You might be ready to move house, but is Fido? Moving can be tough on dogs, as it’s a big change to their routine and structure. 

Whether you’re moving house, going on an extended vacation, or relocating for work, there are plenty of times when you’ll need to know how to transport a dog safely. The key is planning—the more you prepare for the move, the smoother the process will be.

You can either move your pet on your own or work with a pet transportation company to facilitate the process. Either way, there are a few things you’ll need to know first.

Keep reading to find out just what you need to know about moving with a dog.

Talk to Your Vet

If you’re moving with a dog, the first step should be to talk to your vet about how to prepare. Moving can stressful for animals, as it means being confined in a crate, a new environment, and changes to their routine.

Most dogs adjust just fine, but if you’re worried about your dog’s anxiety or stress, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet in advance about your concerns.

They can give you advice on the process and may also be able to prescribe a light sedative, which can be useful if your dog will need to be left in a crate during the relocation process.

Ensure You Have All the Right Equipment

If you’re going to move your dog alone, make sure you have everything you need.

To transport your dog by car, they’ll need to remain secure while in the vehicle, as it’s too dangerous to have pets roaming free in a car. To secure your dog in the car, you might want to use a crate, a seat belt hook for their collar, or a special car carrying case—all easily available at your local pet store.

If you’re using a transport company, they’ll likely require a secure crate for your dog. Be sure to find one that’s not too big or too small—your dog should be able to turn around and stretch out comfortably within the crate.

You’ll also want a comfortable blanket or quilt to keep your dog warm and help them relax within the crate.

Get Your Dog Used to the Crate

Some dog parents use crates for training since their loved ones were puppies, but other dogs have never been confined to a crate.

Should your dog be new to crates, you’ll want to start preparing them as soon as possible. Start by feeding your dog in the crate and leaving the door open, helping them see the crate as a happy place.

Your pet might also feel more comfortable if you put an item of your clothing in the crate as well. An old sweatshirt or hat that smells like you can help your dog feel at ease.

Throughout the preparation and moving process, you’ll want to minimize your dog’s stress. Signs of stress in dogs include whining, pacing, and growling, so try to help your pet stay as calm as possible.

Pack a Travel Bag

Right before moving day, it can help to pack a travel bag with everything your pup will need before, during, and after the move.

Pack a bag including water, a portable water dish, extra toilet bags, some light snacks, and maybe some chew toys. This way, you’ll have everything you need ready and convenient.

Make Plenty of Rest Stops

If you’re transporting your dog yourself, planning is key. For long drives, you’ll want to plan your route, working out where you can stop and reserving dog-friendly hotels for overnight travel.

Plan plenty of rest stops, so your dog can go to the bathroom and get out and stretch. The more walking breaks they get, the more likely they’ll be to remain calm in the car.

It’s also important to never leave your pet alone in the car. Cars can heat up extremely fast, even on mild days, which can be fatal to a pet.

Ideally, you’ll want to travel with another person, so you can take turns watching the dog while the other person goes to the rest stop or buys something to eat.

Hire a Pet Transportation Service

If you’re not able to relocate your dog on your own, then you might want to use a relocation service. For long drives or flights, working with a pet transport company can be the safest and easiest way to help your pet move.

When moving internationally, this is definitely the best option, as each country has different requirements for vaccinations and quarantine. An expert pet transport service can advise on just what you need to do to meet the requirements of your new country.

Research pet transport costs and look for lots of positive online reviews, helping you find the right relocation company for your pet.

Use These Tips to Learn How to Transport a Dog Safely

Now that you know how to transport a dog, you can start planning your move. Moving is stressful at the best of times, so we recommend planning out your pet’s move as soon as you can.

This will give you plenty of time to prepare and get your dog used to the crate. Once you arrive in your new home, be sure to show your dog plenty of love and affection, as they may be overwhelmed by their new surroundings.

However, before long, both you and your family dog will soon be happily settled into the new home!

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