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How to Prepare for Moving With a Pet

Your pets may sometimes seem difficult, but all they truly want in life is to have a very comfy and warm bed (possibly yours), good food (and lots of it) and most importantly – a solid routine. The one thing that gets messed up the most when you’re moving with pets is this very routine. You need to prepare for moving with a pet to make it comfortable for them as well.

It's stressful for everyone moving. Including your pets!
It’s stressful for everyone moving. Including your pets!

What you will always try to do is to make this experience as less stressful as possible. And this is not hard to achieve. There are a few tips and tricks you can do to make this transition far less obnoxious for your pets as possible.

Moving With a Pet – Get All Documents Ready

You need to do your homework and research which are the documents your pet will need for traveling any further than a couple of blocks down. This applies to when you are crossing state lines or you are planning to travel by plane. Getting your pet’s documents in order will be a one time task that will only be updated from time to time.

Also, you will have to get your pet microchipped and ask for the ability to update your pet’s information online (changing the address, etc).

After this, you will need to deal with the paperwork needed for the transportation of your pet, aka it’s travel. The vast majority of places will ask for your CVI (certificate of veterinary inspection). Simply put, this is your pet’s health certificate. Also, most of the airline companies will seek this very same health certificate. The downside is that this health certificate is only valid for 30 days after the vet signs it. Furthermore, when moving with a pet, make sure you research the quarantine procedure for animals entering some countries. You can find all the regulations on pet travels site.

Fly Your Pet ONLY if Necessary

This goes especially for pets with pushed in faces and noses. Bulldogs, pugs and Persian cats are extremely sensitive to this. The medical term is called brachycephalic faces, and they are vulnerable to being oxygen deprived and are succumbed to a heat stroke. Whenever possible, try to find an alternative to flying. 

Organize a Meet with your Vet

Basically, before the entire moving ordeal, you need to pay your vet a visit. There are quite a few things you need, so when you call to schedule an appointment make sure you let your vet know about everything you need. You will need to get that health certificate, restock on any prescription meds, update vaccines and seek your pet’s medical records. Another thing you could ask about is motion sickness prevention or potential sedatives that would be safe for your pets if need be. Make sure this doesn’t slip your moving checklist!

You have to prep all your pets paperwork too!
You have to prep all your pets paperwork too!

Last but not least, when moving with a pet, you could ask for advice or recommendation for a vet in the new place you’re moving to. He/She might not know, but it’s worth a shot.

Maintain your Pet’s Routine

Ok, this is where most of the stress comes from, breaking their routine. This is why you will want to have them get into the whole moving thing slowly and step by step. Introduce them to the move gradually. For instance, cats can be difficult when you disorient their routine. This is why when I move I start packing and boxing stuff weeks ahead of time, having my two grumpy demons transition into the move slowly. They will start getting used to seeing boxes all around and it will not disturb them as much.

Usually, food is the way to go. They will mind everything that’s happening far less if the dinner is good and on time! So, use food as stimulae to reduce the amount of stress they are having. If by any chance your cat stays outdoors, make sure you keep her in the house during the move for, due to stress, they might not want to return home. It would be wise if you could start having your pets get used to carriers during this time.

Shield your Pet from the Move Day

Basically, there are pets that will be absolutely cool with what’s going on. However, there will be those that will totally freak out. In the latter case, you will need to somewhat shield your pets from whats going on. They don’t have to take active participation in the move itself because it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that they go through the move with the least amount of stress as possible. This is essential when moving with a pet.

Our suggestion is to keep your cats in hard-sided carriers while you load your belongings, and have your dogs in separate rooms or the backyard. Make sure someone is with them during this, for anxiety might take the best out of them. Another option is to have them stay with your vet on moving day if that is at all possible. You just want to reduce stress on your pets while the moving company works.

When all the stuff are packed up, take your pet out and monitor its reactions.

When taking a road trip with your pet is it smart to have a bag of goodies on you, packed with essentials. You always want your pets favorite food with you, some treats, fresh water, a first aid kit and a towel for some potential accidents.

Familiarize your Pet with its New Home

The best way to do this you will want to have as many familiar things as possible in the open. Also, make sure the new place is absolutely pet-friendly.

Help them through this process. Stick to routine and be patient.
Help them through this process. Stick to a routine and be patient.

Make the place familiar and friendly for your pet. Place bowls, litter boxes, scratch posts and all other toys at their disposal, the way they were used to before. For instance, if previous water bowls were in the kitchen, make sure they are in the kitchen now too – just in the new spot.

You’ve disrupted their routine, so do everything you can to make their routine up and running again.

If you need any additional advice or help to relocate, please contact CMS moving. We are here for you. Best of luck!