Helpful tips on moving to a new home with your dog

By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,

Moving to a new home may be stressful to your pet. So be patient and understanding and provide lots of affection. Don’t let man’s best friend get lost in the shuffle of a move. Relocating your dog to a new home can be a smooth transition for everyone involved if you follow these simple steps.

BEFORE THE MOVE:

  1. Obtain a copy of your dog’s veterinary records to give to the vet in the new area.
  2. Call the state veterinarian in the capital of the state you’re moving to. Find out if you need to provide any paperwork to bring your dog into the state.
  3. Call the town or village hall in the new locale. Ask about licensing requirements.
  4. Make arrangements for your dog to travel with you in a car or by air. Dogs normally aren’t permitted on trains or buses.
  5. Create a special ID tag – Be sure your dog has an ID tag on at all times – and be sure it has a phone number where someone can actually be reached. If your dog gets separated from you during the move, it won’t help if it has your old, disconnected phone number.
  6. If you’re moving locally and your dog enjoys a ride, bring your dog to the new home once prior to moving day.
Tips & Warnings

* Get a health certificate from your vet. Some states require that this be presented at the border before entering the state, even if you’re just passing through.

* If your dog will travel by air, purchase a kennel for her to travel in.

WHEN YOU MOVE

  1. Feed your dog five to six hours before traveling. Give her water two hours before traveling. Medicate the dog if she becomes overexcited while traveling.
  2. Bring food and water along. Make frequent stops to walk your dog and let her drink.
  3. Keep your dog confined when you get to the new home. A dog can easily escape during the moving process. Let your dog out once all doors and windows are closed, and allow her to become familiar with the house.
  4. Moving day can be hectic and scary to a confused pet. Treat your dog to a special treat at the new home on your visit.
  5. Ideally, your dog’s introduction to his new home will be with familiar furniture already in place. Use your dog’s familiar bowls, bedding and toys. Put them in a location similar to where they used to be.
  6. Accompany your dog outside on leash until she’s familiar with the area.
  7. Try to stick to your dog’s regular schedule in the first days after the move.
  8. Locate a vet in your area. Make an appointment and take your dog’s records in.
  9. If your dog has a microchip ID tag, update your information with the company that will notify you if your dog is found.

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