Moving Long Distance With Pugs
(and a Cat)
Moving homes, as exciting as it can be, can also be a very stressful and overwhelming time. Add to that moving with pets, well, that just creates a whole other level of stress, the unknowns, the what if’s, and the how too.
This is not my first time moving, nor my first time moving with “a” dog. This is however, my first time moving with two dogs, a cat, and to top it off, a long distance move that involved a 5 hour drive – and that’s on a good weather day.
Over the past year and a half our dogs have been joining us on a quest to find our/their “perfect new home”. Fortunately for us, the dogs enjoy what sometimes had been very long days spent in a car. I guess the dogs looked at it as an adventure, excited to take in all the new smells and views along the way.
After finally finding our forever home, I imagined the dogs would take one more long car ride in stride. But I had to wonder, what will they make of it when this car ride does not end in a return trip back to the only home they’ve ever known?
What about our cat Lloyd? Unlike the dogs, Lloyd did not tour potential properties with us. The longest road trip our cat had ever taken was 15 minutes to the vet for check ups. And how, after almost 15 years in the same home, would Lloyd adjust to his new environment?
So Many Questions
So Many Unknowns When Moving With Pets
The Cat’s Version of Spending Five Hours in a Car and Living in a New Home
For a cat who has only ever traveled in his carrier a maximum of 15 minutes for vet visits, how would he react to a five hour drive? Let’s just say, of the five hour drive, we had a combined total of 15 minutes of Lloyd NOT singing the meows and howls of his people.
As difficult and stressful as it was for Lloyd, the stress of listening too and not being able to comfort a cat on such a long drive was, well, lets just say, tense/nerve-wracking and sad all at the same time.
Lloyd ~ Singing us a song of Meows and Howls
Now before you say anything, we prepared ourselves and Lloyd for this long car ride beforehand. I consulted with my vet about the best way to keep Lloyd calm, relaxed, and hopefully, eliminate as much of the stress of the drive as possible. I had been given medication to administer to Lloyd a couple of hours before the drive to help him relax. Looking back, all I can say is, there’s a very real possibility Lloyd did not get enough medication to completely take the edge off. Lesson learned.
The first couple of days in our new home, I set Lloyd up with his food, litter boxes and bed, all in one room so as not to overwhelm and confuse him by letting him run free. Much to my relief, Lloyd took everything in stride – so much better than a car ride 😉 and after a couple of days, he was thriving, relaxed, and enjoying the views outside the many windows. Lloyd settled in as if he has always lived here.
The Pug’s Version of Moving to a New Home
I was fairly confident my dogs Edie and Edna would handle the long drive just fine. To them, it was just another road trip. Although I’m sure my own stress of the move, and that day, was felt by each of them.
Both dogs had visited this home/property once before, but would they remember it? Would Edie and Edna be just as excited as they were the first time visiting? How would the dogs manage/feel when they realized we would not be returning to their “old” home, but instead, we would be living here permanently?
I admit, the first several days were quite an adjustment for the dogs, and for me.
Edie and Edna had to adjust to being fed in a different location, were now expected to sleep in a room they’d never been in before. Had to go outside to potty – in the dead of winter, in bitterly cold temperatures, and through many feet of snow. This was challenging for them, and for me.
Potty Break Challenges
How do you explain to your dogs they now have to “go” outside on-leash, each and every time they need to potty?
To some, that may not be an issue, but Edie and Edna had been accustomed to going outside in a fenced backyard, without a harness or leash (but always accompanied) so they could run around, sniff and take care of business.
Edie and Edna, adjusting to finding the “pawfect potty spot” while on-leash
I admit, not being able to let the dogs run around loose is for me the biggest adjustment. Had we moved during warmer weather, it probably wouldn’t be an issue. It’s unbelievable the amount of time and energy it takes to get both dogs and myself bundled up – several times a day, to take them outside for potty trips. I have flashbacks of dressing my toddler sons in winter coats and boots!
Unfortunately, because we are surrounded by several feet of snow at the moment, an enclosed fenced off area is not happening for several more months, or until we can see land again 😉
I restrained myself from placing freshly washed blankets in Edie and Edna’s beds when we first moved in, hoping the scents in their bedding would provide them with added comfort and normalcy.
Thankfully, they slept through the nights, but they still start their mornings at the crack of dawn – 5am to be precise.
Routine, Routine, Routine
I believe routine with pets is half the battle.
I’ve tried to keep the dogs and our cat Lloyd on their previous routine as much as possible. But saying that, being in a new home, trying to unpack and get settled in, a regular schedule can easily get thrown out the window. It’s days like those that Edie and Edna get out of sorts and become fussy. That’s my cue to relax, take a step back, and just be with them.
Finding New Favourite Places
It’s been a full month since we’ve moved in. Unbelievable how fast the time has gone. It feels like we’ve always been here, as if this has always been our home.
Edie and Edna have settled in, each finding their own favourite place – and on cold bitter days, that usually means in a bed in front of a fireplace, another new experience for them!
-35C Means Quick Potty Breaks!
Both dogs have quickly learned that here in the country, it’s not unusual to wake to -35C temps, and therefore they can’t doddle when it comes to finding the perfect potty spot.
Tractors – Important for Potty Paths!
We were ALL very “pugcited” to get delivery of our first ever tractor! Priorities have changed now that we live in an area that accumulates several feet of snow and you require not only a walking path, but the all important potty paths 🙂
Pug Snow Plow Removal Service Available for Hire – We Clear Potty Paths!
Overall, after all these years of Edie and Edna being pugs from “The Big City” , they are now embracing their new roles of becoming “Country Pugs”. You can find more of Edie and Edna’s many new and exciting adventures on instagram @ediethepug and @pugenda
Our cat Lloyd is thriving and is more active than ever! He spends his days viewing the property, the birds and the squirrels from a different window each day. Lloyd has also found a new job posting his “Window View Critiques” to his instagram account @fluffylloyd
Stay tuned as we share our continuing adventures of the life of the “Big City Pugs turned Country Pugs”