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Moving with Dogs

Author: | Date: April 16, 2012

Spring moving season will soon be here.  Moving to a new home can be very stressful for dogs since it completely changes their world and dogs feel secure with routines.  Fortunately, dogs who are cared for are generally happy as long as they are with their family.  Here are some tips for before, during and after a move to make the transition for “Poochie” as smooth as possible.


Please, please, please make sure to find an apartment, condo, townhouse, etc. that allows dogs of Poochie’s breed, size and weight. Investigate all of the residence’s rules and policies regarding dogs. Moving is a major reason that dogs are surrendered to shelters.

If you are moving to a new community, research local dog registration requirements and animal control laws, such as leash laws, limits on the number of dogs per household, barking ordinances, and breed bans.

Be sure a current identification tag is on Poochie’s collar and buy a new one if necessary.

Notify your veterinarian’s office and microchip provider of your new address.

Make sure you have a recent photograph of Poochie and do not pack it away.

Pack a separate box for pet supplies such as bowls, food, favorite toys, leash and medications, immediately before the move.

Have the new house thoroughly cleaned if a pet had previously lived there.  This should help prevent Poochie from marking the new house as her territory.


Consider having Poochie stay at a friend’s or relative’s house or at a kennel.  If that is not possible, keep her safe in her crate and be sure to take her out on leash for water and exercise.

Be sure she is wearing current identification, with a reliable cell phone number.  Keep that recent photograph handy.


If Poochie is introduced to her new home in a crate, leave the door open and let her come out on her own when she is ready.  Keep the doors to extra rooms closed to avoid overwhelming her and be sure doors and windows to the outside are closed (or not accessible)

Place Poochie’s food and water bowls, bed and toys in the same general location as they were at your old home.

Go with her on her first visits to the backyard and only walk her outside of the yard on a leash.

Do any repairs to fencing that is needed to keep Poochie secured safely inside the yard.

Keep Poochie’s daily routine as regular as possible – feeding and exercising her at the usual times will help her feel secure.

If you are taking extra time off work, leave the house for short times to allow her to adjust to being alone.  This will help her to feel secure that you are coming back once you return to work.  If you are going back to work right away, you might consider having someone Poochie knows or a pet sitter check on her.

Remember to register Poochie with the local authorities and obtain any local licenses.

Long Distance Moves

If you are moving to a new state you might need a Health Certificate too (check with the state animal control agency).

If Poochie is traveling with you by car, pack a few of her toys, blankets, water and snacks.  Keep her on her leash at all times when stopping for potty and exercise. If she is traveling by air, most airlines only allow pets who have been prepared by professional pet transportation companies who use approved crates and equipment and file the proper paperwork.

You will need to locate a new veterinarian.  You might ask your previous veterinarian for a recommendation (and a copy of Poochie’s medical records).  The American Animal Hospital Association or local Humane Society may also be a source for a referral.  Make an appointment with the new veterinarian so that Poochie can meet the new doctor before she gets sick or is injured.  This will allow you to see if you like the veterinarian too, in a calm situation.  (Besides all of the qualified academic stuff, I like a vet who is comfortable sitting on the floor with my big guy and doesn’t mind getting smooched!)

At All Times

Be patient if Poochie is stressed or confused and be extra attentive to help her feel secure during all phases of the move.



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