Tips for Moving with Pugs

If you've ever moved (and who hasn't?), then you know what a stressful time it can be. Moving to a new home is usually even more stressful for our pets. They have no idea why they're moving or where they're going. They only know that their lives are being uprooted. It's a very insecure, confusing time for a dog.

There are some things you can do to make a move to a new home easier for your Pug. Here are some suggestions to help you with your move.

Preparations

Take your time. Stretch out your packing over several weeks. Avoid panic in the last days and try to leave moving day as relaxed as possible for you and your Pug.

Make travel arrangements. If your move involves air travel, contact airline carriers one month in advance. Ask about their pet regulations, and make reservations. Choose a nonstop flight to avoid extra handling and climate and air-pressure changes. Because Pugs are a brachycephalic breed they may be subject to airline embargoes at certain times of the year. Always try to fly with your Pug in the cabin with you in a carry-on bag if at all possible.

Visit your veterinarian. A couple weeks before moving, request a copy of veterinary records, a rabies vaccination certificate, and a health certificate. Be sure your pets are up-to-date with their shots. Can your vet recommend another vet in your new location? For out-of-state moves, contact the State Department of Animal Husbandry or the state veterinarian about entry regulations -- almost all states have entry laws for most animals except tropical fish.

Know local laws. It's also a good idea to talk to animal control officials in your new town. Make sure you know if there are pet limit laws or any other local ordinances which might affect you. Find out if you need city or county licenses for your Pug.

Don't change routines. Keep your Pug's routines, such as feedings and walks, as normal as possible in the week before moving. Because dogs need to feel in control, your Pug might exhibit behavioral changes or even become ill when stressed. Treat him with the same level of attention you would ordinarily give him.

Make a "pet room." A few days before moving, choose a small room to be the "pet room." Tape a sign to the door that says, "Pets: Do Not Open." Make the sign large enough that friends or movers can see it easily. Move food and water bowls, as well as toys, into this room. Provide your Pug with toys or favorite objects that have a familiar smell. Leave carrier or crate doors open so your dog can adapt to them before travel day. On moving day, keep your dog crated so he won't accidentally get out of the house while people are moving furniture and boxes. As an alternative, consider boarding your Pug, or ask a friend to caretake your dogs during the last few days.

Get tags and leashes. Before you move make sure you have identification tags with your new address and phone number. Be sure your Pug is wearing them during travel. If your Pug is microchipped make sure you remember to update your address with the microchip database.

Tips for the Road

If you're traveling by car, keep your dog securely crated during the drive. Make sure your Pug is wearing his collar and I.D. and have his leash handy. Stop frequently for fresh air and a walk. Maintain a comfortable car temperature and don't ever leave your Pug alone in the car on even a warm day! With their short muzzles a hot car can quickly become deadly. Remember to take some water from home for your Pug or buy bottled water and offer it every time you stop for a break.

Travel checklist:


  • Veterinary records, certificates, and recent photos

  • Medications

  • Your dog's usual food and plenty of water from the home you're leaving (changing the water source can be disorienting and upset your Pug's stomach)

  • Food and water bowls, a can opener, and resealable lids

  • Toys, chew bones, and treats

  • Leashes

  • Beds (pillows, towels, or other crate liners)

  • Plastic bags and scoops for dogs

  • Paper towels for messes

  • Provisions for the first day at the new home

Moving In

Again, choose a small room to be the pet room, where your Pug can feel secure as you move in furniture and belongings. As much as possible, have furniture, bowls, and toys in place before you let your Pug out of his crate.

Don't let your Pug outside without a leash until he's adapted to his new surroundings. This may take several days depending on your dog's age and how well he copes with change.

Continue giving your pets water from home for the first few days.

If your Pug misbehaves, consider ways to reduce stress. If you suspect your dog may be ill make a veterinary appointment. Don't punish your dog for initial misbehavior that may be stress related.

Clean up "accidents" immediately. Animals tend to repeat behaviors in the same areas, so remove odors as quickly as possible.

If you're moving nearby, let your Pug visit your new home before moving day. Show your dog that you're relaxed in this new environment. Take your dog on regular walks around the neighborhood to introduce him to new sights and sounds.

If your dog is a chewer, invest in a roomy crate for times when you're away from home.

Create a steady schedule for walks and feedings. Dogs like the comfort and reassurance of routines.

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