March 15,

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Moving with Pets: A Guide for Pet Parents

Moving PetsIf you’re moving with pets, it’s important to prioritize their needs since moving is a big transition for everyone in the family. Whether you have furry, feathered, finned, or scaled pets, you should take special care to minimize their moving stress. Take a deep breath and trust that with enough planning, you can provide a smooth transition with minimal stress for both of you. Your pet may not be delighted during the move, but they will return to their usual selves once you are settled into your new home.

To help you plan for an upcoming move with your pets, we have created a guide to moving with pets that you can use as a starting point.

Preparing for Moving with Pets

Moving with a pet requires a lot of planning, including packing up all their belongings and preparing them for the move. It’s also essential to transfer their records to a new veterinarian. Starting early and giving yourself plenty of time to work out all the details can make the process smoother for you and your pet.

If you sell your home before the move, you must take extra steps regarding your pet. Selling a home with a pet can be challenging, and you’ll need a game plan for keeping them relaxed and out of the house during open houses and showings.

Packing up your pet’s belongings

You should prepare at least two boxes to pack your pet’s belongings. One package should be for essentials that you’ll keep accessible throughout your move, and the other box or boxes should contain everything else. In the essentials box, you should include items that your pet may need during the day or in case of an emergency, such as:

  • Vaccine records
  • I.D. tags
  • Medications
  • Food and water dish
  • A few days of food
  • Treats
  • Kitty litter and scoop
  • Harness and leash
  • Waste bags
  • A blanket/throw/towel
  • Toys

It’s a good idea to clean your pet’s belongings before packing them up. You can take this opportunity to wash their beds, toys, dishes, and clothing, which can get quite dirty over time. You probably wouldn’t want to unpack dirty items in your clean new home.

Helping your pet get used to a crate

To ensure the safety of most pets during a move, it’s best to transport them in a crate or carrier. If you don’t have one already, purchase a crate or carrier as early as possible and give your pet enough time to get used to it. If you’re flying to your new home, double-check that the container meets the airline’s requirements.

While some pets adapt quickly to crates and carriers, others prefer to be open. You can add toys and treats inside to make the box happier for your pet. Leave the container with the door available for a few weeks before the move, allowing your pet to explore it at their own pace.

Transferring to a new veterinarian

One of the most crucial tasks when moving with pets is to ensure that your furry friend has a veterinarian in the new location. If you’re moving far away, this may require finding a new vet office. Again, it’s best to start the process in advance.

Begin by informing your current vet that you’re moving and ask for their recommendations for a vet in your new location. They may also provide tips for reducing your pet’s stress during the move and guidance on transferring their records. Once you know the new vet office, call and confirm if they’re accepting new clients, and inquire about any requirements. Finally, you should schedule an initial visit.

Getting your pet to your new home

Managing moving days with pets can be tricky and stressful. Pets can sense their owner’s stress, so it’s essential to remain calm to help your pet do the same.

Your pet’s transportation mode depends on several factors, such as the distance to your new home, size, age, temperament, and medical conditions. Considering all these factors is essential before deciding on the most convenient option. 

Driving with pets

The preferred option for moving with pets is usually driving, especially for dogs, cats, or other pets. This is because it allows your pet to stay in a more controlled and familiar environment and gives you the flexibility to take breaks as needed. However, before packing up the car, decide where your pet’s crate or carrier will go. While other restraint options, such as harness seat belts, zipline harnesses, and backseat hammocks, are available, a more sturdy container is usually recommended.

Helping pets settle in

After arriving at your new home with your pet, it’s essential to help them adjust to their new surroundings. Dogs, in particular, need to maintain a steady routine and plenty of exercises to burn off energy. Avoid leaving them alone at first to help alleviate stress.

Make sure to pick a room with a window for them to look out and regularly visit for reassurance. Additionally, thoroughly clean the house to eliminate any previous cat scents before letting your cat roam free.

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