Moving with Pets
Moving can be stressful if you're not prepared. One thing you should put some consideration into is how to prepare your pet for the move. You'll make the move much easier on your family and your pets if you're prepared!
Get to Know your New Neighborhood
A great way to be prepared for the move is to learn a bit more about your new neighborhood or city. Are there dog parks? Is there a pet-friendly park where you can both get a workout? Find one or two great spots where you and your pet can enjoy some outdoor time. This will help you settle in to your new town, and it'll help your pet realize that they're still a big part of your life, despite a lot of change.
Visit your Current Vet before you Leave
If you're moving too far away from your current veterinarian and you'll have to choose a new vet, it's very helpful to visit your current vet one last time. Simply mention to your veterinarian that you'd like a copy of your pet's records, including health history, vaccination history, and medications/prescriptions. Even though your new veterinarian can request these, it is helpful to have copies (especially if you need to visit a new veterinarian or emergency clinic outside of your current veterinarian's business hours). While you're at your vet's office, ask about having any medications refilled and buying additional prescription diet food, so you don't run out too quickly after your move.
Plan your Pet's Travel
Will you be flying during your move? Are you driving a long distance? Make plans for your pet's travel during the move so you're fully prepared for anything that may come up.
If flying: Research your airline's rules about transporting animals. Each airline has specific requirements and guidelines for traveling with animals, and this can vary greatly by your animal's breed and size. Also, find out how you'll need to retrieve your pet, if they will be traveling separately from you. It may be a good idea to have a member from your party go straight to the baggage claim area so your pet isn't waiting too long, and you can check on him/her after the flight.
If driving: Shorter drives aren't as much of a big deal as longer drives. If you'll be on the road for a long duration, it may be a good idea to plan some pull-over spots for your pet to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and get some water. Plan your route, and find some safe, pet-friendly places to stop. Also, make sure you have a safe way for your pet to travel in the car. If your pet isn't used to traveling in a car, they may become stressed out. Having favorite toys, blankets, beds, or crates can be very helpful in reducing travel stress. If you'll be staying at a hotel at some point along the journey, make sure you find a pet-friendly hotel.
Help your Pet Settle In
When you get to your new home, spend a little time helping your cat or dog settle in! Show them around the house and let them explore. If your new yard is fenced in, let them run, sniff, and roll around. If your yard isn't fenced, leash them and take them on a walk. They'll love the chance to explore their new yard while bonding with you. Pets can become easily stressed in a new environment, so it'll be beneficial if they know they're still important to you. Keep in mind, some animals may have accidents in a new environment, especially if they are typically nervous or very territorial. Be patient, and remember that you may have to work to reinforce some old house-training behaviors in their new home.
Many animals enjoy having a little "spot" that's all theirs. It can be helpful to set up a little spot with their bed right as you arrive, so they know that they have a place in your new home.
Update Microchips & Pet Registries
Pets can become easily confused in a new neighborhood, so if your pet breaks loose, it's important to have microchips and lost pet registries updated with your new information. Make sure you contact your vet or microchip registration company with your new address, and confirm that your phone number is up to date. Also, make sure your pet's collar or harness has a tag with the correct contact information (at least a phone number).
Have Some Fun!
Moving can be stressful, so don't forget to take some time out to play and show your pet some love. They'll feel more relaxed, and you will too. Contact Hug-Condon today to get help with planning or reserving your move!