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Adopting A Dog, Dog Owner, Dog Safety, Pet Insurance

Planning a Long-Distance Move with Your Dog

by Lindsay Denton The Insured Pet
September 13, 2022
Dog sitting in a moving box.

Planning a Long-Distance Move with Your Dog

Relocating is always challenging, especially when moving long distances. However, things may get much more complicated when dogs are involved. Dogs experience anxiety that accompanies moving, so you must carefully plan every step. Furthermore, we treat dogs as members of the family. They will always be there for you, regardless of what is going on in your or their lives. Therefore, dogs require special consideration while traveling, and you must follow some safety tips to keep them healthy and happy. For that reason, we compiled a guide for planning a long-distance move with your dog. Keep reading to see how you can make the relocation seem like an adventure for your dog and avoid trauma.

Make a step-by-step dog-friendly moving plan.

The best approach to making a long-distance trip with your dog go smoothly is to plan ahead of time. If you’re unsure of what supplies you’ll need, spend some time before the trip to research them. Also, because you might need to spend a night or two on the road and not many accommodations accept pets, look for motels or hotels that are pet friendly.

In addition, take your time to make a schedule of the whole moving process. Write down the day you start packing, the day the movers are supposed to come, and the day of your leave. Calculate how many days you will spend on the road and plan the food and bathroom breaks. And most importantly, see if you can find a family member that can take the responsibility of taking care of your dog during the trip. That will make your dog feel safer and allow them to maintain his regular schedule.

A person writing down a checklist in a notebook
When planning a long-distance move with your dog, you can make a checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Check the laws and regulations in your new city.

In your new state, city, homeowner’s association, or apartment complex, you might have different pet rules and regulations than what you know. Some of them may even influence the specifics or timing of your relocation, so verify that ahead of time. To verify state laws, go to the state Department of Agriculture’s website, and for any municipal laws, go to city hall. Don’t forget to check with your landlord or realtor about any rules or requirements particular to your new residence. It’s also worth noting that movements outside the contiguous United States are subject to additional restrictions. Therefore, if you are relocating to Hawaii or crossing the border to Canada, research the laws thoroughly.

At the same time, you might need some paperwork relating to your pet’s health, depending on your method of transport and destination. Therefore, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get everything in order once you’ve verified the requirements.

Go to the vet for a check-up.

As mentioned above, you might be required to present some documents when traveling with your dog. The most common documents you need when moving with pets are proof of rabies vaccination and a health certificate. These documents should be given to your new veterinarian and may also be helpful if you intend to stay overnight in a pet-friendly hotel on your journey to your new home. And if you are at the vet, you can also ask for a check-up to see if your buddy is in good health and ready to travel. Also, don’t forget to update the collar tag and microchip and renew any prescriptions that your dog may need.

You may discuss with your veterinarian the possibility of sedating your pet throughout the journey. Many medication choices are available, ranging from herbal supplements to Benadryl or even heavier drugs. However, you and your veterinarian should work together to choose the best course of action.

Veterinarian doing a check-up on a dog.
Your dog’s health needs to be great if you want to move long-distance with them. Therefore, don’t forget to visit your vet.

Find the right moving company.

When planning a long-distance move with your dog, you may have to be picky about the moving company you use. Animals are not allowed in rental truck cabs, and no moving company will permit them to travel with your belongings. However, if you have to move long-distance from New York, pros can handle everything related to the move so you can focus on taking care of your dog. Moving experts can pack, load, transport, and unload as you ensure your pet is comfortable and safe on the road.

Keep your dog safe in the car.

Traveling with your dog can be enjoyable if kept secure and happy. Therefore, to keep your furry friend safe in the back seat or cargo area, use a crate, harness, and pet seat belt. Also, avoid packing anything around their cage to provide proper airflow inside the car and to ensure their needs can be satisfied while traveling.

At the same time, get your dog used to the cage or crate on time. When you buy it, bring it into the house for them to smell it and get used to it. Then, you can place it in the car, get your dog inside, and start the engine to see how it will react. If everything is OK, you can take your dog on short rides and slowly increase the distance. When you think your dog has adapted to the car and crate, you are ready for the relocation.

Dog sitting in a crate for pet transportation
A crate is a great solution to keep your dog safe on the road.

Pack for the ride.

Another essential step in planning a long-distance move with your dog is to pack a road kit. Here is what that kit should contain:

  • Water bowl and water
  • Food bowl and enough food
  • Your dog’s favorite snacks
  • Blankets and toys that your dog likes
  • Portable litter box or puppy pads
  • Cleaning supplies in case of involuntary accidents
  • Harness and leash
  • All medical and vaccine records
  • Pet insurance

Final words

Moving with dogs may be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be with proper planning and patience. Animals pick up on their owners’ emotional and social cues, so if you can manage your stress and tension, your pet will be able to do the same. Also, give your dog extra attention following the relocation to help them adjust and settle in quickly. Not to mention that your furry friend should also get an extra treat for being such a good boy or girl during the trip.

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Tags: Adopting A Dog, Dog Owner, Dog Safety, Pet Insurance