If you have a furry friend, you know that they look to you for everything – love, food, shelter, food, water, and yes, food. Moving with pets is no different. If you are planning a move, then it is essential that you take some extra steps to ensure that the move is as stress-free for your pet as it can be.
Before the Move
Be familiar with local and neighborhood ordinances in your new community that pertain to pets. Make a few phone calls to the city hall, police department, or area vet, so you can be assured that you will have all the information you need for an easy arrival.
Locate a new veterinarian before you move to your new home if you are moving far away. Ask your current vet for recommendations, and once you have identified your new vet, work with the two vets to transfer all medical records.
Order or purchase new identification tags if they need to be updated with a new address. In many cases, pet owners now only list a mobile phone number, and if your mobile phone number is on your pets’ tags, and the number is not changing, you can quickly cross this step off the list.
If you will be driving to your new home, and your pet has never been in a car before, take your pet for a few drives before moving day comes. Identify if your pet has any anxiety, and if so, work with your vet for appropriate steps to take.
Making the Move
Keep things as normal as you possibly can when moving with your pets. Make sure your pet has familiar faces and voices throughout the move, and make sure that they have access to food and water. Make sure that your food of choice is available at stores in your new community. If not, it is wise to switch to a new food gradually, well in advance of the move.
If applicable, keep your pet leashed during the move, and any time your pet is going outside to relieve themselves if there is no access to a fenced area. Your pet will be confused for a while and may need time to adjust before becoming ready to roam off leash.
Make sure your pet has access to familiar toys, blankets, and other items that will bring comfort.
If possible, look for a friend or loved one that is not involved with the move, that can help pet-sit for a day or two until you are settled. Even a kennel is an option you might consider. While this too can cause some anxiety, make sure your pet-sitter has access to many familiar items, and ideally, has had contact with your pet before. It can be dangerous for pets to be around all of the activity on moving day and can create a risk for escape. If you need to have your pet in the new home immediately, you should crate the pet, or place them in a quiet room with their toys and water, and place a sign on the door so that people know not to enter without caution.
Taking steps to protect your loving companion before, during, and after a move will help them to better acclimate to their new environment. This will allow for a less stressful situation for them, and for you.