Tips for Moving With Your Pets

Moving is stressful enough for people. It’s even harder on pets because they have no idea what is going on. If possible, start the moving process slowly, so the animals get used to items being packed and schedule disruption. Here are some additional tips for moving with your pets.

Moving Starts With a Vet Visit

Prior to moving, take your pets to the vet and make sure they are up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations. Depending on where you are going, you may need a recent bill of health or other documentation. Check out the necessary requirements for keeping pets in the city, state or country to which you are relocating.

Anxious pets may benefit from sedatives to keep them relaxed during the move. Ask your vet whether they think this is a good idea for your animal. Animals traveling on planes should not receive such medication.

Kennel Introduction

If your pet is traveling to the new destination in a kennel or crate, allow him plenty of time to get used to it before moving day. Feed your pet in the kennel and let him spend time there while you are around. Once used to the crate, take him out on short trips around the neighborhood. Many pets associate crates and carriers with going to the vet, so you want them to know trips are also pleasant experiences.

The Where and How of Moving

A relatively local move may simply mean putting your pet in a carrier or safely securing him in the car. If you’re driving a long distance or flying, that’s a different story.

A small dog or cat is generally permitted to ride in a carrier under your airline seat. All arrangements are made in advance. Fees and rules vary according to the airline. You can’t just show up at the airport with your pet in a crate.

Medium-to-large dogs must ride in the cargo area. Make sure your crate is compliant with the airline regulations for pet cargo transport. Always place your name and contact information on the carrier or crate.

Wherever you are going, pack your pet’s items for the trip. These may include:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Bedding
  • Litter box or waste pickup

If driving a long distance, make sure dogs have regular, safe potty breaks. Ensure that the animal is traveling comfortably and safely in your vehicle. Map out your route ahead of time and focus on pet-friendly hotels or motels.

Moving Day Precautions

Try to have your pets out of the house when the movers arrive. That may involve dropping them off to doggy daycare or a boarding kennel until you are ready to pick them up and start the next step of the journey. On moving day, there is lots of activity, strange people around, and doors being left open. If you can’t remove your pets beforehand, make sure they are in their kennels or carriers in a quiet, relatively low-traffic area.

The same holds true when moving into your new abode. Try to arrange for boarding ahead of time and bring your pets to their new home after the movers have gone. If that’s not possible, again secure them in their kennels in a quiet part of the home.

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