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A little over a month ago we closed on our first home, and moved in the next day. Buying a house was about security for us. After renting for my entire adult life I was tired of the uncertainty of living in someone else’s house. Plus, since we have two dogs our rental options were always very limited. Buying a house was just as much about safety and security for our dogs as it was for us.

Now, that might sound a little over-the-top, but if you’re the parent of a furry baby with 4 legs you understand. We adopted our girls from the Humane Society almost 5 years ago. They were neglected and scared, but quickly acclimated into our family with their sweet personalities. Both dogs were at home when we had a fire in our apartment a couple years ago, and while they got out safely, they were pretty traumatized from the experience. Moving after the fire was hard on them, so I was determined to make our next move our last.

the dogs

It’s been a little over a month since we moved into our home, and our dogs love it! Their favorite thing is the big window in the living room, right behind the couch. One in particular, Storm, will sit up there for hours and watch life happen on our street. When I pull the curtains closed at night she will stick her little furry head in between and peer outside anyway. It makes my heart happy to see them so content, and today I am going to share some tips that made our transition easier.

Keep Them Contained

My BIGGEST fear in moving was that one of the dogs would slip out the door and take off. They aren’t runners by nature, but when animals are stressed they do crazy things. The house we were renting was also put on the market 3 days before we moved. So besides the chaos of getting ready to move we also had to deal with showings. The realtor left our front door wide open when she put the lockbox on, so I wasn’t taking any chances with my dogs!


When there were showings we arranged to either take the dogs with us wherever we were going, to have my sister babysit them. There was no way I was going to expose them to the stress of strangers in the house, or the possibility of them escaping. Sometimes you need to completely remove them from the situation.

When we were physically moving my sister was helping us, so the dogs stayed with us. But we either kenneled them or kept them on a leash AT ALL TIMES. Don’t take any chances when there are doors open. I made sure that one person was always in charge of the dogs and knowing where they were. If that’s not feasible for you, put them in their kennel or travel carrier til the doors are shut.

Update Veterinary Information

Before your moving process begins, make sure your dogs are up to date on their shots and that their microchip information is current. You’ll also want to have new tags printed with your new address ASAP. If you are moving out of the area, scope out possible vets before you move and make an appointment as soon as you can after. Many vets will only see current customers in emergency situations, so you want to make sure you are on that list! Scope out any pet emergency care facilities in the area as well, because they will generally see new customers in emergency situations.

move with pets

You also want to check out the pet regulations in your new city. Most require your pets to be licensed and some even have breed bans. Usually you can find this information out by contacting the local animal shelter.

Set Their New Home Up For Success


When you move into a new home, the most important thing to your pet is that you are there. Make sure you spend a little extra quality time with them until they are acclimated to their new home. Realize that you may have some accidents in the new home because your pets are stressed and due to previous animal smells. Our new home has carpet, and it was obvious the previous owners had pets. We rented a carpet cleaner, and it did a good job at cleaning the carpets but a few spots still remained and our dogs insisted on marking their territory in those places.


The other day I was in Target and picked up a bottle of STAINMASTER™ Carpet Pet Stain Remover. Wow! This stuff completely removed the stains and odors from our carpet. It leaves an invisible shield to repel dirt and protect your carpet, which makes it easier to clean next time. What I love is that it is great for pet stains, but you can also use it for every day stains like coffee, grape juice, jelly, chocolate syrup, ketchup, dirty motor oil, and soil. To use you want to liberally spray the product on affected areas, wait 3-5 minutes to allow the solution to penetrate, then dampen the spot with water and blot with a cloth or paper towel. I was really impressed with how well this product worked. I think it has bought us a couple more years before we have to replace the carpet! My Target store is literally the only one in Northwest Iowa, so it tends to be well-stocked, but this product is not carried in every Target store. If you can’t find STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover at your local store, click here to find it and even have it shipped for free to your local Target. You can also get 15% off right now with the Cartwheel App!

Prepare Your New Yard

One more tip I have is really looking over your new yard and deciding what method you will use to contain your pets when they are outside. Our yard is fenced in, but is missing a fence panel so the dogs could still escape. We are finding that taking them out on a leash is a huge pain, so we are going to get a stake and tie out system. If your new yard is fenced make sure you walk the perimeter and thoroughly inspect it so you know there aren’t places they could escape. If you decide to do a tie out system, make sure they can’t pull the stake out of the ground and that they are tied out somewhere you can visually monitor them at all times. We are hoping to have our fence repaired in the spring so they can run and explore again!

These are just a few tips to make a move with pets less stressful. Moving can be a little overwhelming for everyone involved, but knowing that my pets were safe was a huge relief to me. Start by writing out a list of what you need to set up and do for your pets before your move. And don’t forget to pick up some STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover at Target before you move!


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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is newly single, a mom, soon to be grandma and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.



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