Tips on Moving with Pets
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Before the move
Start with an honest assessment of your pet and how they deal with stress. We recommend putting your pet in a crate or a quiet room for an hour or so each day, to get him used to the chaos of moving day well in advance, make arrangements with a friend or hire a pet sitter. Your main priority is to keep your pet as safe as possible. Inspect your pet carrier. It is important ensuring that all the locking mechanisms in your pet’s carrier are in good condition, so your pet can’t escape while the move.
Travel reservations are important. If you’re flying, contact your airline before booking your tickets to inquire about their travel policy for animals. Consider into the flight options your pet’s size, time of year for travel, size of the plane and associated fees. If you’re flying internationally, you may need to start making arrangements for additional protocols. Identify pet-friendly hotels along your route and reserve rooms ahead of time.
Schedule a visit to the veterinarian to get your pet a clean bill of health. Once you’re there, make certain vaccines are up-to-date, get a health certificate, and talk about anxiety medications. If you anticipate that your pet will experience high anxiety during the move, your veterinarian may be able to provide you with medication to relieve the stress.
Leave out a few prepackaged meals for your pet. Prepare an ID tag to put for your pet. Your pet’s tag should include its name, your cell phone number and another emergency contact number. Photograph your pet. Having a pet photo when you travel can help others identify your pet. Microchipping is also a good option to consider. It will serve as a backup if your pet loses its collar.
During the Move
On moving day, if you aren’t leaving your pet with a friend or sitter, keep her safe in a crate or quiet room. It’s important to limit your pet’s exposure to the chaos of moving to reduce her stress level. The activities and sounds of moving day will be frightening to your pets, so it is important that they are kept in a secure area to reduce their stress as much as possible and to prevent an accidental escape.
Always transport cats, small dogs and other small animals in a secure, well-ventilated pet carrier. Keep larger dogs leashed and under control at all times. The stress of a move can cause even the most obedient dog to run away in unfamiliar surroundings. Do not transport any pet in an open truck bed, the trunk of a car or storage area of a moving van.
Make sure you give your pet potty breaks and fresh water whenever you stop for a break yourself for a long-distance move. Make sure pets are leashed at all times during potty breaks.
Don’t feed right before travel. It’s best to hold off on your pet’s meals a few hours before driving or flying to help head off nausea.
After the Move
Reassemble a familiar environment. Set up your pet’s familiar things first like his bed and food bowl and make the new house seem like home. Take time to reconnect. Spending time with your pet to let it know that everything is fine.
Monitor your pet. Be aware that pets might not act like their old selves when first moving to a new home. Outdoor pets should be kept indoors for the first week to acclimate to their new environment.
Find a new veterinarian. Talk to other pet owners for recommendations and to learn about things like the best dog parks or places to buy pet food.