Moving Cross Country with Dogs
Moving across the country is a big undertaking that is challenging even when you are traveling alone with just a few belongings. There are so much logistics to handle such as changing your address, setting up new utilities, coordinating with the moving truck, and timing your transition just right. When you add other family members and belongings to the equation, the formula gets more complicated. Pets and small children, in particular, can greatly increase your need for solid logistics and planning.
If you own a dog, then you know that your pet needs a certain amount of attention, exercise, and personal belongings to be comfortable during a difficult transition. What is the proper way to comfortably move your dog across the country? How can you make sure that everybody — including your dog — goes through the move with a positive experience? These tips will help you move across the country with your dog all keeping both yourself and your pet happy.
Keep All Dog Necessities with You
When you need to move a long distance, it's important to keep all your essentials in a suitcase so you can comfortably stay in pet-friendly hotels over the next few days. Extra sets of clothing, shampoo, and entertainment items like books and tablets are vital for humans to get through a long trip comfortably. Dogs also need their creature comforts to travel with as little anxiety as possible. It’s also important to keep their vet records with you since they are hard to replace just like your birth certificate and other vital paperwork.
Since every dog is different, the list of must-haves will be unique for your pet. Maybe your dog has a favorite toy that they can't be without for the next few days. There may also be a special dog bed that your dog prefers. Taking these items with you to the hotel will make your dog feel more at ease since you're bringing a piece of home with them. Make sure you bring your dog’s food, snacks, feeding bowls, leash, grooming items, and anything else that is part of your pet’s daily routine. During your trip, you will try your best to maintain your pet’s routine, so keeping these items close by will help you achieve this goal.
Kennel Train Your Dog (Optional)
When you travel with your dog, there will inevitably be some type of containment. After all, even people have to wear seatbelts while in a vehicle. Every dog owner must become accustomed to their dog's unique temperament, and so they must make their own plan based on how their dog can behave in a car. Some dogs are excellent at staying in their seat while others can get anxious while traveling and can be a distraction to the driver.
If you know that your dog is going to be anxious and move around the car for, then it may be a good idea to kennel train your dog so that you can keep your dog in a crate while you are traveling. It's not a good idea to suddenly put your dog in a crate when the road trip starts. Instead, start at least a month before your road trip by placing your dog in a crate for short increments. Train your dog slowly and gradually and encourage your dog for his good behavior by giving him a treat. Extend the time in the crate over time so that your dog does not get anxious by a sudden transition. When your dog is used to the crate, then traveling will become easier. However, though your dog may become used to being in a crate during travel, it's also important to give your dog exercise breaks to reduce their anxiety.
Take Frequent Breaks
Traveling with dogs is much like traveling with small children. Both need frequent breaks in rest stops to reduce their anxiety and to keep them comfortable. Dogs naturally have high energy levels and need to bond with their owners. They also need bathroom breaks to not feel anxious while traveling. On average, you should go to a rest stop every 2 hours. This is beneficial to both you and your dog soup because you can stretch out your legs and reduce your risk of cramping.
After you arrive at a pet-friendly hotel for the night, be sure to continue to let out your dog out to relieve themselves. It's also important to do this right before bed and in the early morning. It's also advised to give your dog a satisfying play session in the morning before you hit the road so that they have let out a lot of their energy and are calmer in the vehicle.
Keep Them Calm in the Car
Since every dog has a different temperament, some may be calm in the car for the whole ride while some may tolerate the crate for just a little then become anxious. In these situations, it is always good to have an extra method to keep your dog calm. If you can’t let your dog out to a rest area for some de-stressing playtime and a walk, then some products can help you while you’re stuck in the car.
Many pet stores sell a natural calming spray that will help your dog relax when they feel anxious. Chewy.com sells many dog calming products, including Travel Calm, which is made of plant-based ingredients to reduce nausea and restlessness that is often associated with travel. There are also many other aromatherapy products on the market that can set the mood for a relaxing trip with man’s best friend. When you need some extra support, use these products to get you through the rest of the trip.
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