Tips for Moving with Cats or Dogs

Our furry friends mean a lot to us. As a dog and cat owner I know that moving can be an overwhelming change for pets. Here are a few tips to move your pets without causing additional stress for them.

Getting Ready.

  • Book an appointment with your vet. Make sure to ask about the pet’s well-being and if there will be any issues with travel. If your pet gets car-sick this is a great time to ask for a solution to this issue before the day of the move. Be sure to grab any prescriptions and paperwork you will need for your new town. Ask your vet if they can refer you to one in your new hometown.
  • Proper identification. It is important even before you leave that your pet is properly identified. This includes your pet tags and microchips. Make sure you grab a proper fitting collar and leash for the move as well. Prepare a replacement tag with your new address and phone number that you can attach just before leaving your old home for your new one. If your pet gets lost, the tag will guide the finder to your new address and phone you at the correct number.
  • New regulations and laws. Before you move, it is wise to read up on any laws and regulations in your new town for pets. They may have different bylaws from where you are now and it is good to be prepared for these changes.

The Big Day!

  • Pack the necessities. Be sure to pack a “Pet Diaper Bag” for the day of the move and a day or two after, this will help with the acclimation the few days after moving. Include things like; their favourite toys, blanket, water & food dishes, as well as their food and treats. Don’t forget to add a current photo in the bag or on your phone just in case your pet gets lost. *Important: Make sure their collar is on and you have a leash with you to prevent your pet from wandering off in their new surroundings, as well as abiding by local bylaws.*
  • Quiet Space and Routines. While the moving crew is there loading the vehicles, place your pet in an empty quiet room in the house sealed off from all the commotion. This will help with their nerves and yours as well. Don’t forget to leave them with food and water while you’re busy moving, they are going to get thirsty or hungry. Noises from moving may be loud and even the best trained pets may dart out the door when you’re not looking. Keep your pet to their routine. Let them out and take them for walks like you normally would. Doing this will reduce their anxiety & make the move easier for them.  🙂
  • Traveling Near or Far. Make arrangements to have your pet ride in your vehicle. Do NOT allow your pets to ride in the back of a truck bed or the back of the moving van. Place a blanket over their kennel to prevent them noticing the change in scenery. If you are traveling for a considerable amount of time be sure to take frequent breaks and allow your pets to have a fresh drink of water, and go to the bathroom. Prior to traveling long distances, have your pet acclimated to traveling in a vehicle if you have not already done so. This will reduce the amount of stress on moving day for them. If you have to stay overnight somewhere, try to find pet friendly accommodations ahead of time rather than the night of as many places are strict with no pet rules.

The Week Following.

  • Your pet(s) will need some time to get acquainted with their new place. To properly familiarize them with their surroundings, start by keeping them in one room. Ensure that they have their food and water in the room. If you have cat that their litterbox is in the room as well. As they start feeling comfortable you can give them more access to the house. In the meantime, this is a great time to start setting up your home with the items they will be familiar with as this will help their transition.

Have you moved with a cat, dog or other pet? What are some tips you’d like to share with us? Comment below!

Kayla Akerstrom

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