Tips for Moving with Pets

Tips for Moving with Pets

  • Joy Vance
  • 05/13/24

Relocating can be a stressful endeavor not just for humans but for our pets as well. Unlike their owners, pets do not understand the concept of moving and can become very anxious during the upheaval associated with it. To ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for your furry, feathered, or scaled friends, thoughtful preparation is key. This comprehensive guide offers practical tips for moving with pets, ensuring their safety and minimizing their stress from your old home to your new one.

Before the Move

Visit the Vet

Schedule a visit to the vet before the move. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations, discuss travel concerns (like anxiety or motion sickness), and refill any prescriptions. Obtain a copy of your pet's medical records to take with you, and ask for vet recommendations in your new locale.

Update Identification

Update your pet’s ID tags with your new address and phone number. Consider microchipping if you haven’t done so already, as moves and new environments can increase the risk of pets getting lost.

Familiarize Your Pet with Moving Supplies

Let your pet get accustomed to moving materials, such as boxes and packing tape noises. Leave carriers, crates, and boxes out for your pets to explore at their own pace so these items become familiar.

Pack a Pet Essentials Bag

Prepare an easily accessible 'pet essentials' bag with food, water, toys, grooming tools, and any necessary medications for the first few days. This will alleviate the stress of unpacking and ensure your pet maintains a routine.

During the Move

Keep Pets Away from the Action

During the chaos of moving day, keep pets in a quiet, safe area, such as a bathroom or their crate, with a favorite toy or blanket to make them feel secure. This not only keeps them safe but also prevents the stress of seeing their environment change drastically.

Travel Arrangements

Whether you’re moving by car or plane, it’s important to keep your pet secure. Use a well-ventilated crate or carrier that allows them to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Never transport pets in the back of an open vehicle or trunk.

Prepare for Air Travel

If flying, check with the airline about pet travel guidelines. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin if the crate fits under the seat, while others require pets to travel in the cargo hold. Familiarize yourself with the airline’s pet policies and prepare for any weather-related complications.

Plan for Frequent Stops

On long car trips, plan for stops every two to three hours to allow your pet to go to the bathroom, stretch their legs, and drink water. This can help relieve anxiety and prevent accidents.

Settling into Your New Home

Pet-Proof Your New Home

Before letting your pet explore the new home, pet-proof the area. Remove any hazards that could pose risks, such as toxic plants, pesticides, or unsafe windows.

Gradual Introduction

Slowly introduce your pet to different areas of the new home. Start by confining them to one or two rooms and gradually expand their access as they become more comfortable. This prevents overwhelming them and gives them time to adjust at their own pace. For the feline friends that are inside outside, keep them inside for at least two weeks before allowing them to freely explore outside.

Maintain Normal Routines

Try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible. Consistent feeding times, walks, and playtime can significantly help reduce their stress.

Extra Love and Attention

Give your pet extra attention during the moving period. Comforting them reassures them that despite the changes, they are safe and loved.

Check Local Pet Laws

If moving to a new city or state, check the local pet regulations, including leash laws, licensing rules, and any breed-specific legislation that might affect you.

Moving with pets requires careful planning and consideration, but by following these tips, you can help ease the transition for your beloved animals. Remember, the key is to remain calm and patient; pets are highly sensitive to your emotions and behavior. By maintaining a positive attitude, you'll help your pets adjust and feel at home in no time. Whether it's a cross-country move or just to a new neighborhood, preparation is your best tool for ensuring the safety and happiness of your pets during a move.

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