Cross-country move with a dog – 5 Tips to prepare

23 Feb, 2021

Cross-country move with a dog – 5 Tips to prepare

Pet owners often move home with a pet or two in tow. A cross-country move with a dog can be more of a challenge.  Many of our clients at tell us about their moving tales, sometimes emigrating for work, sometimes in retirement. Their pets care and well being is always a priority. Here are 5 top tips to help you prepare your dog for a long journey and changing home country with all that entails.

Preparing Your Pup for a Cross-Country Move

move cross-country with a dog
Help your dog prepare for a big move

From researching reputable moving companies to packing years’ worth of belongings, preparing for a move is stressful and time-consuming. Moving also signifies a significant life change. Often it requires you to switch up your job and find a new circle of friends. Additionally, the process requires valuable time and money to solidify your new living arrangement. Needless to say this is emotionally and financially taxing.

However, you’re not the only one affected by moving mishaps and stressors. Your furry friend is likely confused and anxious as well. Moving cross-country with a dog will enforce changes to your dog’s environment. This can be distressing. It can lead them to engage in odd or disruptive behaviors as they sense a change is about to happen. And you’ll need to mitigate these behaviours as you prepare for the big move. If your once calm pup is now pacing regularly, destroying furniture they will be sensing change in the air. They may also be having frequent accidents, or cowering in fear, they may be experiencing canine anxiety.

5 Tips & Tricks to Relieve Pre-Moving Jitters

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to mitigate nervous behavior and help your dog feel at ease. The importance of planning ahead for a move cross-country with a dog cannot be understated. Read on for handy anxiety-busting tips-and-tricks to prepare your dog for the big move before you pack the first box.

Maintain your dog’s routine

As you screen moving companies, deep-clean neglected living spaces, and arrange auto transport services, your pup is bound to sense feelings of stress oozing off of you. To help your pet feel safe and comforted as you juggle moving responsibilities, aim to preserve their daily routine. Keeping structure by engaging in daily walks, fixed bedtimes, and set potty breaks, you’ll reduce pet anxiety as the environment shifts around them.

Help your dog adjust to moving supplies

Many pets tense up at the smallest environmental changes, which means moving can be especially startling to your furry companion. To help your dog acclimate to moving boxes and misplaced household items, try moving supplies in gradually. Allow your pet to adjust on their own time. If your dog is typically anxious about new things, reward any curiosity with a yummy treat. Be aware when they approach spooky cardboard boxes and new and unsettling supplies. Try to reassure them by petting them.

Introduce Fido to the new neighborhood

move cross-country with a dog
Help your pets get used to the idea of moving

If you’re moving across town instead of cross-country, you can help your dog adjust by taking them for walks in your new neighborhood. Do this before your move in. These routine cul-de-sac trips can help you and your pup adapt to new surroundings. You can also learn the lay of the land before you dive deep into unpacking efforts. It all helps to prepare for a move cross-country with a dog.

Plan enriching activities

Whether it’s a treat puzzle or a stimulating toy, keeping your dog busy with interactive pup-friendly activities helps. It can reduce stress-induced behaviors while you’re packing boxes and loading up the moving truck. You’ll sleep easy knowing your pup isn’t taking their boredom out on the couch cushions as they work to unbury the treats in a rolled-up bath towel.

Book a trusted pet sitter on moving day

Even with extensive planning and stress relief efforts, moving day can still send well-behaved pups into a tailspin. Scheduling boarding or pet-sitting ahead of time can give your dog a calm space to relax while you unpack box after box. Plus, you’ll avoid fearful runaway incidents and anxiety episodes, as you continuously run in and out of your new home.

The bottom line about cross-country moves for your pets

Moving is a stressful endeavour for everyone involved—including your canine companion. However, you can take numerous anxiety-busting actions, like maintaining routine and purchasing stimulating toys to ward off any potential anxiety before the big day.



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