Tips for Moving with Pets
♦ Order a new pet tag with your new address and telephone number as soon as you know it. Put the new tag on the same ring along with the original tag with your soon-to-be previous address. Leave both tags on your pet until s/he is safely at the new home. By leaving both tags with both addresses and phone numbers on them, should your pet run off from the stress, animal control will have both places they can reach you.
♦ Notify the veterinarian and/or city or county where your pet’s ID chip is registered of your new address and contact information.
♦ Clearly mark moving boxes that contain the pet food, pet treats, medications, litter-box, etc. so that you can get to them quickly once you arrive at your new home.
♦ Consider having a family member or friend take your pet during packing, and especially on the day professional movers will be loading the truck. If this is not possible, consider leaving your pet with a pet-sitter or boarding him/her at a pet resort for at least part of the day. The chaos of having strangers removing family furniture and belongings can make pets quite stressed and it is best to have them in a place in which they are safe and cannot run out. The same is true on the other end which can be even more stressful for pets dealing with the unfamiliar environment.
♦ If you and your family are flying to your new area, pets can fly too. Just check with the airlines ahead of time to be sure the pet carrier you plan to use meets regulations and to inquire about any other requirements they may have.
♦ If your pet is too old, sick, or has a history of severe anxiety, then flying may not be an option. Instead, use one of the many pet transport services now available—many even offer their services for cross-country trips. Drivers are pet lovers and often active in animal welfare organizations so they are comfortable with animals—which can help reduce your pet’s stress levels during the time s/he is separated from the rest of the family. And if your pet is taking medication these experienced caregivers can take care of that, too.
♦ Whether your pet is going by plane, boat or road vehicle, be sure to have a final visit to your vet’s office. There are new medications available that can help your pet stay calm while he is traveling and away from his family. Be sure to keep the names of any medications your pet is taking and your veterinarian’s contact information handy in case this information is needed while your pet is traveling.
♦ In addition to making sure your pet’s carrier has comfy bedding for the trip, also include an item of your (or your family member’s) clothing like a t-shirt after it has been worn (but before it has been laundered!). Having the smells of family members close by can be amazingly comforting for your pet while s/he is separated from the family.
♦ Be sure you also pack a water bowl and travel food bowl for your pet, as well as his/her favorite food—and of course, lots of treats!
♦ In addition to packing your pet’s leash (and car harness if s/he is traveling sans a carrier) you may want to consider purchasing one of the new “comfort wraps” as some animals find wearing it soothing. Including your pet’s favorite toy or blanket in the pet carrier can also help to keep them calm.