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Moving with Pets

Keep your pets happy and healthy with tips and advice on
minimizing stress ... before, during, and after a big move.

dog in a moving box
They are beloved members of the family, and go wherever we go. No surprise then, that just like moving with kids, pets don't like major changes in their daily schedules.

Be sure to give them extra love and affection when gearing up for a big move — more cuddle time will not only minimize stress on them, but on you and your family as well!

Planning to move your pets

While you're at it, a little extra planning for your pet's care and comfort while on the move can make settling into their new home that much easier:

  • Talk to your veterinarian who can provide lots of helpful advice - including suggested medications that can help your pet cope with the move. If you are moving from an urban area the suburbs, be sure to consult your vet about proper flea and tick protection. Also ask about any medical certificates or copies of records you may need at your new location.

  • Have your pets ID tag updated with your new address and phone number as soon as possible.

  • Find out ahead of time if your new neighborhood requires licenses for dogs, or if there are any pooper-scooper or pet laws to abide by.

  • While dogs may want to immediately investigate their new domain, cats may need to be slowly acclimated to strange and unfamiliar territory...
  • Pack up a special box of favorite pet foods and treats, a water bottle, and drinking bowls along with a favorite toy or blanket. If traveling by car, store extra paper towels for quick clean-up in case of intestinal upsets or car sickness your pet may experience while on the road.

  • If you're traveling long-distance trip by car that includes an overnight stay, make plans ahead of time to book a pet friendly hotel.

On moving day

The best advice is to arrange a kennel for dogs and cats (or to provide babysitters for the kids' guinea pigs or aquarium fish) on moving day. This will help avoid them getting lost in the whirl of activity brought on by the mass household migration out the door. Once the movers are gone, go collect your pet for the big day ahead.

On the road

In the car, keep cats or smaller dogs in sturdy carriers. Larger dogs should be prevented from sticking their heads out the window, romping around the front seat and, like any child, properly seat-belted.

Always make sure to leash your dog before exiting the car for any reason. On short rest stops, provide plenty of water, but avoid overfeeding to prevent car sickness. In hot weather, keep windows open to avoid heat stroke if your dog or cat is staying in the car for any length of time.

petsSettling in with your pets

As household furniture and moving boxes are being sorted out, ideally you should keep pets in a quiet room, surrounded by familiar food, toys and blankets. Just make sure that any toxic substances or chemicals are safely stored away before you allow your pets free reign.

While dogs may want to immediately investigate their new domain, cats may need to be slowly acclimated to strange and unfamiliar territory.

For dogs especially, a walk around the neighborhood will help them get familiar with the sights, smells, and sounds of their new neighborhood and go a long way toward regaining their emotional 'footing' after a big move.

Overall, a little extra planning for moving pets may take some time, but it's well worth the effort to see them finally breath a sigh of relief as they (and YOU!) snuggle contentedly into a new environment.

More about moving with pets around the Web:

Helping your dog adjust to your new home


Moving Your Pets

Moving With Your Family Pets


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