Traveling Across Country with Dogs? 7 Tips to Make it Stress-Free for your Dogs
Traveling can be stressful. If you’re moving a great distance and will have pets in tow, it can be even more stressful as you worry about their well-being and accommodations along the way.
If a travel with your dogs across the country, here are 7 things you can do to reduce the stress on your pet — and yourself — along the way. In fact, if you have the benefit of ample time, the journey can even become a more enjoyable and highly memorable experience.
- Don’t rush it: Helping reduce the stress of moving on your pet starts long before you pack up the moving truck. Bring out the moving boxes early so your pet can adjust to them. And don’t pack everything up in one fell swoop, to avoid stressing him or her out even before the journey has begun. Packing things up a bit at a time gives your pet time to adjust with less stress. You may find this helps you too!
- Visit your vet: Schedule a visit with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is in good health before making the long trip to your new home. Your vet may also be able to recommend a vet in your new town or city.
- Stick to your normal routine: If you walk your dog or have playtime with your cat daily, continue to do so in the weeks and days leading up to your move/travel. If things in their environment as well as their routine are changing all at once it can cause them undue stress. They may be left feeling neglected or punished by a lack of normal and regular interaction with you. And remember, spending time with your pet can have a great positive impact in reducing your stress during this life-changing time as well.
- Update your pet’s ID information: Make sure your pet’s microchip or identification tag info is updated with your current contact information and mobile number. No one likes to think about being separated from their pet, but pets can get spooked, run off in an unfamiliar place, and be lost as a result. In the event that something should separate the two of you along your journey, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are easily reachable by anyone that may be able to help in reuniting you and your beloved pet.
- Map out a pet-friendly journey: It’s very important to plan your route ahead of time so that you can reserve pet-friendly hotels for any overnight stays. You’ll also want to plan for plenty of stops along the way for potty breaks and exercise. If time allows, you may also want to map out dog parks and other areas along the way where your pet can get out and enjoy some exercise or vigorous playtime.
- Keep your pet in a safe environment at all times: While en-route or in a hotel for the night, it is crucial to make sure that your pet’s environment is secure and safe. There will likely be short periods of time while you’ll be away from your pet, so a pet temperature monitor will give you peace of mind that your pet is comfortable and safe, not too hot or too cold while you’re away. And remember to never leave your pet alone in your moving truck or vehicle.
- Help your pet settle in: Once you’ve reached your destination, keep your pet in a quiet, calm room as you unpack and things are noisy and hectic. Help your pet to explore his new area and get acclimated. Again, keep his routine on track so that all he has to worry about is finding his favorite places to explore and nap in his new environment. A pet temperature monitor is also a good idea in a new apartment or house, particularly until you can verify that all heating and cooling systems are functioning properly.
By following these tips you’ll ensure a more comfortable and stress-free journey to your new home for both you and your pet.