Patience and preparation are critical when it comes to making a move smooth for both you and your dog. In fact, you should probably start the pup-related planning process before you pack your first moving box.
Consider a Crate
If you are moving more than a short distance away, you should probably plan to transport your dog to his new home in a crate that’s set somewhere safe and secure in your vehicle. If your dog isn’t accustomed to traveling in a crate, start training her for the process well in advance of your scheduled moving day. Place the crate somewhere in your home and keep the door open. Encourage her to eat, drink, sleep, and relax in there by adding treats and familiar toys (affiliate link). At the same time, be sure to make it clear the crate is not your dog’s new private bathroom. And practice by taking her on a series of car trips while she’s in the crate, gradually lengthening the duration of the drive until you’re fairly sure she’ll be calm and comfortable on the way to your new home.
Making the Move
On moving day itself, the crate could serve as a safe haven for your dog while movers are loading and unloading your furniture and other belongings. And, even if he isn’t in his crate, be sure your dog is in a secure, out-of-the-way area to keep his stress level low. Or consider asking a friend your animal knows and loves to dog sit at their house for a few hours during the most action-packed part of the move, according to Cesar’s Way.
If at all possible, pack up your dog’s favorite room last to help him feel less stressed. And be sure to keep a few favorite blankets and toys out to make his crate more comfortable all the way through the moving process. Also include other essentials such as a leash, bottled water (since drinking water from an unfamiliar area could cause stomach problems for your pet), a folder with all your dog’s health records, and supplies to clean up any moving-day mishaps while you and your pet are traveling to your new home.
On the Road
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends pets have both an identifying microchip and a collar with a tag that includes your name, phone number, and any relevant contact information. During a move, it’s also a good idea for your pet’s collar to include a temporary travel tag with your mobile phone number and a destination phone number, such as the front-desk phone number for the pet-friendly hotel where you’ve booked a room for the night.
Be sure to take regular bathroom breaks that allow your dog to get out of the crate while on a leash. And you should never leave your dog alone in a parked car, so it makes sense to drive with a traveling companion so you can comfortably take breaks, too.
Home Sweet Home
Once you and your dog make it to your new home, try to minimize her anxiety by setting up her eating, sleeping, and play zones as much like they were in your previous home as possible. It can also be helpful to set up a “safe area” for your dog while you unpack so she won’t be overwhelmed by the process and the new sights, sounds, and smells. You can encourage her to explore her surroundings gradually once she seems calm and comfortable.
Create a healthy environment for both you and your pet by purchasing an air purifier. Many models are designed to remove pet dander and hair from the air, so research the best ones before buying. Also, be sure to find a new vet if you’ve moved too far away to make staying with your old one practical. And start getting your dog back into her usual exercise routine as soon as possible.
With planning, preparation, and plenty of patience, you can make moving less stressful for both you and your furry friend. And, before you know it, your dog will soon be feeling right at home in her new neighborhood.
This post was written by Cindy Aldridge. Cindy is a freelance writer who is passionate about dogs and pets. She loves sharing her thoughts and insights on being a responsible dog owner.