The How-To Guide to Moving with Pets: Dogs & Cats

Moving is one of the most stressful experiences that individuals face, and the same applies to your pets.  Moving can put a lot of strain on pets. They see unusual and unfamiliar actions while the house is being rearranged and packed. Your furry friends want to know that they’ll be joining you in this transition. So, next time you are moving with pets, keep these tips in mind.

What to Expect

Both cats and dogs react to changes differently. Dogs are more social animals because we typically take them more places, like on walks, the park, and vacations; whereas cats tend to be more home-bound. This means that a dog may have a better reaction to moving than a cat does.

When a cat notices that change is occurring, it’s likely to temporarily adopt a different attitude. A more standoffish cat may become clingy or show affection while a cuddly cat may become skittish. These are generally signs that the cat has become stressed.

Consult a Veterinarian

Before moving with pets, visit the veterinarian and provide them details about the upcoming move. The vet will be familiar with your four-legged friend, and can offer ideas on easing the stress of the move for them. For instance, if your dog or cat gets queasy easily, they may prescribe a medicine to mitigate the symptoms. No one wants to be stuck in a car with a sick animal on their moving day.

Gather the Proper Items

Animals require specific items for everyday (and/or unusual) activities. Before you move, round up your pets’ ID tags. If they don’t have an ID tag, buy one for them. This tag should include the name of the pet, the owners name, and a phone number that you can be reached at. If at some point your pet gets lost, someone can contact you to return him or her. Along with this, you may consider getting your pet microchipped. This will aid in recovering your pet should he or she ever get loose.

Another item to gather when moving with pets is a photograph. Following the theme of the pet getting lost, this will come in handy to show your new neighbors what the pet looks like. It can also be used to create a “Lost Pet” sign.

Collars and leashes are also imperative items to keep handy on your move. The pet should be wearing the collar, but it’s always beneficial to have an extra in case he or she chews through it or escapes out of it due to nerves. If you’re moving long-distance, it’s likely the pet will need to use the bathroom. Put the pet on the leash to prevent him or her from escaping or running off.

One of the most important items to collect when moving with pets is their health records. Your veterinarian can provide these so that a new vet can provide care for your pet.

Transporting the Pet

Many moving companies are not allowed to move your pet, so you’ll have to do it on your own. If you are driving, the pet can easily ride in the car with you. He or she can either sit in the car freely, or ride in a carrier. It is up to you, depending on the space available in the car. You can also fly with your pet, but he or she will need to be in a carrier. If the animal has never been in a carrier, or is unfamiliar with it, introduce your pet to the crate a few weeks before your move. This will ease the pets’ nerves instead of tossing him or her into it for an extended period of time.

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