Nov 11, 2022 by Wendy Hoke

Moving With Pets

Moving into a new home can be especially stressful for your pets. They are likely to be confused by the commotion of the move process and a bit apprehensive in new surroundings.

You can help smooth their transition with a little pre-planning and some useful tricks that we have put together for you.

Keep a Familiar Routine as Much as Possible

Your regular routines are likely going to be disrupted as you plan for and execute a relocation. But it’s important to minimize the disruption in the routine of your pet as much as possible to avoid problems down the road. Try to stick with the pet’s regular schedule of feeding, exercise, and playtime.

Keep them Occupied

If you’re selling a home, there are going to be lots of strangers around in the coming months – realtors, potential buyers, and inspectors. Make plans to keep your pet occupied during these times. Perhaps your pet should be confined to a familiar crate so that he/she feels safe when there are newcomers in the house. Or, a particularly sensitive animal might do better staying with a neighbor or boarding at a kennel during these times.

Double Check IDs and Tracking

Now is the time to make sure your pet has proper identification with your name and emergency contact information. In addition to the animal’s permanent ID and rabies tag, make a temporary ID tag with your cell phone number and the number of a friend or relative who would be easy to reach while you’re traveling to your new home. This might also be the time to consider chip identification for your pet since you’ll soon be living in unfamiliar surroundings.

Update Vaccines

At the beginning of your moving process, before things get really busy, make an appointment with your vet to get all of your pet’s inoculations up to date. Many states require a health certificate for pets and verification that the animal is disease free. And if you plan to board your pet at any time, or will be transporting the animal in an airplane, you’ll need this paperwork, as well.

Airline Transportation

If you’re moving your pet by airplane, contact the airlines for rules and regulations, transportation charges and container/carrier requirements. Make your reservations well in advance because pet approval is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. And feed your pet no less than five or six hours before flight time. Give him/her water about two hours before take-off.

Make a Kit for Comfortable Travel

If you’re moving your pet by car, start making a list of items you’ll need for a “pet travel kit,” including a carrier, collapsible dishes, favorite toys, water, food, and treats. If your pet isn’t used to car travel, start practicing with short trips around the neighborhood. If necessary, ask your vet about tranquilizers to relax the animal. And when traveling with a pet, it’s a good idea to have a “clean-up kit” in the car for motion sickness situations. Don’t forget to take a few exercise, water, and bathroom breaks, and remember, you won’t be able to stop for leisurely meals if you have an animal in the car.

Create a Familiar Pet Space

Because you’re in a “new” home, often with new décor and furniture, you may be tempted to replace your pet’s old favorites, too. But it’s better to use your pet’s familiar food and water dishes, bed, blanket, and toys to make him/her feel “at home.” Try to keep things in the same locations as they were in your previous residence, as well.

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