Your pets are an important part of the family, so when it’s time for the family to move there are some important steps to take to ensure your pet is comfortable.
Pets, like any other family member, feel the stress of relocation. Minimizing your pet’s exposure to extreme changes in routine will go a long way to easing its stress (and yours). Consult your veterinarian. Make sure all vaccinations are current, obtain medical records, and ask for a recommendation for a veterinarian in your new area.
Before the Relocation
Keep your pet’s daily routine as consistent as possible. If possible, arrange with a friend or a kennel to take your pet during the move. If your pet is staying with you, remember to leave a few comfort items and food behind when you pack up the last boxes. Preparing an overnight kit will also be helpful when you get to your new home because you’ll know where all the essentials are.
During the relocation
Don’t forget to update your pet’s information. Pick up a new tag with your new address, and give your vet your new contact information. If your cat or dog has a microchip, be sure to have that information updated as well.
Have extra food and water on hand in case of emergency. If your cat or dog is going to be around on moving day, do your best to keep them away from the action as much as possible; it will be easier on you and the animal.
Relocating with Small Animals
Hamsters, birds, mice, and guinea pigs are best transported in their cages in your own car. Make sure the animal has enough food and water, and do not park in the sun. Keep cages secured and try to make the trip smooth for the animal.
Transporting Your Pet
Household movers are not permitted to transport live animals in a moving van. Bus companies will only accept seeing-eye dogs accompanied by their owner. If your moving far, dogs and cats can ride in your car, but make sure you stop at least every two hours. Call ahead to find motels and hotels that allow pets. If you are flying, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment. Call your airline to find out about vaccination requirements. For long plane trips, or if your pet is nervous, talk to a vet about tranquilizers. Atlas Van Lines can make shipping arrangements on your behalf for a nominal charge, or you can use a third-party firm that specializes in this area. There are a number of companies in Canada and the United States that specialize in travel arrangements for pets. Air Animal can arrange to ship pets anywhere in the world (call 1-800-635-3443 for information and a free booklet).
Arrival at Your New Home
The sooner you re-establish old routines, the better. Allow your pet to become familiar with the home. Cats should be kept indoors for a few days before being allowed to roam free. Dogs benefit from frequent familiarization walks around the area.
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