Blog November 28, 2020

5 Things You Should Know When Moving With a Dog Across the Country

Posted in Moving 101
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Yay, you’re relocating! As much as it’s for the best to look at this change optimistically, let’s face it – it’s a tedious process. And it’s more so if you are moving with a dog. Every owner loves their furry friend, that’s why it’s vital to know how doggies can adjust more quickly.

Relocating during the Corona pandemic has its challenges, but we’ve managed to overcome them. After all, it simply takes a few precautions and mindfulness of others to keep everything in check. But has moving a dog to a new home proven to be a strenuous task even more so? And another question – Is moving stressful for dogs? The fact is that we’re not the only ones that need stress-free relocating, and even our furry companions feel the tension. Read on to find out how to overcome any problems that might await you.

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Pick a Home With Your Pets in Mind

One of the most important things we do when preparing to relocate is to gather house hunting tips to know how to pick the right spot. But doggie owners should watch out for a few decisive factors, such as whether the house has a big enough yard for their pup, and if not, to check the proximity to parks.

If you’re relocating to the suburbs, it’s probably a lot easier to come by these things than it is when relocating from a small town to a big city. But many large cities have pet-friendly parks and restaurants that your furry friends will enjoy and get accustomed to in no time.

The Difference Between Renting and Buying When It Comes to Having a Furry Friend

We all have different reasons to move – for a job, for love, or independence. Some of us may be moving out for the first time. It usually means we will be living in a rental space, and we’ll have to follow some rules and guidelines. Before you sign a lease, you should ask your landlord if pets are allowed, and if they are, is there anything you should know.

Homebuyers have it a bit easier because they can simply pick the right neighborhood, a perfect backyard, or a place with close parks.

A puppy in an apartment after interstate moving
Only about 55% of landlords allow pets in their rental properties

Stick To Your Daily Routines and Be Thoroughly Prepared

If you are wondering – how do I prepare my dog for moving, you should start by sticking to regular daily routines. Even if you’re last-minute relocating and everything is a bit chaotic, you should set aside some time both for yourself and your puppy and stick to training and walks. It’s essential to find a moment to say bye to friends and spend time with your furry companion as well. That way, you’ll manage to overcome the tension you may be feeling and keep your fuzzy friend calm.

Check the Pet Regulations Before Moving State to State

One of the crucial things to do when relocating to a new state is to check the laws and regulations of that area, which apply to pets. For instance, in Little Rock, Arkansas, all dogs are forbidden from barking after 6 pm, while in Oklahoma, making a face at a doggie can land you behind bars. But these silly regulations aside, you should see what kind of documents you are required to gather before you move.

Visit the Vet and Gather All the Relevant Information and Documents

Since relocations are complex, and we have to keep track of everything and more, it’s only natural that we skip something, especially when it comes to packing. Although the most commonly forgotten things to pack include chargers and snacks for the road, we shouldn’t forget to pay a visit to the vet before we go.

Besides running a routine checkup, your pet’s vet will also hand over all the documents concerning your furry little friend. These papers include a certificate as proof of rabies vaccine administration and the latest vaccination records. Don’t forget to pack your proof of ownership, too.

A veterinarian examining a pup
The most popular animals that show up for exams from a veterinarian are dogs

Get Your Furry Companion Acquainted With Packing Materials

After you’ve made some basic preparations around your house, you’ve probably come close to the most dreaded task of all – packing. Before you start to pack the belongings into boxes, you’ll need to obtain various packing materials for relocating, and most of them will seem like brand new toys to your pet, or they will cause anxiety.

They might get scared of the sound of the tape dispenser, so it’s best if you get them acquainted with all the materials. You can do this the simple way – collect a few boxes and place them in a corner without making a big fuss about it. Let them explore and sniff the situation, and reward them with a treat every time they approach the packages without damaging them. This way, you can start packing slowly, and your furry companion will look at all these things as something neutral.

Keep Your Dogs Aside While Decluttering

One of the vital preparatory steps when relocating to a new state is decluttering and getting rid of all the stuff you won’t be taking along. But what has that have to do with moving with dogs, you wonder? Even if you’ve done some purging before, you’ve probably never done it on such a large scale, and it may cause anxiety in your puppy. If you’re going to get rid of bulky furniture pieces and go into the garage and the attic to clean up and throw away some stuff, it would be best to designate a place for your dog so that it wouldn’t get nervous. Decluttering will help you move efficiently, and you’ll do it faster if your puppy is with a sitter or in a room designated just for them.

A pup on the carpet
Dogs can hear four times the distance of a human, so keep them separated while you do the relocation chores

Prepare Your Pet for the Moving Date

And the big date has come! This is when you’ll figure out firsthand how to move with a dog and how to survive the move-out day with as little consequence as possible. If you’ve decided to invest in interstate moving services by reliable state-to-state movers, you should be prepared because many unknown people will enter the house. This can prove to be stressful for your pup, and that is why you should prepare both yourself and your furry companion for the relocation specialists.

Sitters for Puppies Are of Great Help

As much as paying for the packing service will relieve you of the backbreaking work of packing your whole household, there are ways to overcome the move-out day with ease. One of them is to hire a sitter that takes care of your furry companion for you. It’s an ideal solution for those that don’t have family members and friends to keep them on that day.

Decide Whether You’ll Move Them to the New Home or Hire Professionals

Are you taking your pet with you or not? This decision mostly depends on whether you’re shipping your car via auto transport service. If your vehicle is shipped, your pet can go on a plane with you (you can check out some safety tips by ASPCA), or you can hire a company that moves dogs to a different address.

Keep in mind that doggies are among the things movers won’t move, and it would be a bad idea to place your furry friend on the back of a truck. If you are planning to drive yourself, prepare a few items for the road.

Pack Up the Essentials for You and Your Dog

As the move-out day approaches, you should deal with a few more tasks. One of the relocating tips that will make your life much easier is to pack a bag of relocating essentials, both for you and your pup. Since doggies need to be fed at least two times a day, and even more so if you have puppies, here’s a checklist for relocating to another state, the doggy edition:

  • Prepare bags and cans of food (although dried is best for the road, perhaps,) and their favorite food and water bowls,
  • Leave their collar with an ID tag that has your phone number on, and pack a four to six-foot leash because you should make stops along the way,
  • Buy a plastic carrier or foldable metal crate designated for doggies, and make sure it’s the right size,
  • Pack a brush or a comb if combing soothes them so that they can calm down, and you can give them direct attention and reassurance to overcome anxiety about moving out,
  • Bring some super-absorbent paper towels, wet wipes, and disinfecting spray for the car,
  • Lots of plastic poop bags are a must for the road (make sure that they are biodegradable ones because they are the best)
  • Pack a variety of their favorite toys that will help you entertain them during the trip,
  • Don’t forget to bring some of their favorite treats,
  • Some first-aid supplies.

Keep in mind that doggies with any medical conditions require additional attention, so be well prepared for the trip.

A pile of biscuits
About 45% of dogs in the US sleep in their owner’s bed, so it’s perhaps best to keep them by yourself while you move

Walk About the New Home

If you are a pet parent and you’ve arrived at the new abode, you may have some ideas on how to start the day. But with a furry friend, first thing’s first – let them explore around the home. Take a moment and follow them around the place to get accustomed to it before your belongings arrive from storage units.

Explore the Neighborhood

After you’ve battled with the first steps of settling in, unpacked some of your belongings, and got used to the new surroundings, it’s time to take your furry friend outside. Go beyond your backyard and explore the neighborhood, as your dog will love it. This way, you can get to know your area, too, and spend a portion of the day with your puppy. It’s a way to go back to your daily routines.

Set Up a Spot for Your Dog

While you must designate a room for everyone in your household, it’s also important to find that perfect spot where your furry companion will sleep. Although a large percentage of pups in our country sleep in their owner’s bed, you should pick a corner just for them in one of the rooms in the house. Perhaps you can even make a doggie house in the backyard.

Work on Overcoming Any Anxiety

Now, the question is – do dogs have a hard time adjusting to moving? They are as intelligent as a two-year-old child and have a similar understanding. The studies have even shown that they can learn to recognize more than 100 words and gestures. It’s only natural that they have feelings, and as much as we can feel depression after relocating, they can have problems adjusting, too.

The following video offers some advice on overcoming anxiety in dogs, given by professionals.

Moving With a Dog Takes Patience and a Lot of Love

Relocating to another state alone doesn’t need to be hard at all, especially if you are relocating with pets. And in the end, we may be stressing about one thing – How long does it take for a dog to adjust to a move? The answer is that it’s all individual. It does take a period of adjustment, some effort, and a whole lot of love to make this huge change just a little bump in the road. After all, home is where the heart is, and you are the world to your puppy. If you spend enough hours daily together doing ordinary stuff like walks and training, you’ll both settle in an instant.

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