Moving with a Pet? Things to Consider to Ensure a Paw-sitive Experience

While going over your moving checklist you say to your dog, Max,

“It says this is everything I need to consider yet it feels like I am forgetting something”

Max cocks his head and give you a “Rrruff”!

The typical things of the moving ordeal are on every checklist, yet somehow the needs of the family’s best friend, seem to escape everyone’s mind. Here are the essential things to consider when planning a move with your pet.

1. Pet Anxiety and emotional turbulence

Just like people, the moving process can be stressful for pets.  Packing, travel, a new environment, as well as new people and smells can all cause confusion and anxiety. The upheaval can be very overwhelming for your pet, so here are tips to limit the emotional upset:

  • Pack slowly and give reassurance to your pet during this time.
  • Pack your pet’s belongings (such as food, toys, and bed) last.
  • During the packing, moving, and unpacking stages, stick to your pet’s schedule. The goal is to have as little disruption as possible.
  • Keep calm. Pets are extremely attuned to their owner’s emotions – so if you are stressed, your dog or cat will be too.
  • On moving day, have your pet stay at a trusted and familiar doggy daycare or friend’s house to limit the disturbance and reintroduce your pet once your new home is organized and their area is set up.
  • Allow your pet to explore at their own pace, encourage them but also respect their boundaries.

2. Pet Travel

It is always ideal to personally travel with your pet to your new home so they feel safe and secure. Make sure carriers and/or dog seat belts are purchased and familiarized before moving day, There will already be a lot going on so you want your pet to have as much familiarity as possible. If flying is necessary for your move, make sure you have checked all of the requirements, vaccines, and have the necessary paperwork.

3. Veterinary Care

Your vet is a great resource – use them! If your pet is particularly anxious they can recommend things to alleviate some of this distress. It is a good idea to get a check up before the move to make sure they are healthy and ask about any vaccines that they may need to ensure they are up to date on everything. When there, ask for a copy of your pet’s medical records and if your vet has any recommendations for vets in your new area.

Other things to consider…

If your pet is microchipped, be sure to update the address information and get a new tag for your pet’s collar. New surroundings can be very confusing and if your pet does get lost these are essential for getting your pet home safe and sound.
Before moving, research local pet stores, dog walkers, dog parks and any bylaws that may apply in your new area.

Moving can be stressful for both you and your pet but if properly prepared you can transition them to your new home without any cat-astrophes!

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