How to Move With an Old Dog

Walk your older pup around his new neighborhood.
i walking the dog image by jeancliclac from

Your senior dog might not chew open packed boxes on moving day, but he still requires special consideration during the moving process. Transferring veterinary paperwork and getting new identification tags are pre-moving tasks, but older dogs require a little more organization on the actual moving day.

Step 1

Preserve your dog's safe space until moving day. This means leaving his bed, his water and food dishes and crate just as they've always been, even if boxes are piling high elsewhere you in your home. Senior dogs are more sensitive to change, and protecting his special place gives him a sense of security and consistency.

Step 2

Write a detailed itinerary of your moving day, including last-minute errands like getting gas or signing papers at the realtor's office. Make a plan for your dog's whereabouts at every single point. You don't want to be in a position where you need to go someplace that prohibits pets. Especially during summer, never leave your dog in the car, period. Remember, a seemingly mild 72-degree day can turn your car into a dangerous oven in minutes.

Step 3

Take him to a sitter or boarding facility while the movers load the van, or while you drive across town to unload boxes. Moving day means propped-open doors and lots of activity. You don't want him wandering outside or getting underfoot of people struggling with heavy items. Also, watching the disassembly of his entire environment can upset an older dog. Once he's gone, pack his crate and all his belongings in one clearly marked box.

Step 4

Retrieve your senior pup only after you've unloaded your stuff across town, or once you've completely loaded the moving van, if you're moving a long distance. Set up his crate, water and blankets immediately when you arrive at your new house. Recreating his safe space provides continuity between your previous residence and your new place. Offer him water and take him for a short walk after arriving at your new house.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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