Moving With Pets

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By Kyle Thomas Haley

If you're a pet owner and are planning to move to a new home, remember that moving can be even more stressful for your animals than it is for you. But there are several things you can do to make it easier on your dog or cat.

Start your packing well ahead of time; it's not only easier on you, but on your pets as well. During the time leading up to your move, try to keep your pets' eating and exercise schedules as normal as possible. Give them the same amount of attention and affection as you always do.

Things to do before your move:

  • Get copies of certificates, medical, and immunization records from your veterinarian.
  • Purchase identification tags with your new address.
  • If you're planning to travel by air, schedule your flights early and try to book a direct flight - this will be much easier on your pet. You need to find out what the airline's regulations are for transporting your pet. You will also need to find out what kind of crate will be necessary to contain your dog or cat.
  • If you're driving and the trip will take more than one day, be sure and check ahead and reserve motels that will accept pets.
  • Contact the state to which you're moving and find out the regulations regarding animals. Some states require an entry permit for pets.
  • If your new home is nearby it's a good idea to take your pets for a visit and let them become familiar with the neighborhood and the new sights and smells. This is especially true of dogs. Of course, keep the dog on a leash and the cat in a carrier.

When Moving Day Finally Arrives . . .

All the confusion is certain to upset your pet so the best solution is to have a friend or family member keep Fido or Fluffy while the loading is being done. If that isn't an option, keep your pet in a small room, perhaps a bathroom, along with sufficient food, water (litter box for Fluffy) and some favorite toys. Attach a "Do Not Enter" sign on the door so the pet is secure and won't be accidentally set free.

You're on Your Way . . .

The packing and loading are all done and now it's time to head for your new home. There are things you'll want to make sure are packed for your pet. These include:

  • The new identification tags.
  • Medications and veterinarian records.
  • Recent pictures of your pet in case it becomes lost.
  • Litter box or scoop and plastic bags.
  • Paper towels in case there are accidents.
  • Leashes.
  • Toys and treats.
  • Food and water bowls.
  • Can opener and cans that can be resealed.
  • Regular food and water from the old house (enough for several days). Different water can upset an animal's digestive tract so it's a good idea to provide water from the old house for the first few days after moving. This would not be a good time to try a new brand of food either!

Your New Home ~ At Last . . .

When you finally arrive at your new home, let your pet explore with your supervision. Then place Fido or Fluffy in a small room with a crate or bed (and, of course a litter box for Fluffy) while the unloading and unpacking are taking place. Make sure to put some favorite toys in there and perhaps an old sweatshirt, or something that smells familiar.

It's very important that you not let your pet outside alone without a lead or tie for the first few days. Cats usually require about a week but dogs adapt quicker. You don't want your pet to wander away and get lost.

Your pet may be insecure and more prone to misbehaving during the first few days in a new environment. Try to be patient and not punish the initial misbehavior, instead, try to find ways to reduce stress. Extra TLC can go a long way toward making pets more comfortable. It's also a good idea to follow the usual feeding and exercise schedule.

In closing, there are just a couple of things you should be aware of to keep the moving experience as trouble-free as possible:

  • If you intend to fly, be aware that puppies and kittens
    less than 8 weeks old will not be transported.
  • And finally, never move a sick animal ~ it could well make his condition worse and endanger his health.

Enjoy your new home!

About The Author

Kyle Thomas Haley has been helping people relocate on the Internet since 1999 with Apartment and Relocation Websites: Apartment Rental Finders Relocating and Moving Guides Copyright 1999 - 2005 STANZEEKAY Inc. You have permission to publish this article free of charge, as long as the bylines are included and none of the links or content are removed or edited.

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