Moving is stressful enough for us humans, especially if it’s a long distance move. But moving is a much more stressful experience for our dogs, who don’t understand what’s happening and may not realize that everything will be okay.
As their caregivers, it is our job to make the transition to a new home as easy as possible for our four-legged friend. Here are 8 tips for moving with your dog.
Before picking a place
#1 – Choose with your pet in mind
When looking for a new place to call home, be sure to keep your fur kids in mind. Dogs with lots of energy might need large backyards or nearby dog parks. Older dogs dealing with arthritis won’t appreciate lots of stairs. Walk around the neighborhood to see if there are any aggressive or loose dogs that might cause problems.
Before and during the move
#2 – Acclimate them to crates and car rides
If your dog’s only experience with car rides is a trip to the vet, you’ll want to start taking him on short car rides to fun places before your move so that he doesn’t panic on moving day. Always reward your dog after these short excursions to create a positive association with the car.
Dogs should always be restrained in the car, either with a seat belt harness or in a crate. The benefit of acclimating your dog to a crate before moving day is that they’ll have a safe place to feel comfortable during the drive and once you’ve moved into your new home. Use the same technique to get your dog used to a crate that you did for the car.
#3 – Confine them during the move
The last thing you want on moving day is for your dog to slip out of an open door and run away. Confine your dog to one room or the backyard during the move, and if they are crate trained, give them the option of going into their crate to feel safe.
#4 – Bring:
-Vaccination and health records
-ID tags with new address and phone number on dog’s collar
-Pet first aid kit
-A separate bag with your dog’s things, easily accessible
Check out Top Tips For A Terrific Road Trip With Your Dog for more!
#5 – Book a hotel or an Airbnb that’s pet-friendly ahead of time
If your move requires an overnight stop along the way, you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time. Not all hotels accept pets, and those that do often charge extra fees, so you’ll want to call ahead. (Get a head start by checking out The Top 7 Hotel Chains For Traveling With Your Dog!) (And if you haven’t used it, Airbnb offers many pet friendly rentals across the U.S.) Once you reach your hotel room or Airbnb, check for any dangers such as an open window or holes in the wall before letting your pets loose.
When you reach your new home
#6 – Secure your dog in one room
Just like the moving out process, you’ll want to secure your dog in one location until you’ve had a chance to move everything in and do a safety sweep of the whole place.
#7 – Maintain routines
Now is not the time to decide you should change your dog’s feeding schedule, and their things should be kept in similar locations in the new house compared to the old one. Any changes should be made only after your dog has adjusted to your new home.
#8 – Try to stay calm