Moving with pets adds another element to the moving experience. Whether you have one dog or multiple dogs and cats, there are unique challenges associated with relocating your pets along with handling all of the other tasks leading up to moving day, and beyond.
Here are some important tips for moving successfully with your furry friends:
Make a Pet Moving Plan
Start planning your move as soon as possible. There are many additional items to complete when you are moving with pets. If possible, assign one member of the family to handle all the responsibility for caring for your pets during this time. Having someone attending to their needs can help your pets feel more secure and less anxious as the moving activity increases. Try to give your pets a normal schedule and wait as close to moving day is possible to pack up your pets’ belongings.
Make Moving Day Arrangements
If you are moving locally, you may want to arrange for your pet to stay with a friend or schedule a day for your pet at a pet hotel or daycare center on moving day. This will allow you to focus your attention on the move itself.
When traveling to your new home, make use of a pet friendly trip planner to map your journey in order to find dog parks, pet friendly hotels, and restaurants along the way. When booking your hotel reservations, always confirm that a hotel includes a pet policy.
You should make arrangements well in advance if you are relocating your pets by air. Airlines only allow a limited number of pets per flight, so it is important to make your reservations as soon as possible. You will need to have particular documents ready to have your pet board the flight. Keep these documents in one of your carry-on bags.
Know the Law in Your New Locality
Get in touch with the Animal Control Commission for your destination city to learn what you need to do to in order to license your pets there, including the documents you will need.
Get the Documents You Need From Your Veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian to find out what documents you will need related to your pet’s health. This may depend on how you will be traveling and your destination. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to obtain the needed documents and get organized. Have your documents easily accessible while traveling, so you can produce them along the way when needed. You will need a proof of rabies vaccination along with a rabies tag. You may also need a pet health certificate describing your pet’s health and all vaccinations.
Traveling by Motor Vehicle
It is important to have a way to secure your pets safely while traveling by vehicle. This can be done through the use of a car harness, carrier, or crate. They will also keep your pet from diverting your attention from the road while driving. You may want to slowly familiarize your pet with the device you choose by taking your pet on some short trips prior to your move. In addition, if your pet is occupying a seat with a harness, be sure to deactivate the airbag for that seat.
Traveling by Plane
If you intend to travel by air, learn the policies and pet fees required by various airlines to help you make the right decision about using a particular airline or deciding on another mode of travel.
Maintain the Pet’s Schedule While Traveling
While traveling on the road to your new home, keep your pet’s schedule as far as food, water, treats, and bathroom breaks as regular as possible. Use your phone to set reminders about all of these designated times. The items you will need to bring include food, drinking water, paper towels, treats, waste bags, a pet bed or blanket, two or three toys, a First Aid kit, your veterinarian’s phone number, and photographs of your pet (to create posters if your pet happens to get lost).
After You Arrive
Once you enter your new home, establish a quiet location for your pet away from all of the noisy unpacking activity. Give your pet some favorite toys and set up the bed or crate to help him or her relax. Once you are settled in, contact a good local veterinarian and provide them with your pet’s medical records. This will help your pet receive faster medical care if he or she ever needs emergency medical treatment.