I've recently found out that I'll likely be moving in about 4 weeks to a new home in the same neighborhood (8 city blocks from my current building), thanks to ever increasing rents in NYC.

I'd like to make the move as painless as possible for my 1 year old Keeshond. Luckily, we'll be in the same neighborhood, so we'll still go to the same parks and we'll be close enough to walk around the same general area (i.e. it won't be a completely new area that she's never been to). Aside from moving I don't anticipate anything else changing (same dog walker, same vet, same schedule, etc).

My question is whether I should move fast or slow - I have the option to move in early to the new place and have an overlap of 2 weeks, so I'd be able to move all my things slowly and bring the dog over to the new place to hang out and hopefully get used to it. I've read that I should just send the dog to daycare, move everything into the new place in a single day and then never bring the dog back to the old apartment - in essence a "clean" break.

If there's a "right" option between the two, what is it? Are there other things I should be doing to prepare the dog for moving?

It doesn't seem like this question has been asked before, though I did find 2 questions about what to do after you've moved with a dog (here and here) which are unable to answer my question.

2 Answers 2


Young dogs are typically better at handling change than new dogs, it really depend on his personality. Overall either way is fine to be honest.

If you have a highly stressed out pooch then I would do the 2 week overlap if not just do it in one go. You can also try the following:

1) Thundershirt - a jacket that helps comfort the dog in times of stress.

2) Dog Appeasing Pheromone - natural pheromone to help the dog relax.

3) KalmAid - a supplement that also aids in relaxation (this is not a drug).

Again, it greatly depends on how your dog is with change - most are fine as long as you and his regular smells are still around.

  • She's generally pretty good with new things, though she does get stressed out when we travel for longer periods of time (i.e. going to lots of new places, with new people and animals one after another for several days).
    – LMGagne
    Jul 24, 2017 at 16:07
  • 1
    What does she do when stressed? Jul 24, 2017 at 16:45
  • She is just on edge, which I interpret as stressed - barking more than usual, difficulty settling down, following me around more than usual.
    – LMGagne
    Jul 25, 2017 at 0:50

It is hard to say definitively what your dog will do best with, but typically if you need to make a significant change in environment, drawing it out isn't going to help, and may even hurt as the back and forth is confusing for the dog. The best option is to make the new home as positive a place as possible. Make sure you do some training exercises (e.g. sit/stay training, recall training, any tricks you might have taught) using treat rewards, and take them for a walk around the neighborhood, ideally getting them pretty tired. Getting them exercise and stimulating them mentally will help smooth the transition.

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