Moving is usually stressful. When moving out of state with dogs, careful planning of transport and overnight stays will help minimize the stress. Like many people, dogs are most comfortable in familiar surroundings. Before you move, check local laws regarding dogs and ensure your new home is dog friendly.
Decide how you will be moving your dog. The distance of the move and how you plan to travel yourself may factor into your decision for your dog. If driving, you may choose to transport your dog with you. If flying, most airlines allow a pet in a carrier that fits under your seat to travel in the cabin with you or fly in the cargo area. One airline, Pet Airways, specializes in pet transportation by air.
Keep your routine as close to normal as possible during the travel. Remain calm, as your dogs may sense your tension and be stressed themselves due to the change. Maintain the same number of potty breaks, treats, walks and feedings as normal throughout the moving process.
Bring plenty of food, water and familiar bowls, toys, pillows or blankets for the trip. If driving to your new state requires an overnight stay, be sure the hotels you stay in allow pets. Do not leave your dog unattended in unfamiliar places. Make sure your dog wears identification tags with his name and your phone number.
Contact the county you are moving to and ask about dog tags and licensing requirements. Many counties and municipalities require that your dog be licensed. Find out how to get a license for your dog, what the fees are and how quickly you need a license upon moving to your new location. Also, enquire about required health certifications, vaccinations and permits.
Ensure before your move that your new home allows dogs. If you are purchasing a home, this is probably not an issue. However, if you are moving to a rental or need to reside in a rental on a temporary basis, be sure they allow dogs. Some rentals allow dogs under a certain size, while some have no restrictions and others do not allow dogs at all.
- Keep your dog leashed in unfamiliar places.
- Talk to your vet about medicating your dog for the trip if he is particularly anxious.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.