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Tips to Consider When Moving with Pets

Published by Chris Townsend

Tips to Consider When Moving with Pets

You've chosen a new place, packed your belongings, and planned your trip, but have you prepared your pets for the big move?

Moving may be a difficult process for everyone in the family, especially the furry ones. A pet like fish is even harder to move because you have to move the fish tank as well. Change may be difficult for pets, whether they're being moved across the block or the globe. Pet owners must take into account the possibility that their animals would be affected by such a significant change and plan accordingly.

Before moving day, try to spend some quality time with your pet. Plus, there are a few additional things you may neglect that will greatly lessen the stress on your pet's life during a move.

As a professional mover, we'll explain how you may strive to ensure your pet has a safe and pleasant transition to their new home in this guide on moving with your pet.

1. Make a Plan

The earlier you begin planning, the better. There's a lot to consider when moving with pets. When pets sense that change is on the way, they may become uneasy or clingy to express their worry. Thus, it's preferable if your pet is cared for by a member of your family. Your pet will feel more secure if they have a reassuring buddy with them throughout the moving process.

Ensure pet is ready travel

2. Ensure Your Pet is Travel Ready

Pets who haven't traveled in a car before, especially cats, should familiarize themselves with cars and crates beforehand. Consider taking your dog in the car with you as much as possible in the weeks leading up to the relocation so they can get acclimated to driving.

Chances are, if you're not actively crate training, the crate is tucked away somewhere. When relocating with pets, many families utilize a crate because it keeps the pet safe from harm, even if the pet is anxious. Thus, consider reintroducing the crate as a safe haven for them. Bring out the crate early and give your pet plenty of practice before the big day if your pet isn't used to being in it.

Furthermore, don't forget to bring a bag for your pet. To move, you'll be packing all of your belongings and your pet's belongings into boxes, so ensure they have several days' worth of essentials packed so you don't have to dig them out of a box before you've had a chance to settle into your new place.

3. Know the Law on Moving Pets

Most states have pet importation rules, some of which are more stringent than others. Hawaii's pet travel rules, for example, involve weeks of planning to avoid a lengthy kennel quarantine. Other states may request health certifications or conduct border inspections.

Vaccines, chips, tags, and other details vary per state, especially when you have an exotic pet, which may require its own set of permits and other regulations. When traveling with pets, the US Department of Agriculture is a great resource for exploring all state laws.

Finally, while your landlord or homeowners’ association is not a governing body, they will have their own pet policies for their neighborhood or property, so make sure you understand what they are. This is something you should have clarified long before moving day.

Certificate handy move with your pet

4. Contact Your Vet

Veterinarians are experts at helping pets cope with stressful situations... especially since most pets despise their visits. They are experts to visit if you have any queries regarding easing your pet's anxiety.

Certain paperwork relating to your pet's health may be required depending on your mode of transportation and where you'll be moving to. Once you've figured out the requirements, book an appointment with your veterinarian to double-check everything.

When moving with pets, the following documents are usually required:

  • Rabies Vaccination Document: The most essential travel document for your pet is a valid rabies tag and a certificate of vaccination signed by your veterinarian. Always remember to keep that certificate handy whenever you move with your pet.
  • Health Certificate: This is a document signed by your veterinarian that describes your pet, lists all vaccines, and certifies that your pet is healthy and disease-free. Health certificates are only acceptable for a certain period of time, sometimes as short as ten days. Therefore, make sure your pet reaches your destination before their certificate expires.

5. Plan Pet-Friendly Accommodation

You've got enough on your plate planning for yourself, your family, and all of your belongings, so make sure to book a pet-friendly hotel if you're traveling a long distance. Moving with pets differs from moving with plants in that not all hotels are pet-friendly.

Furthermore, many top booking services allow you to filter your search to only feature pet-friendly homes but don't assume that all pets will be accepted.

If you're moving with an uncommon pet, try and check first with the accommodation provider.

Pet friendly neighborhoods are a good indicator

6. Is the New Place Convenient for Your Pet?

Pet-friendly neighborhoods are a good indicator of a pet-friendly house. Keep an eye out for your neighbors as you survey your new surroundings. Is their fenced-in yard full of pets? Is it common for your neighbors to take their dogs out for a walk? These are some of the things to watch out for.

Pet owners should keep the following in mind when looking for a new home:

  • Dog owners should make sure there is enough space outside for them to go to the bathroom or play. A fenced-in backyard is a plus, as it keeps your pets safe while keeping others out. Even the most well-behaved dogs, especially in a new location, may discover something outside that piques their natural curiosity.

Sometimes it's not possible to provide your dog with its own yard space when you're moving. If you plan to walk your dog regularly, think about the safety of your area, since your dog will require fresh air at all hours of the day and night. For your own and your pet's safety, make sure you are at ease in your new neighborhood.

  • Cat owners should be extremely conscious of areas in the house where their cat could wriggle into. Make sure all vents and passageways are shut, and be wary of homes with open staircases or "catwalks," which cats can mistake for a perilous launching pad.
  • If you're a renter, make sure your landlord is pet-friendly and understands your situation. You might have to pay an extra fee if you have a pet, so keep in touch with your landlord.
Using the services of a moving company

7. Consider Hiring Someone to Watch Your Pet During Moving Day

You'll find that packing and loading your belongings can be stressful for an animal, especially if you're using the services of a moving company since there would be lots of unfamiliar faces. There will be a lot of back and forth during loading and unloading, and having pets underfoot can cause issues. As earlier stated, have someone keep an eye on the pet throughout these activities if at all possible. Otherwise, make sure they're safe and comfortable in their own space before everything gets too hectic.

8. Arriving at Your New Place

Set up a calm space for your pet away from the unpacking activities when you arrive at your new house. Adding a handful of your pet's favorite toys to his bed or crate will help him relax and settle comfortably. Once you've settled in a bit, seek out a reputable veterinarian and provide them with a copy of your pet's medical records. If your pet needs emergency treatment, providing this information will save you time.

Most animals find moving

How to Make the Transition Easier for Your Pet

Most animals find moving to a new home stressful, however, there are some things you could do to help them adjust.

As previously stated, gradually introduce your pet to their new environment. When they first arrive, confine them to a particular area of the house and ensure that they have access to all of their daily demands. Once your cat is more acquainted with its surroundings, you should be ready to move its cat litter to a more permanent place. Do not replace any of their old toys, water dishes, or beds in a hurry. It's best if they have as many familiar objects as possible.

When you first get there, take your dog for a stroll around your new house (or apartment) to allow them to sniff the different smells and get adjusted to their unfamiliar setting. Allow your cat to retreat to a dark location until they feel safe.

Most importantly, maintain as much of a schedule as possible to assist your pet in returning to normal. The sooner you return to your regular schedule, the more comfortable your pet will feel.

Best pet movers

Finally, this is the time to lavish extra love and treats upon them. By hiding treats for them to find and playing games to keep their minds occupied and relaxed, you may help them form positive connections with the new place.

At Three Movers, we understand how stressful moving with pets can be. This is why we work hard to take care of many of the fine details related to the people side of your move, so you can focus on helping your pet adjust to their new home. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you with your move.

moving with multiple pets

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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