7 Tips for Moving with Pets
Moving is never easy. But moving with pets? The adventure gets even more challenging.
Fortunately, prepping early can help make the process easier.
Are you a pet owner planning a move this year? If so, follow these tips and start readying for your pet-friendly move today.
Moving with pets: 7 helpful tips
1. Talk with your vet.
Your vet should be your first stop once you know a move is in the cards. First, get your furry friend a checkup. You’ll want to be sure they’re in good health before uprooting them and making any major changes to their lives. You should also ask your vet about any potential concerns with your animal — like anxiety or, depending on where you’re moving, maybe new allergies or bugs you may need to worry about.
Finally, ask for a copy of your pet’s file and shot records. You will need these when you find a new vet after the move.
2. Designate a quiet space for them.
Moving with pets (or without pets!) can make your house a pretty hectic place. There are boxes everywhere, you’re constantly up and hustling, and it can get messy and stressful — even for your pets.
You can alleviate some of this stress by giving them a designated quiet place — somewhere you won’t be packing or bustling about. It can be somewhere small (like a closet, for example), but just make sure it’s got a door. You’ll need to close them in on moving day — or whenever you have people in and out a lot. You should also consider bringing in their favorite bed, blanket, or toy to make it more cozy and calm.
3. Get them used to their crates early.
You’ll likely need to crate your pet to drive, fly, or ship them to your new home, so start getting them used to the container early — especially if they’ve never used one before. Again, you’ll want to make it a cozy space, ideally with a familiar blanket or bed, and you can start testing it at mealtime.
Just put their dinner bowl in and have them eat in the crate (with the door open). You can gradually work up to closing the door and then, after a few weeks, take them for short drives around the neighborhood in the crate. The more practice they have with this, the easier your move will be.
4. Consider other ways to make them comfy.
Crates aren’t the only option if you’re moving with pets. There are also pet hammocks that can be a comfortable way for pets to ride in the car, or you can think about getting them a Thundershirt, too. These are snug, calming jackets that help decrease anxiety in pets — especially when traveling.
Bringing along your pet’s familiar bed, blanket, and other items can also help ease the ride for them.
5. Pack a bag just for them.
Before the big day, make sure you pack a bag just for your furry friend. It should have all the items you’ll need accessible while en route, as well as the necessities for the first few nights at your new place, too. (You’re probably not going to unpack right away, so stowing the must-haves in boxes won’t be helpful).
The exact list of things you’ll need depends on your pet, but you’ll definitely need things like food, bedding, any medications they’re on, a lease, and a travel bowl for food and water.
6. Update microchip and tags ASAP when moving with pets.
As soon as you have your new address, get a dog tag made up and keep it in your wallet until you arrive at your new place. Then swap the tags immediately after move-in. It’s not uncommon for pets to run off or get lost amid all the hustle and bustle of a move — and if you leave those old tags on? There won’t be any way to contact you.
You should also update your pet’s microchip information once you’re in the home. This can usually be done online or through your vet’s office.
7. Send them ahead of time.
You can also send your pet ahead of time with a pet transportation company or service. These allow them to be driven, shipped, or flown to your location without being part of all the hustle and bustle that goes on at home. The company will simply pick up your pet and drive them to your new locale. You can even have them sent to a local kennel or boarding facility until you’re able to pick them up or you’re more settled in.
The bottom line about moving with pets
Moving with pets can be difficult, but it’s not impossible by any means. Just start planning now, talk with your vet, and ease your furry friend into it. You and your pets will be in that dream home in no time.