Top Tips for Moving With Your Furry Family Member
There’s no way around it – moving can be stressful. Even more so if you’re a pet parent, and you’re concerned about how to keep your furry kid safe, happy and comfortable during the moving process. Fortunately, there are things you can do that will make your move much less worrisome, and more of an adventure to share with your pet.
Visit Your Veterinarian
Set up an appointment with your pet’s current veterinarian to get a thorough exam and ensure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations. You’ll also want to stock up on any medications — including heartworm and flea/tick preventatives. Additionally, depending on your new home’s location and laws, your pet may need extra shots and a health certificate. While you’re there be sure to request a copy of all of your pet’s medical records to have on hand during travel, and to give to the new veterinarian you choose in your new home town.
Keep Your Pet Happy, Safe & Secure on Moving Day
From your pet’s perspective, moving day will be filled with strange noises, unfamiliar voices, and some commotion. It’s enough to make even the most easygoing of pets a little anxious. Plus, with movers coming in and out of your home, it’s easy for your pet to slip out if he’s not somewhere safe and secure.
The best place for your pet on moving day is at friend or family member’s house. This way he’ll avoid all the moving day “excitement.” Another great alternative is letting your pet spend the day at a doggie daycare or a boarding facility.
If those are not viable options, give your pet his own space in your house by keeping him safe and secure in an empty, quiet room, with a sign on the door that says “Do Not Enter”. If putting him in a room isn’t possible, secure him in a crate.
Update Microchip and ID Tags
If your pet is microchipped, be sure to update your dog’s account with your new address. It is also important to get a new pet ID tag. Having an up-to-date photo of your pet is always a good idea in order to help locate him if he gets lost in his new neighborhood.
Book Pet Friendly Lodging in Advance
If you are moving a long distance and there will be overnight stops, it is important to book lodging in advance to ensure there’s availability and that your pet is welcome. You can even search by route to find pet friendly places to stay along your travel route. If you’re in need of extended stay accommodations in your new town, be sure to book ahead as well.
Pack an “Overnight” Bag for Your Pet
Just as you pack an overnight bag for yourself, pack one for your four-legged family member. Be sure your pet has all his essentials not only for the road trip, but enough to last him at least a couple days after the move. Some packing essentials include: ample food, water, medications, bowls, collar/leash, favorite toy or blanket, and first aid kit.
Plan for Securing Your Pet in Your Vehicle
The rest of the family buckles up…so should your pet. Determine the best way to secure your pet in your vehicle. Vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates are all viable options that will help ensure your pet’s safety when traveling by car. The one you choose depends on your individual pet. Whatever pet safety device you choose to properly secure your pet, it’s best to give your furry sidekick at least one month to familiarize himself with it.
If Flying, Book Early and Prepare Your Pet
If your move involves flying with your pet, be sure to check with the airline you are flying to familiarize yourself with their particular airline’s pet policy and guidelines. It’s also important to buy yours and your pet’s airline ticket early to ensure you get your preferred flight. During your pre-move vet visit, let your vet know that you will be traveling by plane with your pet, so that he can assess your pet’s health and provide you with a health certificate. Airlines require a pet health certificate typically issued within 10 days of departure.
Prepare your pet for air travel by ensuring he has the proper pet travel kennel and is adequately familiarized with it. There are many safety issues to consider when flying with your pet. To help ensure a happy and safe move, it’s important to review these tips for flying with your pet.
Moving has the potential to be a bit stressful. Most pets (particularly dogs) are energy magnets. They sense if you are upset, anxious, or agitated. If you’re sending out these vibes, your pet will pick up on them and he too will become more anxious. But if you are calm, steady, and reassuring, you will take some of the burden of worry off of his shoulders.
The type of moving experience you have with your pet depends upon planning ahead, and “shaking off” the negativity if things don’t quite go as planned. Follow these tips when moving to a new home with your pet, and your experience will likely be more of an adventure rather than a stressor!
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