Moving With Pets? Here's What You Need to Know
June 14, 2021
The average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. Many people consider moving stressful, and moving with pets can be even worse!
Pets need special consideration. It's not as easy as packing everything up and jumping to your new apartment or house when you have your furry friend to consider.
Don't worry though — it doesn't have to be an unbearable amount of stress. If you're moving with a pet, consider these things in mind and the experience will be fine.
Get Vet Records
The first thing you should do before you move is get your pet's veterinary records.
It should be simple enough to call your veterinarian and ask for them. When moving to a new vet, they will often want to see records of previous illnesses the pet has had as well as vaccinations and other preventative care.
If you have pet insurance, you will want these so you can provide a complete care history to the insurance company should anything go wrong in the future.
Although your new veterinarian can likely get by without them, they'll be a huge help. They also mean you won't have to pay for unnecessary preventative care if your pet is already up to date.
Get to Know the New Neighborhood
Before you move, you'll want to have a look around the new neighborhood for the sake of your pet.
If you move with a dog, the new neighborhood will ideally be dog-friendly. It may have plenty of sidewalks for walking your pet, or a dog park nearby.
If you move with a cat, this might be less important — however, some people have indoor/outdoor cats. If this is important to you, you should ask the following questions:
- Do people in this neighborhood like cats?
- Is it safe for my cat to wander?
- Are there coyotes or other predators in the area?
- Is there a feral cat population?
There are many risks to outdoor cats, and you'll want to make sure these are relatively controlled in the new area.
Consider the Timing
Rushing with a new pet can be difficult. If moving with a dog, you might want to take them to the new place a couple of times to get acclimated, for example, if it's close enough.
If it's possible not to rush — don't. Use storage containers as an alternative to moving trucks, so it can be done on your own time.
Control the Chaos
Another reason to use storage containers is that you want to control the chaos in the lead-up to the move. Strangers coming in and out of your home at a scheduled time can be hard on your dog or cat if they aren't in a particularly relaxed mood at that moment.
Try to keep everything on a comfortable schedule for them, and work on things when they're at their most relaxed — or don't have to be in the house!
For example, if your dog can be at doggy daycare while you do most of the packing, this might be ideal. Your cat could stay with a friend.
All in all, in the lead-up to the move, you should be disrupting their usual routine as little as possible.
How you travel with your pet will depend on how far you're going and your method of travel. These are the things to bear in mind.
Most people move by car. If your dog is comfortable in the car, this will be easy.
If not — or if moving with a cat — consider setting up a travel crate where your pet can feel safe and secure.
Don't forget to let them out every couple of hours for food, water, and to stretch their legs. Food and water should be minimal before the journey to prevent motion sickness.
If you're traveling by plane, be sure to consult your veterinarian on the best way to go about this. Cats and small dogs can be placed under the seat in front of you on many airlines, which is always better than them traveling in the cargo hold.
You should avoid sedating your pet if moving by plane, as this can cause problems for them in the hold.
Create a Safe Space
At the new home, you should give them a safe space with time to adjust, especially if you have a cat. It might feel cruel to keep a cat locked in the bathroom for a few days, but they'll appreciate being given the time.
Slowly, you can let them explore the house.
If they're an indoor/outdoor cat, you should keep them inside for a few weeks until they start to associate the new house with home. Otherwise, they might try to find their way back to the old house. Cats are territorial!
Dogs usually adjust a little more easily.
Let Them Adjust Slowly and Moving With Pets Will Be Fine!
The important thing is not to rush anything when it comes to pets and moving. Let pets adjust to a move at their own pace.
Try to be flexible and control the chaos if you can, and don't be surprised if moving with pets means they don't settle right away. They will!
For storage box solutions to make it easier to move on your time and schedule, contact us today.