Are you planning a move in the near future? Whether you are relocating across town or across the country, you may be worried about how the move will affect your pets. Fortunately, with a little pre-planning and research, you can take steps to ensure your dogs, cats, or other companions will get through the move with the least amount of stress possible so they can quickly start adjusting to their new home. Here are some tips to help you get started if you are planning on moving with pets.
1. Visit the vet
A few weeks before your move, make an appointment to visit your veterinarian. Your pets need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations–especially if you plan to fly with them. A thorough check-up is also in order so any issues can be addressed before moving day. You can also ask your vet if he or she has any advice for reducing stress during the move or if an anti-anxiety medication
can be given. Finally, if you are moving to a new city, you’ll want to make sure your pet’s records are transferred to a veterinarian in your new hometown.
2. Stick to your normal routine
It may be difficult to keep everything status quo in your home if you’re packing up your belongings and running around trying to accomplish your pre-move checklist. However, it’s important to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible during this time. Feed them at the same time of day, make sure their beds stay in the same place until moving day, and stick to their normal schedule as much as possible.
3. Get them adjusted to moving boxes
When you’re preparing for a move, you’ll likely start accumulating a home full of moving boxes. While some pets will find this exhilarating (we all know how much cats love a good box), others may have a more negative reaction. It’s usually best to let pets check out the boxes at their own pace rather than trying to force them to acknowledge them. You can also try creating a positive association with the boxes by putting a treat in some of them.
4. Research pet laws
If you’re a responsible pet owner, you’re likely already familiar with the pet laws where you currently live. Those may be different in your new home, so it’s important to research those before you make the move. Difference in laws and ordinances range from leash laws to vaccination laws to what happens if your pet is discovered outside your home without identifying tags.
5. Transportation options when moving with pets
The actual move may be the most stressful part for your pet, so it’s important to choose the best method. Here are some options:
If your move is a short one or if your pet enjoys riding in your car already, this option is usually the best one. Many dogs can ride in your car without any additional planning (although you may want to consider a doggie seat belt
), while most other types of pets will require a crate or other enclosure to keep them safe and reduce stress.
If you are moving a long distance or overseas, your next option is to transport your pet via airplane. Pets can be transported as cargo
if they do not need to be accompanied–meaning they will be in the holding portion of the plane and not with you in your seat. If you want to keep your pet with you, some airlines will allow you to take a kennel into the cabin. If you are considering this option, make sure you check with the airline you plan to use to get full guidelines.
3. Pet transportation company
If you don’t want to worry about the hassle of moving your pet and would rather leave it to the experts, you can choose a pet transportation company. These professional services are up-to-date on all rules and regulations for domestic and international pet transportation and will take care of all the details for you.
6. Pet proof your new home
Once you’ve moved into your new house, you need to take steps to pet proof it to keep your furry friends safe and healthy. Keep in mind that this home may be different from your last one and that you may need to change your pet-proofing methods. Here are some tips to consider:
- Ensure you do not leave potentially toxic foods or supplies within reach of your pets in the kitchen. This includes cleaning solutions as well as foods like chocolate and onions that could negatively affect your pets’ health.
- Check that each plant you have in your new home is non-toxic to your animals.
- Put a protective screen over any fireplaces and ensure any electrical cords are tucked out of the way.
- Keep medications and cleaners shut securely in a cabinet or closet in the bathrooms.
- Do a thorough inspection of the outdoor areas of your new home if you plan to let your pet outside unsupervised. Do you have a proper fence? If you have a pool, is there a way to restrict access to your pets? Are there any fertilizer or lawn chemicals where your pet can reach them? Are there any plants, flowers, or weeds growing in the area that could be toxic to your pet? Are there different pests in your new area that you need to protect your pet from?
Moving can be a stressful experience–both for you and your furry friends! Pre-planning, doing your research, and making the right choices for the health and safety of your pets is key when you want to reduce stress and ensure your pets settle quickly into their new home.
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