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moving your dog

Moving Your Dog

Mans best friend! And as their best friend, it is important to understand how sensitive dogs can be, especially when they need to move from the comfort of their surroundings into the unfamiliar.

In addition to making sure you have everything in place to relocate your dog, such as paperwork, certificates, etc. creating a calm environment throughout the moving process is essential to their wellbeing.

As you would a young child, explain to your dog what is happening. Share the process that will be unfolding. If you have plenty of time to plan the move, communicate with your pal and let them know the upcoming plans. If you need to move on the spur, inform them what is happening and be present for your dog.

Dogs become anxious when there is over stimulation. Lots of noise, movement and things in the way can make a dog become nervous. If possible, there should be one person responsible for the dog throughout the moving process. This doesn’t mean others cannot continue caring for the dog, but one person should always “be there and guide” the dog.

Prior To Moving Day

  • Keep your dogs routine as consistent as possible, before, during, and after the move.
  • Create an area in your home where your dog can spend time and feel safe during the moving process. Keep their favorite toys and familiar items close by.
  • Try and pack over a long period, doing a bit at a time. If packing needs to be done over a short period of time, try and have the dog taken care of. Either with their “guide” or have them spend some time at daycare, having fun with friends for a few days. Allowing you to focus on packing.
  • Visit your vet for a full medical checkup and request vet recommendations in new destination.
  • If you have a dog that may become anxious, inquire about options that may help calm them prior to being prescribed anti-anxiety medications. Some of the options include:
  • ThunderShirts: is a wrap that applies gentle pressure to the body of a nervous dog. It produces a calming effect of deep pressure on the canine’s nervous system.
  • Adaptil collars: is a collar that slowly releases Adaptil pheromones. This helps dogs deal with change, phobias, anxiety and a number of other behavioral problems. Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell and while the pheromone therapy is completely undetectable to humans, the synthetic form of these pheromones (Adaptil) gives dogs the feeling of comfort and security that they need during times which may cause them unease.

Documentation

In addition to a copy of your dog’s medical records, you will also need:

  • Official health certificate stating your dog is healthy and able to travel. If your dog will be flying, an Airline Veterinary Health Certificate will be required.
  • Certificate of your dog’s vaccinations.

Keep your dog’s medical records with you during the duration of the relocation. Don’t pack them onto the truck if a moving company is transporting your personal belongings.

All states except four require dogs to have rabies inoculation. State and local laws usually require that the rabies tag be securely attached to the pet’s collar.

Moving Day

Moving day can be busy with constant traffic of movers wrapping and loading furniture and boxes onto the moving truck. The ideal situation for your dog would be out of the home, either at a daycare or with the pet sitter for the duration of time that the movers will be packing and loading. Alternately, have the dog in a room away from the main hub of moving. Check in on them regularly and place familiar items, along with food and fresh water.

Transporting Your Dog

Whether you decide to drive or fly your dog, understanding how to Travel Safely With Your Pet, along with preparations and planning, will make both yours and your dog’s journey easier, more comfortable and enjoyable.

Driving

Having a carrier or portable kennel could be one of the most useful items for your trip. It can become the dogs “home-away-from-home.” You can safely leave him in it, in the car, motel or hotel room.

If your dog is not used to car travel, take some short trips locally to accustom them to being in the car. If they will be using a carrier or kennel, have them spend some time inside while on your drives.

Begin teaching your dog car etiquette. They should know to sit or lie quietly in “their” place in the car. They should also be taught to keep their head inside the car. Their eyes can become sore from outside dust, grit and insects in the air. Their ears and throat can become inflamed by too much wind. They must also learn not to distract the driver and not to bark at passing vehicles or pedestrians.

Frequent breaks need to be taken while travelling with dogs. They should get out to stretch their legs and take bathroom breaks every four to six hours. If you will be driving long distance and staying in hotels, motels or other accommodations, make sure to book pet friendly dwellings in advance.

A leash must always be attached before opening the car door. Detach it once he is back in the car and the doors are closed.

Whenever you stop, take care to ensure doors are closed. Dogs are quick and could easily escape in excitement or wonder, and even though they may be tagged and micro chipped, could become lost where there is nothing but a fuel station.

If you need to leave your dog in the car, although not advised, park in the shade if in a hot climate. Open all the windows about an inch or two and leave them with water. Check on them regularly.

Clipping your dog’s nails before the beginning of the journey is a good idea. This will prevent damage to upholstery from any scratches.

Make sure identification and rabies tags are attached firmly to your dogs collar.

Pack a travel kit for your dog, along with some First Day Essentials.

  • Enough food for duration of trip. Keep to what your dog is used to
  • Can opener
  • Food and water dishes
  • Bottled water
  • Any prescribed medication
  • Paper towels and wipes
  • Plastic bags for picking up waste
  • Towel
  • Blanket
  • Favorite toy
  • Flea or tick repellant
  • First aid kit
  • Vets telephone number
  • ASPCA - National Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435
  • Pet sunscreen and inset repellant
  • Current photo of your pet

Flying

If driving to your new destination isn’t an option, flying your dog is the next best thing. Although not the preferred way, ensuring your pets safety and comfort is imperative.

Your dog must have a suitable pet carrier. Airline requirements may differ, so it is vital that you ensure your carrier complies with the requirements of your chosen airline company. Your dogs name, your emergency contact information, and a recent photo must be attached to the pet carrier.

Please Note: The Animal Welfare Act prohibits air transportation of puppies that are less than eight weeks old, whether accompanied or unaccompanied. Flying may not be advisable for older dogs, dogs that are ill, or any dog that may become aggressive. If your dog is not used to being in an enclosed carrier, they should not travel by air. Some breeds, such as the brachycephalic breed of dog are banned from flying, due to the health risk to the dog.

Preparation

  • Book flights as soon as possible.
  • Obtain additional information from the airline regarding their pet policy and carrier requirements.
  • Confirm whether the dog will fly in the cabin or cargo.
  • Ensure you have all required documentation and certificates.
  • Provide your dog with food and water approximately 4 hours prior to reaching the airport.
  • Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to the flight.

Pet transportation

If you decide to use a pet transporting company to assist you with moving your dog, make sure they are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Your dog should be properly insured while in their care. For the best care to your dog, look for pet transportation companies that specialize or have extensive experience with dogs and successful relocations.

Arriving To The New Home

Stay close to your dog and give them lots of love, attention, and their favorite treat. If possible wait to begin unpacking. Get your dog into a routine as soon as possible and when outside, keep them on a leash until they are familiar in their new environment. Soon enough, they will be making friends while you relax and commend yourself for getting your best buddy to your new home safely.

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