In my experience dogs cope amazingly well with change so long as they've got someone they trust with them.
Whenever we moved with the dogs, we tried to:
- pack up gradually OR have movers do the packing on the day while the dogs were out, so as to avoid a few completely chaotic days
- leave their stuff in place and their routine the same as much as possible
- take them to the new area for walks several times ahead of the move if possible, so the area becomes somewhat familiar
- get them out of the house for the actual furniture moving out and in process, either leaving them in the care of a trusted person, or taking them for a looooooooong walk. (We didn't do that the first time, and our completely chilled and confident pup nearly had a breakdown when they took his sofa....)
- take their stuff with us so it's there when the dogs arrive, and I'll go in and set up their main things before they come in
- you can get an adaptil and/or pet remedy diffuser hooked up in both the old and the new place, starting a week or two before the move ideally. That way both homes have a homely, calming scent, and the new place will smell familiar to the dog.
- ideally set up all or some of the furniture in a familiar pattern
I wouldn't get the pup a new bed to celebrate the move, or stuff like that. I'd make sure at least some furniture is familiar, ideally his comfort places. You can replace with new things later of course, once you're all settled.
Keep in mind that you may need to refresh on toilet training, because dogs don't generalise well to other houses, and they need to learn where the doors are first etc.
Also keep in mind that a new environment can trigger some separation anxiety, so try to take some time off to settle in with them, and gradually seeing how they feel about leaving them.
Potentially look into dog sitters or walkers in the new area ahead of time for that, and introduce before the move if you can.
Written by Rebecca Kohnke