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Moving with a Dog: Health & Safety Tips

When you move into a new home, you spend a lot of time making it look just right. You paint the walls, move in your furniture, remodel the kitchen, hang your art on the walls and clean the place. But are you making it the right place for your pooch? Your dog needs a smooth transition and a safety check around the house so he can live comfortably and safely in your new home.

A handful of things need to be taken care of when you move to ensure your pup’s happiness and safety. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Chihuahua MovingGet His Info Updated

Make sure his tags and microchip have all your new information. If he gets nervous and bolts during the move, you want to make sure he can get back to you quickly. (At the same time, you might also think about getting a GPS tracker to help locate your dog if he gets lost.) Gather all of his vaccination records, spay or neuter certificate and any references you need from your vet.

Get Him Vaccinated

Make sure he’s up-to-date on all vaccinations. If you’re moving to a new city or state, check to see if there are special vaccinations he might need in his new home. Some places are more prone to pet diseases than others. While you’re there, make sure your dog is healthy enough to travel. Some elderly dogs may not be able to fly or handle very long road trips.

Safety Dog Seat belt and HarnessSecure Him in Your Car

If you’re traveling in the car, either keep him in his crate or in a seat belt harness. The seat belt harness protects him from flying around in an accident, but it also prevents him from jumping around in the car, putting you in danger.

Pet-Proof Your New Home

When unpacking, we often leave open boxes around the house until we get a chance to put things away. Make sure you don’t leave out chemical cleaners or medications that your dog can get into. Keep the dangerous items packed separately and put them away as soon as possible. Dogs are curious animals who will chew on just about anything, and many can be deadly.

Keep Him IsolatedDog Gate for Safety

When the movers come, put him safely out of the way with his toys and bed. Seeing strange people taking away his furniture can be stressful, and he’s more likely to run out the door when it’s being held open. Consider letting him stay in a kennel during the move-out. Or use a pet safety gate to keep him safely inside.


Walk the Yard

If your house already has a fenced yard, make sure to take a walk along the fence to check for any holes or weak spots. Gaps around the gate can be dangerous for small pooches especially. Look at the ground to make sure there isn’t any dangerous debris, like shards of metal, broken glass or cigarettes. If the yard isn’t fenced, consider hiring a contractor to build a fence. Get multiple estimates and ask a lot of questions.

Help Him Relax

Wheelchair Dog Gets AttentionIn his new home, give him a chance to sniff around the house and explore. Unpack his things first so he can settle in and have familiar things to smell, and set up his food and water bowls so he can find them easily.

The most important thing to remember when moving with your dog is to spend lots of time with him. Whenever you take a break from packing or unpacking, give him lots of cuddles and playtime. He needs plenty of reassurance that you’re there for him no matter what. As a bonus, cuddling with your dog will help you relax, ease some of your own moving stress, and help you bond with your four-legged best friend.

Thank you to guest author Cindy Aldridge. Cindy is the creator of OurDogFriends, an organization advocating for the love and ownership of dogs. She believes that dogs truly are our best friends and wants to see less dogs in shelters and more in loving homes

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