying or neediness
  • Have your dog stay with a friend when the movers come
  • Talk to your Vet about an anti-anxiety medication during the process

As for the actual moving process, these tips should also help your transition with your dog. Remember, your level of anxiety will have a direct impact on your dog, so the more you can manage your own stress the better it will be for you and your pet.

Think About Hiring Professional Movers

You can certainly pack and move your own stuff. But professional movers have the added experience, expertise and necessary equipment to streamline the entire process.

Most movers even offer packing, unpacking, and transport services.

So what’s this have to do with your dog?

If you hire professional movers to do all the heavy lifting and take care of logistics, you are going to be far less stressed by your move.

Since our canine companions can pick up on anxiety, reducing yours will help your dog feel more calm during the moving with your dog and the entire relocation process.

Start Packing Early, If You Can

Remember how we mentioned that stress can rub off on your dog?

Well packing at the last minute can not only make you feel stressed, but dogs tend to get nervous when you’re furiously packing everything in your home.

So, if you can, allow yourself more time to pack.

Four weeks is a good place to start, and will allow you to keep yourself and your dog calm as you get ready for the move. If you’re pressed for time, there are professionals who can help you pack your things efficiently.

Make Your Dog’s Safety a Priority

Hiring pros will help you keep your boxes and belongings secure. So use that extra time to make sure your dog stays safe on moving day too.

Keep your dog away from doors and pathways to allow room for movers to work safely, or have him stay with friend and family. If relocating him off site is not possible, put your dog in a separate room or with her dog bed, toys, treats and food to keep your move safe and your dog’s stress levels low. Make it a dog friendly room as much as possible.

Even if you have a solid plan to keep your dog secure, it’s still a good idea to update all tag, collar, and microchip information, and keep it accessible during your move. Pets can and do wander or get lost during moves, so any added measures can help reunite you if this happens.

Find Ways to Manage Anxiety Too

Moves are going to make your dog anxious, no matter what steps you take. You can minimize that stress but you may also want to find ways to burn off any excess anxious energy.

Schedule some playtime with your pup, and use games that will work those muscles and that brain. A few new games can keep things fun for your dog, but you also want to keep the rest of your routine together as normal as possible.

Maintain consistent feeding and walk schedules throughout your move, to prevent your dog from getting really worked up by all the change.

Pack a “Day Of” Bag for Your Dog

You may already have an essentials bag packed for yourself, complete with toiletries, clothes and snacks to help keep you sane. But your dog could use a “day of” bag as well. Just like your own bag, this essentials bag should include items that will help your dog stay healthy and comfortable.

Pack any medications, food, or paperwork you need, but bring some favorite toys along too. Those familiar smells on toys and dog beds are important for helping your dog feel more relaxed and at home, whether it’s in a hotel or in your brand new house.

Get the New Home Ready

Once you’ve arrived at the new home, you want to make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible. Familiarity is key; your dog will be less anxious if you set up the bed, crate, and toys the same way they were arranged at the old place. Keeping your dog safe is another important measure, which can be done by building a sturdy wood fence. If you don’t have one installed, look for a local fence company. You can expect to pay between $1,487 and $6,000 to hire one in Philadelphia.

Moving to a new home with a dog is always a bit stressful for all involved. But if you plan properly, you can keep tension as minimal as possible and help your dog settle into the new home and routine much faster.


Moving can be really stressful, and moving with a dog can add to that stress. Do not underestimate the amount of pressure relocating can have on you and your pet. It can be overwhelming to think about everything that needs to be done, but executing and getting into action will help you feel more in control. Start early, put together a time line, pack boxes weeks if not months in advance. Be sure to have a checklist of the things you need to do each week. Being as organized as possible will make the process so much easier! Congratulations on your next chapter, it will be great once you get settled!