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Moving with your furkid? Be sure to plan ahead!
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Moving with your furkid? Be sure to plan ahead!

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Moving with your furkid?  Be sure to plan ahead! (image)

iStock/Pavel Horak

There’s no doubt that moving can be exciting .  . . and stressful.  If you’re a pet parent, the stress can be heightened when you’re concerned about keeping your four-legged family member safe and happy during the moving process. Fortunately, planning ahead will make your move much less daunting and more of an adventure you can share with your pet!

Make an appointment with your vet

First off, you should set up an appointment with your pet’s current veterinarian, so your pooch can get a thorough exam and any necessary vaccinations.  You’ll also want to have an ample supply of your pet’s medications, including heartworm and flea/tick preventatives.  Additionally, your pet may need extra shots and a health certificate, depending on your new home’s location and laws.  While you’re at the vet’s office, request a copy of your pet’s complete medical records to have on hand during travel, and to give to your new veterinarian after you’ve moved.

Check microchip and ID tags

If your pet is microchipped, be sure to update the account with your new address.  It’s important to get a new pet ID tag, too.  Keeping an updated photo of your pet with you is also a good idea, just in case he gets lost in your new neighborhood and you need help finding him.

Make plans for overnight accommodations

If you’re moving far away and there will be overnight stops on your road trip to your new town, it’s important to book pet-friendly lodging in advance, to ensure there’s availability and that your pet is welcome.  If you will need extended stay accommodations when arriving in your new location, be sure to book those ahead as well.

Pack a bag of essentials for your pet

Just as you would pack an overnight bag for yourself, pack one for your four-legged family member.  Be sure your pet has all the necessities not only for the road trip, but also enough to last for a couple days after the move.  Some of these essentials include your pet’s food, water, medications, bowls, collar/leash, favorite toy or blanket, and a first aid kit. 

Plan to secure your pet in your vehicle

The rest of your family buckles up when riding in the car, and your pet should, too!  Vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates are all great options to help keep your pet safe when he’s riding with you. When it comes to which option to choose, figure out what’s best for your particular pooch.  Whatever pet safety device you choose, it’s best to purchase it at least one month in advance and try it out so your dog becomes familiar with it. 

Book flights in advance and prep your pooch

If your move includes flying to your new home’s location with your pet, be sure to check with your chosen airline’s particular pet policy and guidelines. It’s also important to purchase tickets for you and your pet well in advance, to be sure you get your preferred flight. During your pre-move visit with the veterinarian, let your vet know that you’ll be flying with your pet, so that he can assess your pet’s health and provide you with a health certificate.  Airlines typically require a pet health certificate to be issued within ten days of the flight. 

Prepare your pet for air travel by ensuring he has the proper pet travel kennel, and make sure he’s familiar with it.  There are many safety issues you need to consider when flying with your pet, so it’s important to review additional flying tips before your move.

Ensure your pet is happy, safe, and secure on moving day

If pets could talk, they’d say that moving day is filled with strange noises and unfamiliar voices, mixed with some chaos and commotion. When added together, it’s enough to make even the most easygoing pet feel a little (or a lot) anxious.  Plus, with movers coming in and out of your home, your pet may be able to slip out if he’s not somewhere safe and secure.

The best place for your pet on moving day is at a friend's or family member’s house. This way, he can avoid all the moving day “excitement”.  Another great alternative is to let your pet spend the day at a reputable doggie daycare or boarding facility.  However, if those are not viable options, be sure to give your pet his own space in your house.  Keep him safe and secure in an empty, quiet room, with a sign on the door that says “Do Not Enter”.   If putting him in a room isn’t possible, then secure him in a crate. 

Take a breath

Moving has the potential to be a bit stressful.  Most pets, particularly dogs, are energy magnets and can sense if you’re upset, anxious, or agitated.  If you’re sending out these vibes, your pet may pick up on them and ultimately become more anxious, too.  But if you’re calm, cool, and collected, you’ll take some of the burden of worry off of your pup’s shoulders.

The moving experience you share with your pet depends upon planning ahead, and “shaking off” the negativity if those plans don’t work out quite right.  Follow these tips when moving to a new home with your pet, and you’ll be more likely to have an adventure with your furry family member rather than a stressor! 

About TripsWithPets

TripsWithPets has been helping pet parents find pet-friendly accommodations since 2003. TripsWithPets provides online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. You'll find thousands of pet-friendly destinations like Jackson, WYCharleston, SC, and Wisconsin Dells, WI. When planning a trip, pet parents go to for all they need to book the perfect place to stay with their pet -- including detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. #jointheroadtrip



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