Relocating with a Pet

Relocation / moving with pets Moving to another home is both exciting and stressful. You have to find new housing, pack your belongings, arrange for movers... and figure out how to move your pets, too! Here are a few relocation tips for pet owners:

Start planning accommodations early.

Many people surrender their pets to animal shelters when they move because they have difficulty finding pet-friendly housing. If you'll be renting a home in your new city, you can help persuade landlords to allow your pet by providing references: references from previous landlords, veterinarians, dog trainers, and pet-sitters. Demonstrate that you're a responsible pet owner and you'll have a better chance of finding a pet-friendly rental.

If you're not able to find pet-friendly housing right away, consider using temporary accommodations such as hotels, motels, B&Bs, or cottage rentals. Ask if they have weekly or monthly rates until you can find appropriate housing for both you and your pet.

How will you transport your pet?

It's best to drive your pet to your new city if you can. You'll be able to keep an eye on him and he'll be more comfortable with you, than if he had to be transported by strangers.

If you must fly your pet, consider the use of a specialized pet transport company. They know the rules and regulations to get your pet to your destination safely. If that's not an option, start researching airline regulations early so that you can put together the proper documentation in time for your move.

Either way, gradually get your pet accustomed to travel. Take car trips and get your pet used to being in a travel crate. Do not sedate your pet unless advised to do so by your veterinarian.

Be sure to consult your vet to ensure your pet is in good health and can travel safely.

Look into pet regulations for your new home.

If you're moving out of country, for example, you may require additional documentation for your pet. Start your research early to ensure you have enough time to gather all the necessary documentation.

Book overnight accommodations along the way.

If your trip is likely to take you more than a day, book your lodgings in advance to make sure both you and your pet have a safe place to stay. Many hotels & lodgings have limited numbers of pet-friendly units.

Make sure your pet wears accurate identification.

A combination of license tag, tattoo, or microchip is best just in case one form of ID is unreadable.

Carry your pet's important documentation.

Keep records of his ID numbers, medications, vaccination records, spay/neuter certificate, veterinarian, and a recent photo.

If you have to leave your pet behind temporarily...

Take your time and find someone responsible & caring for your pet. Check in regularly - don't assume that your pet is okay.

Pack appropriately.

Even if you'll be in your new home within the day, pack a bag for your pet so that you don't have to dig through moving boxes to find what you need. Include food, water, a can opener, bowls, treats, bedding, toys, any necessary medications, leash or harness, and a kennel or crate.

Supervise your pet while the movers work.

Moving time tends to be busy and people are easily distracted. The movers continually coming and going may cause your pet to become stressed, and pets may bolt if spooked.

Ask a trusted friend or family member if they'll care for your pet until the movers are done. That way your pet will be safe and you can be free to deal with other matters.

If that's not an option, consider putting your pet in a separate room or in a kennel. Make sure the movers are aware, and put a big sign on the door. Check on your pet regularly to make sure he's still okay.

When you arrive in your new city...

Update your contact information on your pet's ID as soon as you have a new address (if you don't have one, attach a temporary tag with contact information where you can be reached in the meantime). Many pet supply stores have automated ID tag machines which make it quick and easy to create a new tag for your pet. Also check with the city to see if your pet needs to be licensed.


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