Moving tests the “planner” in us all. The details, the prep – the lists of what to prepare for seem to be never-ending. But one thing that seems to slip people’s mind is prepping to move your pets. After all, they’re members of the family – so it feels like they can just hop in the car and go, too! However, depending on the type of pet and move – there is likely some planning involved. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to moving your beloved furry one:
Research Ahead of Time
Each state has different regulations for pets. This includes any type of permits, certifications, and vaccines your pet may need in a new location. Also if applicable be sure to check in with future landlords or HOAs for regulations that must be met.
Vet Hello & Goodbyes
Seeing your life go into boxes isn’t just stressful for the humans in the family, pets feel the stress, too. Once you start the moving process be sure to check in with your vet to if you notice any physical symptoms or behavioral changes that could be caused by stress. This also might be a good time for a check-up visit to get caught up on any vaccinations that may not be up-to-date, collecting any medical records on file, as well discussing microchipping if your pet does not have one.
Pro tip: Find your future vet ahead of time, in addition, locate the closest emergency animal hospital. This saves time, stress, and one more “new” thing to figure out when you get there.
Furry Friends Need Packing Lists, Too
Once things are all boxed up with the rest of the house, there’s no quick way to get the essentials out for your pets unless you plan for it. Be sure to have your pet’s everyday essentials packed separately so that they can be some of the last things to pack up, and first to take out (or carry with you in the car). Food and water bowls, medication, ID tags, health records, leash, and a carrier are all essentials. In the terrible (and unlikely) event that your furry one gets lost, experts advise to always have an up-to-date photo, as well.
Plan for the Travel
For pets that haven’t traveled many long distances, moving is often their first long travel experience (or first one in a long while). Get your pet acclimated to the journey ahead of time in every way you can. Get your pet used to the carrier, used to car rides that are a little longer than the typical “vet ride”, etc. Try to reinforce the fact that it’s a positive experience. Treats anyone?
Just like everything else, planning is key. For air travel, know exactly what documentation you need for the airline. For car travel, know how your pet will be safe and comfortable in the car for long periods of time. (They even make dog seat belts now that keep dogs safe in the back seat!)
The physical moving day can be chaotic – especially if movers are involved. Prep ahead of time where your furry ones can during the action of the move in. (No one likes carrying boxes and tripping over their excited dog!). If you typically have a “pet proof” house – make sure you come ready to implement any safeguards you had in place ahead of time. Last but not least, keep a closer eye on your pets outside than usual. They are in new surroundings and are more prone to getting lost, or running into other “new yard” surprises.