Preparing For a Move with Your Pet

Preparing for a Move with Pets

You may have taken that dream job across the country or decided it was time to move to another home far away, and, while you may know what is going on and why you are moving, your family pet certainly doesn’t.

When you and other family members prepare to relocate to your new home and deciding on flying vs. driving, you should take the time to prepare for the move with pets as well. By doing so, your move will not only go smoother, it will be less stressful for everyone involved

What to Do Before Moving Day Arrives

Once you have determined that you are moving and you start getting everything in order, make a call to your pet’s veterinarian and get him in for one last check-up.

Moving to a new home can be very stressful for a pet. If you have an elderly cat, dog or other pet that suffers from certain ailments, moving may pose problems for them. Your vet will be able to confirm whether or not your pet is healthy enough to travel or not. It may also help preparing for a move with pets if they have newly filled prescriptions.

Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date before you leave, and be sure to get a copy of the shot records and all other medical records to take with you when you go. While there, ask your current veterinarian if he or she can recommend a new vet for you in your new hometown. Many times, vets have colleagues or friends that practice in other cities and states. You may just get lucky and find your pet’s new veterinarian that way.

Pack a Goodie Bag for Your Pet

When traveling by car, you will want to make sure to pack a bag with a few basic pet necessities in it, and you will want to include a few comforts from home in that pet goodie bag.

  • Pet treats, food, and water
  • Any medications your pet needs
  • Toys for your pet
  • Something to cover the upholstery in your car, preferably a sheet or blanket with your scent on it. This will help your pet feel comfortable and protect your interior from any “accidents.”

Will the travels to your new home require an overnight stay in a hotel? If so, you will need to make sure to research pet-friendly hotels along the way, and reserve a room before you leave home. Not all hotels are pet-friendly, and you will not want to be driving around in unfamiliar territory looking for one during your travels. Preparing for a move with pets requires knowing where they will stay each night of travel.

What to Do on Moving Day

Make sure everyone is calm on moving day. Pets can sense stress, which can cause them stress too. Do not feed your pet a heavy meal or give him too much water before you get in the car.

In fact, if you are traveling with your family dog, make sure to take him or her for a long walk before embarking on your trip. This will help eliminate any accidents in the car, and may possibly get your dog in the mood for a nice long nap—just in time for a long car ride.

Like humans, pets will need to stop for frequent “potty breaks” and to stretch out for a few minutes. Many rest areas these days are pet friendly and accommodate travelers with pets. Some even have dog parks in them.

If you stop at a rest area that is not pet friendly, do not leave your pet in the car alone. The pet could escape, get hurt, or be stolen. If you are traveling alone, try to hold out until you find a rest area that is pet-friendly. If you are traveling with other family members, make sure someone stays behind with your pet. Take turns if necessary.

If you are traveling with small pets, such as cats, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, or any other small animals, make sure they are in the proper carriers, and be sure that those carriers are properly secured. If you sense that they are getting stressed, place a blanket over their carriers. This almost always relaxes small animals when traveling.

When you arrive at your new home, do not be alarmed if your pet acts a little differently. Like humans, pets will need to get accustomed to their new surroundings. After a few days, your pets will act just like they did back at your old home. This process may be faster if you take the time preparing for a move with your pets. At the very least, it is a great way to reduce moving stress.

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