Moving House With A Dog

Moving into a new home with a dog requires careful planning to ensure a smooth transition for your pet. Moving overseas, you must check local laws and speak to specialised pet relocation services. It is more straightforward if you are moving house within the UK, but finding a new vet and updating your dog’s microchip and identification is essential. On moving days, dogs can become distressed, so finding someone to look after your dog during the day is generally the best solution. Otherwise, they must be kept safe and out of the way of the removal team. After relocating, pet-proof your new home and create a familiar space, using their bed, crate and toys to help them adjust.

Before Moving

Check the local laws

Before you move, research local regulations regarding pet ownership in your new country. Knowing these rules in advance ensures compliance and prevents any legal issues.

Find a new vet

Identify and register with a new vet close to your new home. This ensures immediate access to medical care if your dog experiences stress-related health issues or emergencies during the transition.

Get your dog microchipped

Update your dog’s microchip with your new address before moving house. This is crucial if your dog gets lost during the move. Ensure all contact information is current to facilitate a quick reunion with your pet if they wander off.

Make sure your dog has identification

Ensure your dog’s collar has an ID tag with your contact details. This is an immediate way for someone to contact you if they find your lost dog; it is also required by British law.

Crate train your dog

If your dog isn’t crate-trained, start the process early before moving day. A crate provides a safe, secure space during travel and household disruption and can help reduce anxiety.

Pack for your dog

Pack a dedicated bag for your dog’s essentials, including food, water, bowls, toys, bedding, and medications. Having these items readily accessible reduces stress for both you and your dog during the move and ensures you can quickly settle them in your new home.

Pick a moving company that best suits your needs

Choose a reputable removals company experienced with pet relocations. A reliable company like K1 Removals can handle your belongings carefully, allowing you to focus on your dog’s needs. Ensure the movers understand your pet’s requirements and the importance of keeping their environment as stress-free as possible.

Moving Day

Don’t clean

Keeping familiar scent around can help reduce your dog’s anxiety, so don’t wash their bedding before moving. Clean the new house before you move to remove unfamiliar pet smells that could unsettle your dog.

Keep them safe in the car

Ensure your dog is safely secured in the car using a well-fitted harness or crate. This prevents accidents and keeps your dog calm. Never leave your dog unrestrained, as it poses significant safety risks during travel. Plan regular breaks for your dog to stretch, relieve themselves, and stay hydrated.

Feed them lightly

Feed your dog lightly to prevent travel sickness. A few hours before travel, give a smaller portion than usual. This reduces the risk of nausea and keeps your dog comfortable during the journey. Carry water and offer small amounts during breaks.

Bring familiar items

Pack and transport your dog’s familiar items, such as their bed, toys, and blankets. These items carry familiar scents to comfort your dog in the new environment. Unpack and set these items up first in the new home to create a sense of familiarity and security for your dog upon arrival.

After Moving

Pet-proof your new place

Before letting your dog roam freely, pet-proof your new home. Check for hazards such as exposed wires, small objects that could be swallowed, and toxic plants. Secure fences and gates in the garden to prevent escape. Ensure all windows and doors close securely to keep your dog safe.

Keep your dog on a lead

Keep your dog on a lead when exploring the new home and garden. This prevents them from running off or encountering hazards. It allows you to guide them through their new environment and monitor their reactions, making them feel more secure.

Create a familiar space

Set up a dedicated area with your dog’s familiar items, such as beds, toys, and blankets. This space should be quiet and away from heavy foot traffic. Familiar scents and items help your dog feel at home and provide a safe retreat when overwhelmed.

Maintain your dog’s routine

Stick to your dog’s established routine for feeding, walks, and playtime. Consistency helps reduce stress and gives your dog a sense of stability. Avoid introducing new foods or changing your dog’s daily schedule until your dog is fully settled in the new environment.

Don’t change their sleeping spot

If possible, recreate your dog’s sleeping area in a way similar to the old one. Place their bed in a location that mimics the old sleeping spot’s environment. Having a crate is very helpful in this situation, as it will be very familiar. This familiarity helps them feel secure and ease the transition to the new home.

Go back to basics on toilet training & separation

Revisit basic toilet training as your dog may regress in a new environment. Be calm, patient and consistent, rewarding correct behaviour. Gradually get your dog used to being alone in the new home to prevent separation anxiety. Start with short periods and slowly increase the time.

Give Your Dog Time to Adapt to His New Home

Allow your dog ample time to adjust to the new home. Each dog adapts at their own pace, so be patient and understanding. Monitor their behaviour and provide comfort and reassurance as needed. With time, your dog will settle into the new environment and feel at home.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Get Used to a New Home?

All dogs are different, just like all humans are. The time will vary based on individual temperament and past experiences. Generally, dogs may start to feel comfortable within a few weeks, but total adjustment can take several months. During this period, observe your dog for signs of stress or discomfort, such as changes in eating habits or increased anxiety. Consistency in routine and providing a familiar environment will aid in speeding up the adaptation process. Patience is critical, as each dog adapts at their own pace. Your dog will pick up on your mood, so the happier you are in your environment, the happier your dog will be.

Final Thoughts

Moving homes with a dog requires careful planning and consideration to ensure a smooth transition. You can prepare effectively before the move by ensuring that your dog is crate trained, finding a new vet, updating microchip details, and packing familiar items. On a moving day, leave your dog with a trusted friend or professional or keep your dog safe and comfortable and out of the way of the removal team. After moving, maintain routine, create a familiar space, and be patient with toilet training and separation. Choosing a reliable removals company like K1 Removals can help reduce stress for you and your dog. To discuss your forthcoming move with the professional and experienced team at K1 Removals, simply call today on 0330 103 0041


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