Moving from one end of the country to another can be a major undertaking. With a few furry friends in tow, a cross-country move can be even more complicated. Moving to a new place can be stressful for many dogs and adjusting to new surroundings makes them anxious and a handful to manage. Here are a few tips that'll help keep your dogs calm and comfortable throughout your cross-country move.
Before You Leave
Preparation is the key for any cross-country move, especially one involving your four-legged friends. Here are a few things to do before you set off:
- Stick to your usual routine. Any drastic changes can freak out dogs that are used to more settled routines.
- Keep your dogs well away from packing activity. Not only could your dogs use the peace and quiet, but your movers won't have to worry about unexpected tripping hazards.
- Load your dogs last. Don't forget to make sure there's plenty of room for them to move about.
Depending on where you're moving to, your dogs may also need a clean bill of health. For instance, Hawaii has strict health requirements that dogs must meet in order to avoid a lengthy quarantine period. A clean bill of health may come in the form of a health certificate signed by a professional veterinarian and/or proof of rabies vaccination. You should have these documents on your person at all times.
While You're On the Road
Safety should be your first and foremost consideration when traveling with your dogs cross-country. Car harnesses are a good option for keeping your dogs safely in the back seat. Be sure to research your options thoroughly and choose one that doesn't restrict your dog's movement too much. If you have several dogs and not enough space to connect harnesses, backseat barriers are your next best option.
Long drives can easily stress most dogs, so don't forget to have frequent stops planned for them to stretch their legs and use the bathroom. Keep your dogs on a leash at all times, not only to keep them from running off unexpectedly but also to respect any leash laws that are in effect. It also helps to keep your dogs distracted with the chew toys and other items you brought for the trip.
Keep in mind that despite changing time zones, your dogs' internal clocks will remain the same for a while. That means your dogs may become hungry earlier or later than you expected.
When You Arrive
Here are a few things you'll need to do once you and your furry friends finally arrive at your destination:
- Take your dogs on a tour of their new home before you start unloading your belongings.
- Give them time to acclimate to their new surroundings. It may take a few weeks for your dogs to get comfortable with their new home.
- Keep your dogs on a leash to keep them from bolting if they encounter unfamiliar sights and odors.
These tips will help you keep your dogs calm and relaxed throughout the moving process.