Tips For Moving With Pets

Moving can be stressful for both pets and their owners.  Here are some tips for moving with pets to make the moving experience easier.


Take Your Time When Packing

Stretch out your moving preparations time over several weeks.  Avoid panic in the last days.  Take steps to ensure that moving day is as relaxed as possible for you and your pets.


Make Travel Arrangements For Your Pets

If your move involves air travel, contact airline carriers one month in advance.  Ask about their pet regulations, and make reservations.  Choose a non-stop flight to avoid extra handling and climate and air-pressure changes.


Visit Your Pet’s Veterinarian Before Moving

A couple weeks before moving, request a copy of veterinary records, a rabies vaccination certificate, and a health certificate.  Be sure your pets are up to date with their shots.  If your pet is a senior or has health problems, ask whether a mild sedative would be advisable before travel.  Can your vet recommend another in your new location?  For out-of-state moves, contact the State Department of Animal Husbandry or the state veterinarian about entry regulations – almost all states have entry laws for most animals except tropical fish.


Don’t Change – Maintain Your Pet’s Routine

Keep your pets’ routines, such as feedings and walks, as normal as possible in the week before moving.  Because dogs and cats need to feel in control, they might exhibit behavioral changes or even become ill when stressed.  Treat them with the same level of attention you would ordinarily give them.


Make A Special Room For Your Pet

A few days before moving, choose a small room to be the “pet room”.  Tape a sign to the door that says “Pets: Do Not Open”.  Make the sign large enough that friends or movers can see it easily.  Move food and water bowls, as well as toys, into this room.  Provide dogs and cats with sturdy carriers equipped with litter box (for cats), chew toys, or favorite objects that have a familiar smell.  Leave carrier doors open so pets can adapt to them before travel day.  On moving day, keep animals in their carriers.  As an alternative , consider boarding dogs and cats, or ask a friend to care take your dogs during the last few days.


Get Tags And Leashes For Your Pets

If you have a dog or an indoor/outdoor cat, buy or create identification tags with your new address and phone number.  Be sure your pets are wearing them during travel.  While you’re at it, pick up a cat leash – you’ll need it if you’re taking a long road trip or an airplane.


Travel Checklist When Moving With Pets

  • Veterinary records, certificates, and recent photos
  • Medications
  • Beds (pillows, towels, or other crate liners)
  • Plastic bags and scoops for dogs
  • Your pets’ usual foods and plenty of water from the home you’re leaving (changing their water source can be disorienting and upset their stomachs)
  • Food and water bowls, a can opener, and resealable lids
  • Leashes for cats and dogs
  • Litter box for cats
  • Cage covers for birds and rodents
  • Paper towels for messes
  • Toys, chew bones, and treats
  • Provisions for the first day at the new home