Handling a Cross-Country Move With Your Furry Friend


a person petting a dog

Anyone who has ever picked up and moved their family cross-country can tell you that it’s no easy feat to accomplish. Just the act of packing everything that belongs to your family up and setting out on the trip can be overwhelming. If that isn’t complicated enough, you have one family member that’s not used to traveling for those long distances, and that’s your furry friend.

Even if you’ve found many great dog-friendly trips to take during the winter, that’s not the same as loading up your pup and moving him clear across the country. While it’s true that how your pooch reacts to a move depends on their personality and the breed they are, moving can be just as overwhelming for pets as it is for pet owners. It’s best to plan out ahead of time how you’re going to get your pup to your new home comfortably, safely, and happy.

From dog leashes to making your new home comfortable with candles and your pups bowls and food within reach, here are a few tips for handling a cross-country move with the pooch that you love.

Figure out where you’re going to stay.


You did everything the right way when searching for your new home, from doing a complete home loan comparison to choosing a lender that would give you the best interest rate and mortgage payments that wouldn’t break the bank. You worked hard, saved your money, improved your credit score and got a mortgage loan that made your monthly payments as low as you could get them, now it’s time to figure out where you’re going to stay along the road to your new place.

Of course, you need hotels or motels that are dog-friendly so that you can bring your pup along with you for the ride. Expect the road trip to be a bit slower with your furry friend in tow, between the potty breaks and the walks he needs to take. It’s best if you research pet-friendly hotels along your route ahead of time so that you can book reservations and not be left trying to find a place for you, your family and your pooch to sleep at night. Your pet will be a whole lot less overwhelmed if you take your time getting to your new home and stop along the way.

Figure out how to keep your pet safe.


One of the very first things you should consider is how you’re going to keep your furry friend safe while you’re traveling. First, he needs to be secure in the car, just as humans do. There are many types of pet crates, pet barriers, and even doggie seatbelts to choose from, so do your research and pick up one or the other before the big move.

Don’t forget to pick up a dog leash for those walks and potty breaks you’re going to be stopping for. If you have two dogs along for the ride, you can pick up a double dog leash instead of having to purchase two. When searching for the perfect dog leash and harness, you’ll want to determine if your dog is considered a small breed or a large breed, then choose one that fits snugly, but isn’t uncomfortable for your canine pal. It’s important to have a good quality dog leash and harness on a cross-country move, because if your pet gets away from you they could be injured, get lost, or even worse.

Figure out your stops along the way.


It’s important to note that your pet isn’t the only one that will need potty breaks and to stretch his legs on your cross-country move—you will, too, and you both have to eat, so you should figure out where you’re going to be stopping during your trip. There are plenty of dog parks along your route where you can both stretch your legs, but you also have to eat and pets are usually not allowed in places where humans go to eat their meals. Going through the drive-thru is a good option, or even packing a cooler of foods and snacks. Just make sure there’s someone to stay with your furry friend when you can’t be with him.

Figure out what you should bring along for the ride.


There are quite a few things that you should bring along for your puppy for the ride. These things include any medications he might be on, his pet ID, his favorite toys, poop bags, food, bowl, water, and his favorite pet bed or cushion. This way your pet will be comfortable and safe no matter where you stop or how long it takes you to get to your new home. Make sure that you get a special bag just for your pet’s things, so that you’re not hunting for anything he needs through all the bags you’re taking with you.

Make sure to give your pet special attention on moving day.


Your pet may be completely overwhelmed and nervous about all the movers in your home come moving day. It’s important to spend plenty of time with him and give him extra attention before you load him in the car to start your cross-country trip. Remember, if the moving day has you stressed and overwhelmed, then your furry friend is going to pick up on how you’re feeling and react accordingly. Try to lower your stress levels, take a deep breath, and your pet will calm down as well.

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, you can begin making your house feel like a home. Make your pet feel comfortable by putting his bed, food, water, and favorite toys and blankets in a corner of a room where he can still be with you, but be out of the way as well.

These are just a few tips for helping you handle a cross-country move with your furry friend. He’s a part of your family, so you want him to be happy, safe and, comfortable on your journey to your new home also.

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