When you hear the phrase “cross-country house move”, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind? Do you feel happy, anxious, or maybe sad? How about your canine? Can you imagine the stress it will go through?
Whatever your reaction is, one thing is certain – you don’t just casually embark on a several-day-long journey. Especially if you travel with a dog.
Does this totally sound like you right now? Well, you are in luck – below, you will find everything you need to turn this stressful venture into an interesting one.
What to Do Before Your Cross-country Move?
1. Take Your Dog Out for a Test Drive
Don’t expect your pet to be super stoked on your trip if she has never been in your car before. Some breeds are prone to separation anxiety while others are not and dog body language can vary.
Learn to recognize the symptoms and you’ll thank us afterward.
But now, how to help your beloved pet to better adapt:
- Start by taking your dog out for short rides around the neighborhood until she gets comfortable with the idea of traveling in the backseat.
- Before heading back home, stop by your local park.
- Just as you would when moving with kids, give Lizzie an opportunity to run around, have some fun, and recover from this stressful activity.
2. Take Great Care of Your Dog’s Anxiety
Your dog will certainly become anxious during the house move process. Since it’s a cross-country move, there’s a risk of going a distance that is too long for your pet to feel comfortable during a house move with a dog.
Unless you want to intentionally cause dig stress for the purpose of either joke or respect, you should approach the matter with care.
Medicine such as CBD oils work great and will help you to calm down your beloved pet and limit its anxiety during the hose move process. Despite the many misconceptions about CBD oil and dogs, testimonials speak for themselves, making the many benefits a fact.
Just make sure you contact your vet first and certainly research the supplier of the CBD oil very well before moving house with your dog.
Further Reading: What Is CBD For Dogs & When Should I Buy It?
3. Plan Your Journey Ahead of Time
If you want to have a smooth and fun ride with your canine best friend by your side, take your time to write down the pet-friendly stops you’ll encounter along the way and add those as part of your checklist.
These could include local parks or hotels that don’t mind seeing your fluffy and cheerful companion around.
However, bear in mind that some pet-friendly lodgings may have one or several restrictions imposed on your pet based on her type, size, or breed, so always call ahead of time to check if your dog meets all the requirements.
And don’t forget to bring a powerful flashlight for those inevitable bathroom breaks at 2 a.m. when you are the only two living souls for miles around.
3. Moving House With a Blind Dog
If your dog has issues with its sight, it will require extra care during the whole process of relocation and a few days before you move.
Blind dogs generally tend to be more anxious all the time. Having diminished senses means the dog is much more scared than usual. In addition to this, it will have to change the environment it’s been living in for a long time.
Take care to relax and relief it hours to before the move but don’t ignore it weeks before the move as well. Play more with your dog and try to move its bed around the house so it gets used to changes in its sleeping patterns.
This will help your dog adapt easier after its bed will be permanently moved into a new home when you’re done with the house move with your blind dog.
4. Contact Veterinarians Near Your New Home
Even if your house move is scheduled in four months from today, now would be the perfect time to research if there are any vets in your new neighborhood.
This way, if your pet starts experiencing tummy aches, climate change-related issues or other problems after you arrive, you will be able to immediately sort the issue out by taking her to a vet you can fully trust.
5. Update Your Dog’s ID Tag With Your New Address
Do this a week or so before you move out to ensure that Lizzie will be found quickly in case she gets lost in the new neighborhood or tries to escape from home.
Take the time to microchip your dog as well – it doesn’t cost much and you will get incredible peace of mind in return!
6. Distance your pet from all the commotion
If you hired professional movers to help you out, your dog is not likely to give the strangers a heartwarming welcome. To avoid any accidents, relocate Lizzie into a quiet room with all windows and doors closed.
But don’t just leave your fluffy friend alone for who knows how long.
Here is what you should do instead:
- Cheer Lizzie up by bringing all of her favorite toys and tasty snacks inside;
- Bring a garment that smells of you to keep her happy and stress-free;
- Respect her feeding schedule (but don’t feed her right before the move);
- Spend time together every chance you get (at least once every hour);
- Place a “Stay Out” sign to discourage anyone from entering the room.
7. Pack a “Lizzie essentials” road kit
Nothing soothes a pet animal more than a familiar environment. Your dog’s favorite toys and chewing treats should be the first things to go inside your vehicle, followed by:
- A “you-scented” towel or sweater;
- Sufficient quantities of food and water;
- Her favorite sleeping blanket;
- A dog leash or a harness;
- Disposable wipes and poop bags;
- Anti-anxiety or other medications.
Take a look at our thorough reviews of the best dog backpacks.
8. Keep Your Dog Safe During the Trip – This Will Make it Less Anxious
To ensure Lizzie’s safety during an abrupt stop and to prevent her from enthusiastically jumping into your lap while you’re driving, consider investing in a sturdy pet crate or learn how to calm down hyper dogs.
Get a bigger crate, too – she should be able to comfortably stand up, sit, or lie down. An even more secure option is to install a barrier separating the front and back seats of your car.
However, avoid mesh barriers as it will be only a matter of minutes before your dog figures out how to pass through, at which point your whole trip could be compromised.
“Whatever you do, never, ever place your pet inside the removals van! Besides this being illegal, you risk hurting or severely stressing out Lizzie since she will be surrounded by nothing but boxes, complete darkness, and the sound of screeching tires.” says Sebastian Woods, a man & van specialist at Fantastic Removals (UK).
9. Mind the time zone changes
No matter how many time zones you travel across, your pet’s feeding habits will remain completely unaltered and you may find yourself making Lizzie lunch at 6 p.m.
Preparing for these instances is crucial to instill a sense of familiarity and help your pet feel more relaxed. You rather not wonder how to stop your dog barking for nights in a row.
10. Take regular breaks, even if you’re not tired
Every now and then, remove yourself and Lizzie from the car and enjoy 15 minutes of peace and quiet away from the main road, especially working for road trips.
But don’t just treat this as a normal bathroom break – use the time to exercise your pet by taking her for a walk, running beside her, or by playing fetch. If arthritis is present, you can get it back on its feet.
Exhausted and content, your pet will now be more than willing to behave until the next break.
11. Make Lizzie feel welcome at your new place
Don’t expect your dog to sit still while you unpack all your stuff in a completely new environment.
Instead, you will need to do just what you did before moving out – relocate your dog to an isolated room, supply her with everything she needs, and check on her from time to time to let her know she is not forgotten. Release her once you’ve found a place for all your belongings.
12. Take your beloved pet everywhere you go
There’s no avoiding it – during the first few days or even weeks, Lizzie’s morale is going to be down. The good news is that you can do something about it.
Start by walking her at your local park as soon as possible, using an extendable lead the first few days as a safety precaution.
The other thing you can do is to… well, simply be around her at all times! Just like people, pets feel better in the presence of someone they know, especially if that someone gives them their undivided attention.
They have different personalities as well, so don’t be upset with Lizzy if she happens to need a bit more time than most dogs to adapt to her new surroundings.
13. Maintain the “good old” Lizzie schedule
- Got up at 7 a.m. for an early morning walk at your old place? Keep getting up at exactly 7 a.m.
- Your old home had a pet flap which Lizzie often used? Install a new pet flap.
- Did you enjoy a bit of cuddling time before you both went to sleep? Let your dog sleep on your new bed.
Keep the old habits intact and Lizzie will be sure to thank you for it with all the love she can muster.
As you can see, moving across the country with your pet is not that big of a deal. You just need a good plan and a positive mindset. Once you have those, all you need to do next is offer Lizzie your unconditional love and she will be quick to roll over and accept all the changes in no time!