Return to Different Types of Moves

Moving with Pets

Don’t forget to think about your furry friend when planning your move. Avoid the heartache of lost or distressed pets with these important tips.

 

Before Traveling

  • Identify any “off limits” rooms in your new home; check to make sure your current gates will work in the new location.  Purchase new gates to block these rooms if your old ones won’t work.  It’s a good idea to buy them before you go and bring the new gates with you so you won’t have to call the carpet cleaners!
  • Update any necessary vaccines
  • Stock up on prescriptions
  • Groom your pet prior to travel – it’s no fun traveling with an odiferous companion!
  • If necessary, obtain a proper traveling compartment, whether a crate or a carrying case
  • Ask for recommendations from your vet about your unique travel plans
  • Pack a small pet “travel” bag with essentials such as a pop up water bowl, bottled water, food, grooming items and a toy to relieve stress.  In the event of an emergency, you should keep a copy of medical records on hand. 
  • If you are moving to a cold climate, invest in some outerwear for your pet, especially if your pet is not accustomed to the cold or if you have a small or thin animal.  Be sure that the coat covers your pup's belly, as that area is most vulnerable to cold, wet conditions. Boots can help protect paws and footpads from cold, ice or salt, which can be irritating if caught in unsuspecting paws.

 

Pet IDs

  • Microchip Implant -- If you have concerns that your pet may pull a Houdini act, you can have a tracker surgically implanted.  Should he or she go missing, a shelter or vet can use technology to help reunite you with your pet.  There are also tracking options that allow you to use GPS to find your pet.
  • New ID Tags -- Purchase tags with your new address and put them on just prior to leaving for your new home.

 

Maintain a Save Haven

  • When a home environment is disturbed, as it will be during the packing process, pets, especially cats, may feel less secure.  Leave one room in the house undisturbed throughout the packing process and make it a safe haven. 
  • Leave toys, beds and litter box handy.
  • Pack your safe haven room last. 
  • Reverse the process when you arrive at your destination.  Set up a room where your pet can rest away from the commotion.

 

Keep Routines in Place

  • If you have daily routine with the feeding, exercise and care for you pet, try to keep this constant, even during the crazed days before and after the move.

 

During the Trip

  • If you are traveling by car, take regular breaks, allow your pet to drink and pay attention to any potential car sickness symptoms.

 

Flying 

  • If you are moving coast to coast, your pet may need to travel via plane along with you.  If your pet has never flown before, be sure to consult your vet.
  • Check with your airline on its policies about when, where and how pets travel, including ticket prices, kennel guidelines and accepted breeds.
  • You may need a health certificate from your vet certifying that your pet is current on vaccinations and clearing your pet to fly.  These exams are usually required within 10 days of your flight.
  • Conditions for travel vary – some pets travel as cargo while others fly as checked baggage.  In extreme heat or cold, the airline may not allow your pet to be loaded into cargo or luggage compartments at all.  Some airlines allow smaller animals to fly in-cabin.

 

A Note about Cats

  • Moving can be especially tough on cats.  Inappropriate elimination and running away are common behaviors in cats during a move.  If you have a problem with this, buy a cat pheromone, which comes in spray form and is only detectable by cats.  This pheromone will indicate to cat that the territory is safe.
  • To avoid a runaway, outdoor cats should be kept indoors for at least a couple of weeks.  After a few weeks, venture outside for short jaunts, preferably keeping the cat on a leash.  It may be safe to allow your cat to venture outside after this time period.

 

After the Move

  • Familiarize your pet with new locations during walks as this can help animals can find their way back home if they wander off.
  • Schedule an appointment with a new veterinarian – it’s a good idea to introduce your pet to its new vet while your pet is healthy. 
  • Visit your local pet supply store – scout out a few local pet supply stores and find the one that stocks all your preferred supplies. 
  • Decide if you need to install a new fence or gate surrounding the perimeter of your new home. 

 

Pet proof your new home – be careful not to leave items that your pet may ingest laying around during the unpacking process.  Check the new property for vegetation such as aloe vera, amaryllis or azaleas that may be dangerous to your pet.  Don’t leave cleaning fluids out where pets can knock them over and ingest them.

 
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