Moving to a new home is one of the most stressful endeavors we, as humans, will experience. Add is your bouncing pup (or two), and now the situation gets more complicated. Packing up piles of boxes will alert your fur baby to change. Furthermore, depending on how far away your new glorious abode is, you can expect a short drive, a long drive, or a plane flight. Each mode of transportation requires a different strategy with Fido. In short, there are many parts to handling a move with a pet. Luckily there are great resources of information to put your mind at ease! It all begins with preparing to move with your dog.
Stage One: Planning
Moving to a new location with your pup(s) is like traveling with children. Hence, a solid plan will allow the experience to go smoothly. You will already be scrambling around on moving day, you will not want to add in worrying thoughts about your fur baby!
Your very first step should be compiling a checklist or schedule. In essence, an owner’s best course of action is to plan ahead and think about what needs to be accomplish before the big day. Wikihow acknowledges that this strategy is how “you can care for your pets in the best possible way during this stressful time.”
See Your Vet
Although each owner’s checklist or schedule will vary to some degree, we recommend you consider the following points. First, see the vet and don’t wait until the last minute to do so. Not only will you want to let them know you are moving, but it is a great idea to seek out which vet you will be using in your new location. This is a wonderful time to take care of any needed shots or vaccinations! Furthermore, if your pup has any known conditions, consult with the vet about any needed precautions or actions during the move. This becomes essential when traveling by air.
Speaking of air travel, this mode of transportation will require more planning. Make sure to request a hard copy of your pup’s vet records and keep it on-hand during the flight. Most importantly, the airline will ask for a health certificate. Well before your date of travel, confirm with the airline that they accept pet travelers and ask about their special requirements. When traveling by air with your fur baby, the airline may ask to place them in the plane’s cargo. Largely, this depends on the size of your pup.
While a ride in the cargo will be more stressful, it is recommended to steer away from pet sedatives. These sedatives are only great for nervous pups that you can monitor in person. They will work to take the edge off, but not completely knock them out. If you are considering a doggie sedative for travel, other than in plane cargo, be sure to consult with your vet on a proper dosage.
Scope Out the New Place
If you have not done so already, we highly recommend taking your pooch on a field trip to the new home. Unfortunately, this may not be possible for far destinations! Bring them on a walk through your soon-to-be house and let them sniff out the yard or nearby outside area.
Additionally, take some time to research the local pet laws in your new location. Most towns and neighborhoods will have a leash law for the safety of your fur baby and others around them. If you are heading into an apartment, triple check their pet policies. For smaller abodes like this, scooping out their outdoor areas or nearby parks will help you prepare a great routine for Fido.
Lock Down a Doggie Sitter
Looking into the future, you know that moving day will be a busy, chaotic mess. Most resources suggest setting up a doggie sitter or kennel housing for the day. This way you can remove your fur baby from the chaos; keeping them safe and calm. We recommend finding these accommodations early on so that you are not scrambling at the last minute!
More often than not, a friend or family member can watch your pup. If this is not an option, check with your local kennels for boarding availability. Additionally, consider setting up mini-outings for Fido throughout your packing experience. For example, RC Human Society wisely notes, “…take your dog on some field trips to get him out of the mix of things while you concentrate on getting things ready.” These “field trips” can include a friend hijacking your pup for a park visit or making a date at the groomers.
Stage Two: Packing
Dogs are not stupid. When you begin taking out the boxes and packing up items, they know something major is about to happen. Consequently, this may affect their behavior and mood. To ease your fur baby into the transition, start setting out boxes early. If packing and moving is done all in a couple of days, your pup will be less likely to handle the stress. Dogs help reduce their stress levels through chewing. Check out our articles on the Nylabone Poer Chew Pro Action Chew Toy and the Best Dog Chew Toys for some great ideas!
Next, try to keep your pup’s daily routine as normal as possible while the packing persists. Dogs thrive through a daily routine because it helps stabilize their life. In essence, your pup’s ability to rely on certain activities will maintain their comfort level.
Finally, take note of your dog’s go-to space in your home. This could be their bed, favorite spot on the couch, or pile of toys. In other words, this is their comfort zone! Plan to pack up their specific space last. By keeping it in tact for as long as possible, you are giving them the ability to enter their comfort zone and reduce stress.
Another great recommended idea includes listing out the doggie products you will need on moving day. Think of toys, treats, portable bowls for food and water, harnesses, pet seat belts, car protection, and other items to set aside for inside the car. If traveling by air, your list of essentials will be different.
Stage Three: THE DAY
The big day has finally arrived, and your mind is going about a million miles per hour. Luckily, the steps you have taken up to this point have set you up for success. Before leaving the house and saying your final goodbyes, organize the route you will be taking. Longer car trips may require over-night stays in roadside hotels. For the sake of your fur baby, make sure these hotels are pet friendly. Not to mention, double check to make sure you have enough doggie food and water for the stay!
If you are truly a plan-ahead kind of owner, mapping out good spots for potty breaks can make your driving life easier. Although your car seat protector does wonders against dog hair, I doubt you want any liquid or solid accidents in the vehicle! Yuck!
Most importantly, it’s no secret that moving homes will be stressful for your dog. Research indicates that some pups will experience depression after moving. It will help to keep an eye on how your fur baby is acting upon arrival. One sign includes a decrease in food intake. We recommend seeing a vet if you have any concerns towards your pup’s behavior.
Products to Help Your Move
COMSUN Collapsible Dog Bowl
Moving to a new home often means a long car ride. Food and water will still be essential for your dog to consume along the way! Collapsible dog bowls are wonderful contraptions to have in the car. Easy to pack and wash, you can pop it out for food or water.
The COMSUN Collapsible Dog Bowl has received top customer reviews and comes highly recommended. You can choose between a green and blue 2-pack at under $6 or a green, blue, and yellow 3-pack for under $8. Each bowl measures 5.1” wide and 2.1” high. Some customers note that the bowls are fairly small and are not preferable for larger dogs.
You can feel safe filling these bowls with food or water because it is food-grade silicone made. This means the COMSUN Collapsible Dog Bowl is lead-free and BPA-free! Additionally, the company offers a lifetime warranty.
High Road Wag’n Ride Dog Car Seat Organizer
After putting together all the dog essentials you need for the long drive, you will want to put them all in one place. Preferably, a place that organizes the products and gives you easy access. We instantly fell in love with The High Road Wag’n Ride Dog Car Seat Organizer because it does just that!
In summary, the product lays on the back of the driver or passenger seat. A strap with buckle closure wraps around the headrest to hang. Made from 500 denier polyester, the organizer comes 15.5” wide, 11” high, and 4” deep when closed. One, large main compartment helps keep prying paws out by using a spring closure. It easily wipes clean and can hold up to 24 cups of dry food! Customers note that the spring closure is not incredibly strong. A determined pup will be able to steal out some snacks!
Three other outside pockets help make organizing a dream. There are two cylindrical pockets on either side of the main compartment and one flat pocket situated in the front. The best part: the organizer has a built-in waste bag dispenser! Simply pull a baggie down and out without having to dig through the bag.