The Ultimate Guide to Stress-Free Moving with Dogs

Feb 3, 2022

Moving can be stressful for everyone involved. Considered one of the most stressful life events, moving is up there with divorce, a major illness or injury, and the death of a loved one. And it’s no wonder. For us humans, moving involves a myriad of important, time-sensitive decisions along with the time-consuming process of packing. And that’s just to name a few of the demands that moving puts on us. But, if moving is so stressful for people, how do dogs deal with moving? 

Dog’s thrive with routine, and not only does moving change their routine, but it also changes their entire world. Their humans are more stressed and they’re likely feeling scared and need more attention. Their physical surroundings are changing as household items start to be placed in large, strange boxes that require thorough sniffing. If moving is one of the top five human stressors, and we know what’s going on, imagine how stressful all of these changes are for dogs who have no idea why everything is suddenly different. One way to support your dogs during a move is with pet CBD. CBD is very helpful when moving with dogs and the stress it entails. In this article, we’ll continue to discuss other tips for moving with dogs.

Looking for a New, Dog-Friendly Home

Moving with dogs to a new home starts with choosing a dog-friendly home. If the previous owners had dogs, be sure to talk to them about their experience with the neighborhood. They’ll likely be able to tell you all about the parks, traffic conditions, and current dog politics of the neighborhood. Also, if possible, bring your dogs with you when looking at new homes. Many dog owners use their dogs’ responses to prospective homes to help them make their final decision. Here are a few other things to consider when choosing a new home for you and your pups.

  • Is the yard safely fenced?

This also applies to shared green spaces in apartment complexes. While a fence in poor condition can be repaired and isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing a house, it is something to be on the lookout for.  That way you can be sure to have it repaired before move-in. A dog lost in a new neighborhood is likely to be extra lost and frightened. 

  • Is the landscaping dog safe?

Many common landscaping plants and flowers are toxic to dogs. If you’re house-hunting in the spring, be on the lookout for popular bulb flowers like daffodils or daylilies, which are poisonous to dogs. Other plants like azaleas and some ferns and ivies are also dangerous to dogs. If you’re not house hunting in the spring, be sure to ask the owners about what you can expect in the yard during springtime. 

  • Do you have an elderly dog?

Elderly dogs require special care and attention. Stairs and slick, hard floors will make getting around difficult for them. There are solutions, like ramps and non-slip mats, but be sure to consider all areas of the home, like porches, decks, and patios, and if your dog will be able to easily access them. 

  • Are there any water hazards?

Water features like koi ponds and pools can be hazardous to pets. Even a fountain could pose a drowning risk for small dogs. Are pools safely fenced off, or do they have stairs your dog could use if they fall in? How deep are any ponds or other water features? Are there sharp rocks that would make getting out difficult? Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure that all water features are safe, or that you have a plan to make them so. 

  • Are the window screens secure?

While this is generally more of an issue with cats, small dogs like windows too. It’s important to make sure that all window screens are intact and securely installed to prevent injury from falls. 

Packing and Unpacking

Packing is the next step after choosing a dog-friendly new home. A few days before you start putting things in boxes, purchase your packing supplies (boxes, tape, etc) and leave them out in reach of your dogs. Allow them to sniff these items thoroughly, so they can become familiar with them and start to become comfortable. You could also set up a few boxes for sniffing and investigation. This also allows them to become familiar with the sound of the tape being used. 

While packing and unpacking, keeping to your dog’s routine will help them stay calm. Exercise reduces stress so take them on their walks, and try to make them longer if possible. The extra break will be good for you too and will pay dividends in the form of more relaxed pups. 

This is also the time to pull all of the treats out of your hat. Make sure you’re well-stocked on treats, bones, new chew toys, peanut butter, etc. New toys and puzzle games are also a good idea—the busier and more occupied your dogs are, the less stressed (and mess) they’ll be. 

When it comes to packing up your dogs’ things, start with what they don’t use often first. Leave their daily items and favorite toys out until the last minute. Then, pack those items together in a labeled box, so you’ll have easy access when unpacking. 

Before you start unpacking, set up space for your dogs with their daily items box. Having their beds, or blankets with the familiar smells will comfort them during the stress of unpacking and adjusting to a new space. Continue with their routine, more exercise, and new toys and treats while unpacking to minimize strain. 

Preparing your Dogs Before Your Trip

Whether you’re moving with dogs across town or internationally, the first step for preparing your dogs for a move is to take them to the vet. Get them up to date on their vaccines, talk to your vet about anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medications, and obtain an interstate health certificate if you need one. It’s also very important to either microchip your dogs or update their microchip information with your new address. 

When moving requires a trip cross-country by car, here are a few ways you can prepare for your trip with your dogs.

  • Make sure you have everything you need

Make a list and check it twice, then triple-check that you have enough dog food and poop bags. 

  • Include walk time and potty breaks on your trip plan

If you’ve ever driven cross country with small children, this will feel familiar. Making sure you plan adequate time to walk the dogs and give them potty breaks will make the trip easier overall for everyone involved.

  • Buy new ID tags

While you’ve updated their microchip information, the next step is to update your dogs’ ID tags with your new address. Include your phone number on their tags, in case you get separated during your trip.

  • Use anti-stress aids

Many dog owners have had success with compression vests and supplements like CBD oil or chews on trips. Try the Calming Edibites from Pet Releaf to keep things relaxed. These CBD and functional herbal supplement chews make stress relief on the go easy.

If you’re moving internationally with your dogs, the process is much more in-depth and complicated. Buy a binder for all of the paperwork you’ll need and start your research months before you move. You will need to seriously research the pet import laws of the country you’re moving to. There is also a lot of timing involved, as you know with your own visa experience, so make sure you carefully note all deadlines and waiting periods. Another good tip is to start getting your dogs used to the crates they’ll be traveling in well before they are trapped in them for many hours on your trip. 

Making Dogs Comfy During Travel

Here are a few tips for traveling with dogs while moving. 

  • When traveling locally

When driving with dogs to a new state, make sure they have their space. Set up the dog area with water, bedding, and toys. Make sure there isn’t anything packed, or wedged, in the car that could hurt your dogs by falling on them. 

  • When traveling internationally

Flying can be stressful on dogs, and especially long international flights. Make sure their crates are lined with their favorite dog beds and pee pads, in case they need to go during the flight. Administer any medications you’ve decided on or other calming aids like pet CBD. Include a few of their favorite toys and say a thorough goodbye to your wonderful pups. 

Settling in a New Home with Your Dogs

Dogs enjoy routine and are very territorial. Moves put stress in both areas. Here are a few ways you can help your dogs adjust to their new home.

  • Use pet CBD from Pet Releaf

Support your dogs’ optimal response to stress while moving into their new home with pet CBD from Pet Releaf. Their USDA Organic Hemp Oil 200 would make a great addition to your dogs’ routine as you all acclimate to the move. CBD has a calming effect on nerves and enhances brain function. This will support your dogs as they start to establish their routine in new territory. CBD will help keep your dogs calm and relaxed during this transition. 

  • Give them extra snuggles

Your dogs will likely need extra attention to help them feel secure in your new home. Prepare for this before you move and you won’t be caught off guard by your suddenly needy pups. Research shows that physical contact is good for both people and pets, so give your dogs extra ear scratches today. 

  • Do your best to keep the dogs’ routine

As much as you’re able, keep to the dogs’ usual routine. This means the same time for food and walks and playtime. It might be hard with the stress of the move, but not only will it help manage problematic behaviors from your dogs, but it will also be good for you to stick with a routine. 

  • Be compassionate

As much as you’re able, practice compassion for yourself and your dogs. Moving is a hard time and all you can do is your best. It will all be worth it though, once you and your pups are settled into your new home. 

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