Between packing, hiring a mover, driving to your new home and finalizing last minute preparations, there is a lot going on when you embark on a big move to a new city.

If you are the proud parent of one (two, three, four, five?) fur babies, you may be dreading moving a long distance with your pets riding along. While dogs may be more comfortable and accepting of a long car ride, cats, fennec foxes, iguanas and hedgehogs may be less enthused about the trip. Realtor Rose Depoe offers her professional services in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and wants to ensure moving into a new home is a fun and exciting experience for you—this is why she has come up with a few tips for ways you can reduce the stress you and your pet may otherwise experience during a move.

Collar And ID Tag

Before the car is loaded up and the adventure to your new home begins, make sure your pets are fitted with collars and up-to-date ID tags. On your pet’s tag you will want to include your name and current cell phone number. Microchipping has become more and more popular recently and is an excellent solution should your pet escape and lose their collar. When your pet is found by a loving, good samaritan, that person can take your pet to a vet and have your fur baby scanned. All of your information will be stored on the microchip, and you will be reunited with your beloved pet in no time!

Vet Visit

Pets experience stress in different ways, and no one knows your pet better than you. If you know your cat panics and starts losing clumps of hair the minute he’s in the car, talk to your vet about your options—is there a calming melatonin soft chew that the doctor recommends? Is the vet able to prescribe a mild sedative that will help your cat relax? Also, take time to discuss things like car sickness or any other behavioral changes you may be worried about during your move. The vet may have feeding or medication recommendations that will ease your cat’s stress. If your cat has any special medical conditions or an extensive record from the vet, you may want to request a copy of his medical records.

Pet-Friendly Hotels

If you are moving a long distance, you will surely need to plan out where you stop, eat and sleep each night. If you are feeling a bit scatter brained pre-move, use this as your friendly reminder to find pet-friendly hotels for your entire family to stay in while you travel. Pet Friendly Hotels is an excellent resource that can help you locate animal-friendly hotels wherever you are traveling. You can search by city, state or zip code. The company’s motto is, “Don’t leave your pets behind,” and they work with pet-friendly properties to bring clients the lowest negotiated rates. With more than 25,000 hotels in their database, the chances of you not finding a pet-friendly hotel is slim to none!

Carriers Or Crates

Many people are OK letting their dogs roam freely, in their vehicle, during a car ride. If you own a smaller dog or any other type of small animal, you will want to invest in a carrier or crate that they can rest in during your drive. Not only will they feel secure in their own space, they will also be safe from shifting boxes, sudden braking and any other chaos that may ensue during your trip.  If you are comfortable letting your dog travel outside of a crate, make sure they are always on leash before you open the doors or trunk. Even the most well-behaved pups can become frightened or confused during a move and run away seconds after a car door opens. We also recommend placing your furry friend in a well-ventilated carrier while you are still home, loading up your vehicles or moving truck with your boxed belongings.

Under no circumstances should you ever transport your pets in the open bed of a truck or in the bed of a moving van. There are too many unknowns, and your pet’s safety and health will absolutely be in jeopardy if you attempt a risky stunt in the name of saving space in your vehicle.

The Essentials

You will want to pack your pet a “survival kit” for the journey to your new home. When it comes to pets, we should all expect the unexpected–this means planning ahead and being prepared. If you get stuck in rush hour traffic, during your move, and your pet needs water, will you be prepared? If, at one of your pit stops, there is a sudden downpour and your dog prances through the mud right before you’re about to get back on the road, will you be prepared? Here are a few items we recommend keeping in the car with you, just in case:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Snacks and treats
  • Water
  • An old towel
  • Plastic bags
  • A familiar bed, blanket or toy
  • All necessary medications, vitamins and supplements
  • Paper towel

Be Mindful Of The Sun

If your pet is going to be traveling in the backseat, whether in a carrier or on a leash, you will want to be mindful of the sun and have some sort of screen in place to protect your pet from the hot rays. Sure your car may have air conditioning, but prolonged sun exposure can damage your pet’s eyes and skin, as well as cause exhaustion, dehydration and general discomfort. The key to providing a stress-free ride for your pet is making them feel as comfortable as possible. A soft blanket, a familiar toy, a few treats and a cool, shady spot in your car–your furry family member will be set! Your pet will rest easy and travel calmly while you enjoy the peace of mind knowing your pet is comfortable and settled in a cozy corner in your car.

Potty Breaks

Taking potty breaks is just as important for your pets as it is for your human family. Make sure to give your furry friend water and a quick walk around the parking lot anytime you make a pit stop. Most pets aren’t accustomed to being in confined spaces for an extended period of time, so don’t forget that your pets could use and would appreciate any opportunity to get out and stretch their legs. Also, remember to keep an eye on your pet in case they are displaying their classic “I have to go to the bathroom” behavior. Again, no one knows your pup, cat, or fennec fox better than you do, so you will know what they need simply by glancing in the rearview mirror from time to time or by asking one of your children to occasionally check on your furry friend. If Fido needs to take a quick potty break on the side of the road, indulge him to prevent any accidents and anxiety.

Snacks And Treats

Tasty snacks and treats are a great pacifier and motivator for humans and pets alike. Are you familiar with the term, hangry? Hangry describes an emotion that people feel when they are so hungry, they actually become angry. If you are one of the lucky few who has never experienced “hanger” pains, then you undoubtedly know someone who becomes irritable as soon as their stomach starts to growl. Packing a small bag with your pet’s favorite treats is a great way to appease them and praise them at the same time. “Good girl, Ginger! You are doing such a great job on this long drive to our new home!” Remember to choose treats that aren’t messy and that won’t upset your pet’s tummy. Many pet stores sell calming melatonin soft chew treats, like the ones we mentioned above. These snacks would be the perfect treat to spoil your pets while helping them relax at the same time.

Your Dallas-Fort Worth Realtor, Rose Depoe

If you live in the Dallas-Forth Worth area or are planning on moving to the area sometime soon, get in touch with professional realtor Rose Depoe today. We understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction–it’s a life-changing experience. That’s why Rose Depoe is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service for all of her clients. We take great pride in the relationships we build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. With Rose by your side, you won’t have to worry about finding and moving into your dream home—the entire process will be seamless and you will be unpacking and relaxing in your new Texas home before you can say, “Lone Star State!”