We all know how stressful it is to move to a new home. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, you have to locate a new home, check out school districts, and find a new coffee shop. The list goes on and on. But what about your dog? He has to figure out whether the new neighbors are friend or foe, learn his new boundaries, and learn the culture at the new dog park. Here’s what you can do to make the move less stressful for your pet.
First, make sure your pet is in good health and up-to-date on all vaccinations. If you are flying, you will need a health certificate no more than 10 days old in order for your pet to board the plane.
Check with your airline for restrictions and rules regarding pet travel. Some allow small pets in the cabin while others insist that they be checked as baggage. Kennels must meet certain regulations. Expect to pay the airline up to $100 per animal and plan to arrive at least 2 hours early for your flight.
If you are going by car, feed your dog about half of his normal amount before setting off, and make sure you keep water available for him during the trip. Plan to stop about every two hours for exercise and potty breaks.
Use pet carriers or seatbelts adapted for pets to prevent injury to your dog in the event of an accident. They also keep the dog out of your lap and away from the pedals so they don’t cause any accidents.
If you know from previous experience that your dog goes nuts on car rides, you may choose to use tranquilizers, but use them with care. They can distort things and make even ordinary experiences freak your dog out. An herbal alternative that doesn’t seem to have as many side effects is called Rescue Remedy.
Talk calmly to your dog during the trip and spend time playing with him during breaks.
Take some practice drives before attempting the long haul. Reward your dog with treats and play time when you get home from the short drives so he associates car trips with positive experiences.
Have any stories about moving your dog to a new home? Be sure to leave your comments below.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!