For most people, moving to a new home ranks among life’s most stressful events. The process can be even harder on pets, which often aren’t big fans of change. But careful planning can reduce or avoid relocation problems for your pet. Consider the following tips for moving with pets to help your pets experience a smooth transition to their new home.
Your regular routines are likely going to be disrupted as you plan for and execute your relocation. But it’s important to minimize the disruption in the routine of your pet as much as possible to avoid problems down the road. Try to stick with the pet’s regular schedule of feeding, exercise and playtime.
If your dogs or cats haven’t spent much time in crates or cars other than during trips to the vet, you’ll want to gradually familiarize them with travel in the weeks before the move. Begin by placing their food inside an open crate, and move up to having them eat their meals with the door shut. Carry them around the house in their crates and take them on short drives. Treats or extra attention following crate time can help them develop a positive connection with the crate.
If you’re selling a home, there are going to be lots of strangers around in the coming months – realtors, potential buyers, inspectors and movers. Make plans for your pets for during these times. Perhaps they should be confined to a familiar crate so that they feel safe when there are newcomers in the house. Or, a particularly sensitive animal might do better staying with a neighbor or boarding at a kennel during these times.
Visit the Veterinarian
At the beginning of your moving process, before things get really busy, make an appointment with your vet to get all of your pet’s inoculations up to date. Many states require a health certificate for pets and verification that the animal is disease free. You’ll also need this paperwork if you plan to board your pet or will be transporting the animal in an airplane. If your pet has a condition that requires ongoing treatment, make sure you fill any needed prescriptions and get advice from your vet about managing your pet’s health while traveling and until you can find a new vet.
Laws and Regulations
Most states have laws pertaining to the entry of pets, and many municipalities enforce specific pet regulations. Contact the state veterinarian in the capitol of your new home state to learn about the laws, and get in touch with the city clerk or town hall in your new city to learn about license fees, leash laws, fences, and other pet restrictions.
Pet Identification and Paperwork
Now is the time to make sure your pet has proper identification with your name and emergency contact information. In addition to the animal’s permanent ID and rabies tag, make a temporary ID tag with your cell phone number and the number of a friend or relative who would be easy to reach while you’re traveling to your new home. This might also be the time to consider chip identification for your pet, since you’ll soon be living in unfamiliar surroundings.
Managing Pets on Moving Day
On moving day, keep your pets in their crates, in a quiet room with the door shut, at a friend’s house or boarded at a kennel. Even the best-behaved pets can impede the moving process while underfoot. And, a scared cat or dog might make a run for it while the movers load up the truck. You don’t want to add searching for a lost pet to your tasks on moving day!
Remember, moving vans cannot carry pets, so you’ll need to make arrangements for your pet to travel to your new home.
Pet Air Travel
If you’re moving your pet by airplane, contact the airlines for rules and regulations, transportation charges and container/carrier requirements. Make your reservations well in advance because pet approval is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. And feed your pet no less than five or six hours before flight time. Give your pet water about two hours before take-off.
On the Road with Your Pets
If you’re moving your pet by car, start making a list of items you’ll need for a pet travel kit, including a carrier, collapsible dishes, favorite toys, water, food and treats. If necessary, ask your vet about tranquilizers to relax the animal. And when traveling with a pet, it’s a good idea to have a “clean-up kit” in the car for motion sickness situations. Don’t forget to take a few
exercise, water and bathroom breaks. Remember, you won’t be able to stop for leisurely meals if you have an animal in the car.
During warm weather, never leave your pets locked alone in the car – even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rise quickly to lethal levels. For example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly on an 85-degree day can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes or less. Within 30 minutes, the temperature can soar to 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.
For long-distance trips, you’ll want to make reservations in advance at hotels that allow pets. Some hotels have restrictions on pet size or breed, so it’s a good idea to call ahead verify that your pet will be welcome.
Tips for Moving Dogs into Your New Home
After moving into a new house, immediately walk dogs around the neighborhood so that they become familiar with the new area. Establish boundaries in the yard for your dogs to roam, and help them become accustomed to the new environment by maintaining a regular feeding and walking schedule.
Tips for Moving Cats into Your New Home
Try not to expose your cats to your new living arrangements all at once. It’s a good idea to limit the number of rooms cats are allowed in and gradually let them explore. Surround cats with familiar items during the move to reduce emotional stress. Once you’re in your new home, don’t let cats outside until they are familiar with the new living environment to reduce the risk of running away.
Because you’re in a new home, often with new décor and furniture, you may be tempted to replace your pets’ old favorites, too. But it’s better to use your their familiar food and water dishes, beds, blankets and toys to make them feel at home. Try to keep things in the same locations as they were in your previous residence.
Proper planning is essential to a stress-free move – for you and your pets. As an authorized agent of Mayflower Moving, Herlihy Moving & Storage is here to guide you every step of the way.
Looking for professional and reliable Columbus, Ohio movers? Contact us today to experience the Herlihy Moving & Storage difference. Since 1920, we have moved thousands of Ohio families and businesses around Ohio, across the United States, and around the world. As a locally owned and operated agent of Mayflower Moving, we have the resources to move you, no matter where you need to go.