Moving With Pets
Whether it’s a mile away or across the globe, moving with pets takes an already hectic situation to a new level. Boxes everywhere, you can never seem to find what you’re looking for, and on top of that it looks like Fido had an accident in the house because his formerly stable world is now topsy turvy! Thankfully, there are ways to ease the stress on both you and your beloved companions and make the transition to your new home as seamless as possible.
BEFORE THE MOVE
● Try to keep your routine as close to normal as possible. If you’re able, pack in small increments instead of all in one day so that your dog or cat can acclimate to the changing scenery slowly.
● Get a new set of identification tags made for your pets that show your new address – have your pet wear both tags until settled in the new home.
● If you are moving a considerable distance, choose a new veterinarian before you move; generally, we recommend going to https://www.aaha.org to do some research – this ensures you choose a vet who is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. Once you have made a selection, contact us at My Vet and we can send over medical records so the new facility will have them handy.
● Fill any prescriptions or supplements your pet takes regularly prior to the move.
● If you have cats, set out their carriers a few weeks before moving day so your cat can inspect it. It may help to place treats, or even feed your cat its favorite food, in the carrier to help build a positive association.
● If you are flying domestically with pets, be sure to contact the airline to see if they have any specific health certificate requirements – often these need to be completed within a set number of days before flying. **If you are moving internationally, we HIGHLY suggest utilizing a professional pet moving company. Please contact us and we can refer you to someone. This ensures that there are no missed steps that will lead to needing to delay your moving day.**
● Provide a safe space for your pet to rest (bathroom, bedroom) behind a closed door, and provide your pet with a familiar bed, food, water, and toys. This is essential, as the commotion of items being moved, doors constantly opening and closing, and possible unfamiliar people in the house (movers, friends helping out) can lead even the friendliest, calmest dog or cat to get spooked and dart out an open door.
● Take time every hour or so to visit with your pet in their safe place, talking to them calmly and petting and loving them. They will appreciate the one-on-one time! Similarly, if you are traveling by car, make sure to check in and provide potty breaks frequently.
● Once in your new home, place the pet in another safe space to acclimate until everything is situated.
● Let your pet set their own pace in terms of exploring. With cats especially, it may be beneficial to limit them to one room for a few days. Cats may hide for several weeks and only come out to eat or use the litter box. Be sure to always speak calmly to your pet and provide them with attention.
● Provide them with blankets, toys, and beds that have old, familiar scents.
● Keep an eye on eating, drinking, and bathroom habits. If you notice anything abnormal, call your veterinarian for advice.
● Update microchip information.
● For the first few weeks, focus on developing a routine and “new normal”. Try to feed and walk around the same time every day, and spend extra time cuddling and encouraging your pet.