Moving with Your Dog – A Complete Guide to a Stress-Free Move

So you have decided to make a move. Have you consulted with your canine companion? I’m kidding, well, sort of. When you decide to move, your furry friends’ needs should always be taken into consideration. Moving is stressful. However, this is an even more stressful time for your four-legged friend, who has absolutely no idea what is happening! Moving by yourself differs greatly from doing so with a dog (or any pet, really). The entire process needs to be tailored to meet both of your needs.

It can be tricky to navigate so here is a guide to help you along the way.


Planning Phase

One of the most important parts of the moving process, especially with pets involved, is the initial planning phase. Dogs are quite sensitive to changes in their environment. They won’t understand what is happening around them— or at least of computing and applying logic to

what he is seeing (mom planning an escape). After finding a pet-friendly house, your very next step needs to be planning. Layout on paper exactly how the process is going to go, especially with regards to your favorite furball.

Helpful Tips:

Ask appropriate questions. When looking at prospective properties, it never hurts to ask a few pet-friendly questions such as:

  • Does the surrounding neighbors have pets (friendly? aggressive?)
  • Are there any HOA (Homeowners Association) rules and regulations with regards to pets (if applicable)?
  • Are there any dog-friendly ‘green areas’ nearby (trails, parks, etc.).
  • Does the property have a fenced-in yard?
  • Look to see if there are steep uncarpeted stairs.
  • Check for antique wooden flooring (does not work well with doggy nails).

Remember, it is far easier to find a home that is already pet-proof than to anticipate possible dangers and spend money trying to rectify the situation.

Scope out the Area, Meet Local Businesses:

It’s always a good idea to learn about the surrounding area including the business’ around. For your dog, this means meeting recommended vets, groomers, pet sitters, and other pet-related businesses you will need. You may even go as far as taking your pet along to make new friends.

This way they will be more at ease when it’s time to actually use these potential services and their workers.


Move-In Day

Ah, this is it, the most nerve-wracking and hectic part of your big move. The dreaded moving day. Last-minute packing, organizing, and trying to keep somewhat calm, will be at the forefront of your mind. This means, having Fido situated can only make things go smoother. How to get him situated is going to greatly rely on your specific dog and his personality. Is he exceptionally trained? Does he have fits of separation anxiety when kept away from you? In this case, it would be best to try to keep him with you during the move.

Now, if you have a lovable goof with tons of energy (and/or a propensity for wandering off), a short kennel stay will probably be better for all involved. Most pets are going to be confused and possibly fearful as they do not have the ability to completely understand what is going on.

Helpful Tips:

Moving service or no moving service, that is the question. If you are planning on hiring a moving company, they should be screened and hired already. Be sure to mention that you have pets so they do not send movers that are scared of dogs!

Update your microchip. If your dog is not microchipped, get him microchipped as soon as possible, definitely before moving day. Many pets get spooked during a move. They can, and will, run away. Don’t worry, they will most likely come back. To your old house, the only place he knows— ya know, the one where you no longer live. Now, if your pet ​is​ chipped, you have a much higher probability of finding them quickly. It will be the best $40 you will ever spend on your pet.

Pet Sitter

Remember the pet sitters we recommended meeting before move-in day? This is a great day to test them out! Having a pet sitter care for Fido for the day can give you room to breathe without worrying about the safety of your pooch. It will also give your pet something to get his mind off all the commotion. He’ll be happily playing with his new friend, taking a walk, and more!

*If you are moving to Southern California, be sure to contact Professional Pet Sitting Etc. to help this day go as smoothly as possible for your furry friend. Our service areas include Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Venice, Santa Monica, Culver City, Westchester, Lader Heights, and Brentwood.


Adjustment Period

So you are all moved in, almost unpacked, and relieved for the whole experience to be over with? Not so fast. Once moved in, the work is not finished when it comes to Fido. There is going to be an adjustment period (the length will vary from pooch to pooch). He is in completely new surroundings, in an unfamiliar environment, it is going to take time. Fido might not act quite like himself. Dogs will sometimes suffer from behavioral changes, decreased appetite, and general malaise or lethargy. This will likely resolve itself with time but if concerned, it never hurts to consult with your veterinarian.

Helpful Tips:

Be patient. This is a big change for him. Play with him, hug him, and offer plenty of treats and positive praise.

Provide him with a ‘safe space’. When you get to the new house, find a quiet, darkened room for your pet. Place his bed/kennel, and food bowls in this room. Give him time to get acquainted

with his new environment. When he feels comfortable, he will definitely let you know by investigating the rest of his new home.


There is really no ‘magical cure’ for the stress that inevitably comes with a large, life-changing event like moving. Being prepared, organized, and having everything planned, before the day of, can alleviate much of that stress. Just keep in mind that this is all just as taxing on Fido. Try to spend some quality, one on one time with him before the move and do your best to make moving day as calm and peaceful for him as possible. Doing so might take a huge chunk of your worry away too. This is but one ‘ruff’ day in a lifetime of warm, furry cuddles and cold-nosed kisses.

If you would like to learn more or if you would like to use our pet care services reach out to us via email or call us.



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