Have you ever moved house with your dog? Here’s how we did it…
Moving house is on the list of most stressful things for humans to do, never mind for pets! We moved house in May and tried to factor Cooper into all of our plans.
We considered Cooper’s needs, along with our own, when searching for the new house. For us, more bedrooms and a bigger downstairs space was a must, but we knew Cooper would love a bigger garden plus an area to call his own indoors. Your pet’s needs might not be top priority but they shouldn’t be overlooked.
When it came to moving day, we packed Cooper’s overnight bag and took him to my sister’s house for the weekend. We felt that it was safer and (selfishly) quicker to have him out of the way whilst all the heavy lifting was going on.
With hindsight, this did mean a few disjointed days for Cooper, which was trickier for my sister to manage than us (one long sleepless night!) but once we were all reunited he was happy as Larry.
We were fortunate with purchasing our new home that we didn’t have to rush out of our old one. With that being the case, we all spent time together in the new house before moving in. We cleaned, decorated and started to make it our own whilst Cooper was watching. He explored the garden, found old tennis balls in the hedgerow and loved sniffing all the new nooks and crannies.
Once the move was complete, we collected Cooper from my sister’s and brought him home. As he is still crated at night, for the first few weeks we stuck with our usual routine. He cried a little on that first night but quickly settled. Routine is positive for dogs as they understand their place and what’s happening around them. Being 20 months old now, Cooper knows bedtime better than we do – go outside to the toilet, get into bed, lie down and look cute (!), have a few treats in a kong and then lights out – and this is what we did in the new house. However, we wanted to make one more change.
Having more space in the new house, we wanted to create an area that Cooper could call his own. We enlisted the help of our trusted family to convert the utility room into a multi-functional space. Not only did we have room for all the essentials such as the washing machine, ironing board and hoover; we also had a dedicated space for Cooper to sleep.
Transitioning to the new bed was easier than we expected because of the bedtime routine we already had in place. We spent a few days before the transition leaving the door open so he could explore, and some of his favourite toys found their way into the new bed too.
The day we moved Cooper into his new space, we collapsed and hid his crate by the afternoon, and made sure his new bed was ready and inviting. We also made sure that he had plenty of exercise that day, in the hopes of making him super tired come bedtime!
We implemented the bedtime routine as normal, however, this time we had further to walk to get “into bed”. I wouldn’t say he was overly phased, especially as I had a couple of his favourite treats in my hand! We finished the routine in our usual way, turned off the lights, shut the doors and crept upstairs. We heard him murmur and whine for about half an hour, then nothing. Silence. I was half tempted to go downstairs and check on him but resisted. I needn’t have worried; he was right as rain the next morning and we’ve not looked back.
Cooper is so comfortable with his bed area that he now often takes himself in there of an evening in our new house and we couldn’t be happier.
So that’s it, moving house – done! We’ll share more photos of the new house as it all comes together, just watch this space.
Fiona and Cooper 🐾