Moving to a new place is exciting, but moving with pets can be stressful. Pet owners tend have more items on their moving to-do list than people who don’t own pets. Don't panic...with a little planning you can make your next move easier for you and your pets. Here are some useful tips for pet owners to keep in mind when planning a move.
1. Preparing for the move
The weeks leading up to a move can be hectic, but experts say you should try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible in the weeks before the move. Keep up with regular food, walk, and play times. The last few days of packing can be stressful for pets. Consider taking your pet to a boarding facility or a friend’s house during the last couple days of packing. It’s also a good idea to keep your pets at another location when the movers come to load up the truck, so they don’t sneak out the open door. Pick your pet up when you’re ready to hit the road to your new home.
2. Make pet travel plans for long-distance moves
Will your pet be traveling by car or plane if you’re making a long-distance move? Many pet owners have to weigh the pros and cons of a multi-day road trip vs. airplane travel when moving day comes. If you’re going by car, make sure to talk to your vet about medication if your pet gets car sick. Research pet-friendly hotels along the way and book rooms in advance. Make sure your pet gets plenty of potty breaks and opportunities to eat and drink along the way. Pets should of course never be transported in a moving van. For airplane travel, small dogs and cats can ride in carriers in the cabin with you, while larger dogs will have to go in cargo. Book your ticket in advance as the number of pets allowed per flight is limited.
3. Choosing your new place
One of the most common reasons people give when they surrender their pets to shelters is “I’m moving.” They will say that their new landlord doesn’t allow pets, or their new space is not appropriate for a pet. The easiest way to avoid this sad scenario is to do your research before moving. Is your new city or neighborhood dog-friendly? Does your new apartment building allow pets? Renters may have to put a little extra effort into picking the right apartment, but it’s well worth it when you consider the alternative.
4. Settling your pets in to their new home
As with packing and loading the truck, sometimes it’s best to find another place for your pet during the unloading and unpacking phase of the move. Getting used to a new place is stressful for many pets, so having the house at least partially set up with familiar things can help. You should also resist the urge to let them explore the whole house right away. Start them out in one room with food, water, litter, and familiar beds and toys. Introduce them to the rest of the house gradually.
5. Finding a new veterinarian
Let your current vet know you’re moving. You can ask for your pet’s medical records, or have your vet send them to your new vet after the move. Ask your vet for recommendations for a good vet in your new town. You can also talk to your real estate agent and new neighbors about vets in the area. Make sure you know where the nearest veterinary emergency hospital is, in case your pet needs urgent care before you find a vet. Don’t be afraid to ask to visit the new vet’s office to get a tour and meet the staff before you book the first appointment.
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