Whether they’re your snuggle buddy after a long hard day of work, a walking partner, or an early warning system for the rogue squirrel across the street, your dog is an important member of your family. And, if you’re moving to a new home this year, you know that it can stress them out as much as it stresses you out, but there are ways for you to help them adjust to the change.

Nervous dogPreparation

Dogs tend to be better with moves than cats are, because they tend to go with us to different places more often than cats do (If you have a cat, check out our post on moving with felines for advice on how to make them comfortable). So they are used to driving in cars, which makes things easier. Other things that makes moving easier are having a pet grab bag and orientation walks.

Pet Grab Bag

This bag will contain everything you need for the trip (especially if it’s a long one) and the first few days at your new place. Some of the items you might want in it are a favourite toy, their food, water, treats, a blanket, a basic first aid kit, veterinarian records, medication, and a grooming kit. If you are moving far away, it’s also a good idea to bring along extra food in case you can’t find their brand right away. This will give them time to adjust slowly and avoid stomach problems.

Orientation Walks

If you are moving close by, one great way to help your dog adjust to the change is by taking her for walks there ahead of time. This way she can familiarize herself with all of the new scents and sights.

Moving Day

On the day of the move, the best thing you can do for your dog is to keep him away from all of the chaos. This could mean he spends one last day tearing up the backyard, or that you bring him to a friend’s home, or that he goes to a kennel for a day.

And if you can hold off on bringing him into your new home until the movers are gone, that’s even better. Then once all of the boxes are in the right rooms and the movers have left you, let him explore his new home.

The Aftermath

Once you’re in your new home, try to keep everything the same as possible and let your dog adjust to the new place slowly.

  • Let her keep their old ratty toys and blankets, the smell and sight of them is comforting to her.
  • Try keeping her bed and food in similar locations in your new home to where they were in the old home. So keep her bed beside the couch like it always was.
  • It might be awkward, but if you can, stay home with her at first, or if you live with other people, take turns leaving the house so she’s not alone. Then when you do leave, try keeping it short for the first week or so.

Dog in carSometimes when we move, we get caught up in the busyness of it all and things like going for long walks or playing fetch can slide. But it’s really important for your dog that something stay the same when she’s moving to a new home, so try not to let the stress of the move push out her play time. Getting out of the house and away from all those boxes will be good for you too.

If You’re Moving to Victoria

Victoria is a great place to live with dogs. There are lots of trails for you to explore, and lots of parks, like Cedar Hill Corner or Macaulay Point Park, that are fine with dogs running around off-leash.