You got a new job, need to be closer to family, or want to make a fresh start. Whatever your reason, making a significant decision can be exciting and stressful. You need to meet the needs of your furry companion during the planning and implementation of your move. To ensure everything runs smoothly, you should start preparing for moving with dogs as soon as possible.
While some breeds have more flexibility than others, and certain breeds are more fearful of changes, some general guidelines facilitate the relocation process for all.
Prepare for moving with dogs
Develop a plan for your dog’s safety. Be sure that your dog is secure using a seatbelt or crate. If you haven’t used this equipment before the move, take some short practice drives to ensure your pet is comfortable using the equipment.
If your canine does not want to ride in the car, it is essential to desensitize him gradually. You need to do this slowly, so start as soon as possible. Understand any requirements for airlines or railways; if you plan to fly or travel by train.
Always keep your pet’s medical documents available if you require a health certification from your veterinarian or vaccination records are requested.
Sometimes, you have to move first and establish your home before moving with dogs. You should arrange to have your pet cared for by a family member, close acquaintance, or even a kennel if you need to move alone first.
If you do so, ease the stress of your dog’s arrival by using his favorite toys or an old bed to create a safe space for him in your new home.
What should you do with your pet on a moving day?
If possible, take your dog to a trusted friend or family member’s home the day you move. If that’s not possible, notify your mover about your dog and keep him in his crate or shut in a safe space like a bathroom.
Keep your dog comfortable with his toys, bed, and freshwater. Make sure your dog gets some exercise before the movers arrive. Always put your dog first when packing the car or getting ready to head out to the airport.
Secure your dog in your vehicle, and be sure you can safely get out of your car and give your pooch potty breaks as needed during your trip.
Here are some additional tips for safely moving with your dog:
- Find pet-friendly accommodations if you plan to travel long distances.
- Secure your dog before unlocking the doors and getting out of the car.
- Consider the weather conditions. Leaving your pet alone in the car during a rest break is not an option when traveling during the summer months, so pack your food or go to a drive-thru.
- You may prefer to take snacks to eat on the way instead of a full meal.
- Bring water and your dog’s water bowl to give your dog a drink during any stops.
It is easy to forget things when you move. Plan for moving with your dog, and then stick to the plan. Or you can get assistance from movers like Zeromax.
Settling into your new home
When you get to your new home, establish a safe spot for your dog. That will prevent him from getting underfoot as you and the movers work. Having a safe space also will help keep your dog calmer.
Keeping your dog secure will allow you to unpack and remove potential hazards like prescriptions or cleaning supplies.
Walk through the backyard and around your home to look for any potential hazards for your pet. A gap in the fence or a degraded screen door could get your dog loose before knowing the area.
First, walk your dog on a leash around your new neighborhood. Give your dog plenty of sniffing time to become acclimated to his new surroundings.
As much as possible, maintain your dog’s routine and provide plenty of exercise.
The move may stress your dog. Watch for signs your dog needs to go out to potty more often. Your dog may sleep or eat less during the first few days.
If possible, spend a few days at home with your furry friend before returning to work. Spending more time with you will help your dog adjust to your new home.
Monitor your dog outside during this transition period. Dogs may try to jump over or dig under fences to escape and return to your old house.
If you didn’t locate a new vet or emergency vet before your move, do so as soon as possible after you arrive at your new home. That way, you’ll be prepared if the worst happens. Post the numbers on your refrigerator or enter them in your phone’s contact so you can locate them quickly in an emergency.
Successfully move with your dog
Use these 10 tips to make your move successful.
Plan for your move
- If you’re driving for your move, get your dog acclimated to riding in your vehicle.
- Plan a pet-safe route to your new home.
- Find a new veterinarian and emergency vet in your new city.
Day of the move
- Make arrangements for your dog to spend the day with friends, relatives, or at doggy daycare.
- If that’s not possible, keep your dog in his crate or secure him in a small room like a bathroom. This will reduce your dog’s stress and keep him from getting underfoot.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise that day to help him stay calm. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.
At your new home
- Set up a safe space for your dog while the movers work. This will also allow you time to unpack fragile or hazardous items without your dog underfoot.
- Check your new home for any dangers for your dog. Be sure gates are safely secured, and look for any gaps or breaks in your fence.
- Stick to your dog’s routine as much as possible to help him acclimate to his new home.
- Take walks to explore your new neighborhood and give your dog plenty of sniffing time.
After moving with dogs
Be patient after moving with your dog. Give him the extra time and attention to adjust to your new living situation, especially if you’re moving to a bigger home or downsizing to a smaller house or apartment.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Dogs are creatures of habit, and disrupting their routine and everything they know is stressful.
Focus on your dog and prioritize taking care of him to make moving with dogs easier for both of you.