Three Tips for Moving with Pets
Three Tips for an Easier Time Moving with Pets
For our furry and feathery friends, moving can be even MORE traumatic and scary than it is for the humans involved – believe it or not. Any pet owner who has moved with their cats and dogs will tell you that moving to a new home is infinitely more stressful with pets. There are so many things to keep track of: how your pet will react to the change, how nervous they’ll be, the actual pet transportation, the best way for shipping pets, the laws involved, and more!
So, what does a professional moving company like us have to tell you about this crazy process? It can be much easier when you follow just a few tips. And this February, we’re bringing you our top three tips for moving day – whether it’s a short drive, air transport, or a long distance journey!
1. Be Prepared
The number one rule for ANY move, whether your family involves fur or not, is to be prepared. It’s a good idea to get started with your veterinarian as soon as you know about your move. This way you can work with your current vet through your whole move:
- If you’re moving out of county or out of state, you’ll need to find a vet in your new home! You can get recommendations from your current veterinarian in some cases, but looking ahead of time will save you the pain of trying to find a vet WHILE you’re also trying to unpack your home, etc. You should find a veterinarian and get in contact with them before you even start your move.
- You need all your pet’s medical and shot records when you move. Your vet can transfer these records to your new vet if you have one, or they can just get them together for you. Some states have specific laws regarding vaccination records for pets moving between states, and you can find out more for your new state through the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Work with your vet if any of your pets have problems with anxiety or nervousness when travelling. We’re going to talk about how to help your pets’ stress levels later, but the great thing about being prepared is that your veterinarian can work with you to get products or prescriptions for your pet to help reduce anxiety during the days of the move, showing your home (if you’re selling), and getting used to the new house.
In addition, keep track of the necessary items that you’ll need for your pet. This includes your day-pack for the trip as well as keeping your pet’s packed items organized, labeled, and separate from your own packed boxes. And you’ll also want to plan the trip: check with the travel requirements of different airlines, pick out good pit stops if you’re moving pets by car, and check out pet friendly hotels on your planned path! All of these will help make your trip smoother.
2. Tackle Your Pet’s Emotional Needs
Your dog or cat won’t know why their life is being turned upside-down. This is definitely one of the downsides of not being able to understand human languages, right? It’s no wonder that your pet will be nervous, confused, and sometimes scared in the days and weeks surrounding your move. However, there are several things you can do to comfort your best friend, whether they’re big or small pets.
First, make sure to give them LOTS of love whenever you’re changing something in the home and in the weeks leading up to the move. The more they feel loved, the more likely they are to cope with the move. Extra affection, grooming, treats, and additional exercise will all help with your beloved pet’s emotional and mental needs.
Second, try to keep everything as regular as possible, even when travelling by air or car. Cats and dogs are creatures of habit and like their regular program even more than people do. So, when you’re scheduling your move, try to plan things so that feeding times, play/walk times, and bed times are at their regular times (or as close to possible). Avoid crazy early or late time – no flights at 3:00 AM. Following a schedule is crucial for keeping your pet from having a hard time adjusting to their lifestyle shift.
Third, bring a to-go bag with all of your pet’s essentials inside. We suggest this for you as well in one of our other articles, and we think it’s a great plan for pets, too! Whether using car travel or air travel, you’ll want to pack all your necessary items for your pet’s comfort: the litter box, favorite toys, enough food and water for the trip, plastic bags for poop, and medication. This will help ease the transition into their new life -both on the trip and afterwards.
Our favorite secret for helping your pet feel better on their journey? Put an old t-shirt or sweater that you’ve worn recently into your pet’s carrier. Having this item close to them on the trip is comforting and familiar. Just make sure that you’re okay with it getting scratched or thrown up on during the process!
3. Get Identification on Everything
You’ll want to get ID tags for your pets for the move. The identification tag on your pet and the carrier should have your new address and phone number on it, as well as a secondary phone number (like a cell phone or friend’s number). While it’s always good to have a collar and tag for outdoor pets and dogs, it’s especially important for moving.
There are a few reasons for this. If you’re flying, the carrier and pet should have as much identification as possible in case there is a mix up with transporting your pet or the carrier gets misplaced in part of the airport. While this seems unlikely, it does happen and you always want to make sure that you can be contacted in as many ways as possible if your pet is lost in transition. If you’re travelling by car, the same can happen – pets get lost, picked up by accident, etc. on the trip. Also, pets are skittish during moves. If you’re letting your dog out for a pee break and they run off, or a cat bolts while you’re feeding them, then you’ll want them to have as much info on their tags as possible.
Even though it’s unlikely that you’ll have a pet run off or get lost during the move, you can never be too careful with your beloved furry family members! Identification tags are a quick and easy investment that can save heartbreak during the worst scenarios.