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4 Tips for Moving Your Dog Long-Distance

Prep for the road (or sky) ahead.

C. Tarantino

April 18, 2023

From your dog’s perspective, a local or interstate move can be one of two things: the most exciting thing since the invention of the chew toy or a really scary and stressful experience.

While you can’t control how your pooch will feel about an upcoming trip, you can take a few easy steps to make their travel as safe and comfy as possible.

1) Driving? Designate a Space for Your Pup

You wouldn’t want to sit in the back of a dark moving van for 10 hours, would you? Neither does your pet. When planning to drive your pet to your new home, designate a safe space for them to be happy and comfortable.

When creating your pet’s safe space, keep these tips in mind:

  • Let in air and light: Make sure your pet can breathe easily and have access to natural light.
  • Ensure your pet is safe from loose objects: Loose furniture and other objects can pose a serious threat to your dog along the drive. Ensure that no loose or moving objects can bump, fall, or slide into your pet during the drive.

2) Buckle Them Up

If you’re driving long distance, your pet needs to be secured. A freely-roaming pup can be injured in an accident, annoy fellow passengers, or even cost you a ticket if a police officer catches them distracting you while you drive.

To keep your pet safe and out of your lap, buckle them in a:

  • Crate: Crates are an excellent solution for keeping smaller dogs safe during a long drive. In addition to being easy to secure with straps, crates have a calming effect on dogs (especially if the crate is the one your pup usually sleeps in).
  • Dog car seat: Available online or from a pet store, dog car seats are soft beds that attach to your car’s seats, providing both security and comfort.
  • Seat belt and harness: Seat belt harnesses (also available online) make it possible to safely and comfortably connect your pet to your car’s seat belt and can be a smart solution for larger dogs.

3) Check before Flying

There’s nothing worse than paying, packing, and traveling out to the airport just to find out you and your pup aren’t allowed to board.

Before purchasing your ticket, carefully review your airline’s pet flying policy. Some airlines may simply list their pet policy on their website, while others may require you to call customer support directly. Trust us: you’ll save yourself a future headache by putting in the work now.

4) Anxious Dog? Ask a Vet

Some dogs love car rides and can travel quite well along the road for hours on end (with regularly scheduled bathroom breaks, of course). Some pets aren’t so lucky. If car rides make your pet shake, whine excessively, soil your car, or become aggressive, consider speaking to your vet about a solution.

Depending on the severity of your pet’s fears, your vet might recommend one of the following solutions:

  • Weighted storm jacket: Although they were originally designed for dogs to wear during thunderstorms, weighted pet jackets can work great for long car rides. A weighted jacket—which you can easily buy off the internet—can reduce your pup’s anxiety by swaddling them, kind of like they're wrapped in a big hug.
  • Pheromone collar: A pheromone collar is a thin dog collar coated in synthetic pheromones. The collar mimics the same pheromones your pup would have received from their mother during feedings, translating into a calming feeling for dogs of any age.
  • Medication: Your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication if your pet has a particularly hard time with travel. Ask your vet for details.

Get Help from the Pros

If you’re prepping for a local or interstate move, consider handing off the brunt of the work to the professionals.

With the help of a professional moving company, you can have your belongings boxed, packed, hauled, and unpacked without even having to lift a finger. Plus, with your moving van packed for you, it’ll be even easier to create a safe space in your personal vehicle for your favorite furry friend.

Check out a professional moving company from our list, today:

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