Are you moving to a new home with pets? Looking for tips and tricks on how to move pets across country or across town? Here’s what we’ve discovered about making the moving process as easy as possible when moving with cats, dogs, and other pets.
1. Be Sure Your Family Members Stay Calm and Positive
Moving to a new location, exploring new surroundings, and acclimating to a new environment can be stressful for animals, so doing everything you can to minimize stress is beneficial for your canine or feline counterparts. If you are stressed, your companion will likely notice, and this can have an impact on their mental and physical health as well as yours.
Try to remain as calm as possible throughout the move, not only for your peace of mind, but also for kids and pets who are receptive to your moods. If you are stressed, don’t become irritated or irritable with your pet, as this can only deepen the level of stress and anxiety they may experience.
Hire Professional Movers to Take the Stress Out of Moving
Hiring professional movers can make moving much less complicated. Professional movers are experienced with moving large, heavy pieces of furniture, and they can make the moving process not only quicker but also easier for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering whether or not to hire a moving company for a local or long-distance move.
- Professional movers like those at My Town Movers have experience lifting, loading, and carrying heavy pieces of furniture and know the best way to minimize the chances of damage or injury. Experience makes all the difference when it comes to moving heavy items.
- Professional movers come with the right equipment you need for the job. You may hope to save money by hiring a few friends or relatives to help, but by the time you account for a rental trucks and trailers, moving supplies like boxes and tape, and moving equipment like dollies and straps, you’re already spending a significant amount of money. Why not put that money toward hiring a team of professionals who complete moves each and every day?
- You may be liable for injuries sustained if friends or family help you move, but a professional moving company like My Town Movers will not hold you liable, so you can have peace of mind regarding workers compensation, insurance claims, and liability issues.
- Professional movers can take care of the heavy lifting in order for you to have time to focus on kids and pets. Life doesn’t stop just because you’re moving to a new home. Let us take care of loading and unloading boxes and furniture so you can tend to other things needing your attention and focus.
- Hiring a professional moving company with moving trucks and equipment to move your belongings means you can have room in your vehicle for pets and kids without loading down your car. This is especially important on long-distance moves when you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
- Hiring professional movers means you don’t have to worry about multiple trips. When kids and pets are concerned, this can mean the difference between the easiest move you’ve ever made and a hassle you won’t ever want to repeat again.
Many pet owners may even opt to take their pets to “doggie daycare” or other type of boarding facility or have them stay with friends or family during the moving process. Preventing indoor pets from finding their way outside and ensuring your pet is calm are essential. New people and places may overwhelm and intimidate them, so take this into consideration when hiring a moving company!
2. Keep Your Companion Close
Because new people, new places, and unfamiliar routines can be stressful for pets of all varieties, it’s a good idea to keep your pet as close as possible during a move. Traveling in the same vehicle with your pet and allowing them to see and hear you as often as possible can make the move much less stressful for him or her. Remember, frequent bathroom breaks and opportunities to stretch their legs is also helpful for animals who are traveling.
3. Collect Vet Records
If you have pets, one important thing to consider when moving is the necessity of having copies of vet records and immunizations for each pet. If you’re moving to a new country, or even if you’re moving long distance, it’s not only sometimes a requirement, but also a convenience to have copies on hand.
Vet Records for Moving to New Countries or Moving Long Distance
Many countries require new residents to submit proof of veterinarian records and immunizations to enter a country. It’s a good idea to look into the laws surrounding moving with pets when moving to a new country or state, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared with copies of your pet’s vet records just in case.
Vet Records for Emergencies
If your pet becomes sick en route to your new home or destination, vet records will allow a veterinarian who is not familiar with your pet and his or her medical history to make the best decisions for your companion. In addition, if your pet needs to be kept overnight for evaluation, he or she may need proof of immunizations in order to be kept at a veterinarian’s office.
Transfer Vet Records if Possible
If you already know which veterinarian you’ll be using in your new location, it’s a good idea to connect with them and transfer vet records before your move in order for them to have your information on file once you arrive. Having a backup of printed copies may also be convenient if records cannot be faxed or emailed or if they are unable to be located.
4. Pack and Prepare Accordingly, Especially if Moving Pets Long Distance
When preparing for a move, be sure to pack everything you may need to access for yourself, your significant other, your kids, and your pets. This includes:
- Prescriptions or Medications
- Snacks, Meals, and Drinks
- Extra Changes of Clothing
- Entertainment Items – Tablets, Books, Toys, Etc.
- Comfortable Items – Blankets, Favorite Toys, Etc.
Travel-Friendly Water and Food Bowls/Bottles for Dogs and Cats
Travel-friendly water and food containers are essential when traveling with pets, especially if you’re traveling for more than a couple of hours. Taking frequent breaks to allow your pet to use the bathroom and eat and drink is vital for reducing stress and preventing dehydration. Remember, your pet may need to use the bathroom more than usual during a road trip due to stress.
Even if you have your route planned and know exactly where you plan on stopping during your trip, having doggie bags on hand is beneficial for ensuring your pet is not a nuisance for business owners and other travelers and tourists. Do your due diligence in cleaning up after your pet.
5. Consider Other Concerns for Moving Pets to New Locations
When moving across the country with pets or when moving to a new country with pets, there are even more things to consider before, during, and after your move.
Moving Pets to Higher Altitudes
If you’ve ever experienced motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, or headaches when traveling to higher altitudes, you likely know first-hand that altitude sickness is real, but did you know that animals can also experience altitude sickness? Dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets are also susceptible to feeling the effects of altitude change. If you are moving to a new location with a higher altitude, or if you plan on traveling through higher altitude locations, there are a few things to watch for, including:
- Dizziness or Instability
- Excessive Panting or Trouble Breathing
- Nose Bleeds
If your pet exhibits symptoms of extreme altitude sickness, such as having trouble breathing or coughing, seek medical attention immediately. In rare cases, a buildup of fluid in the lungs and brain can create a life-threatening emergency for your companion.
Moving Pets to Hawaii
Despite being a U.S. state, Hawaii has very strict laws regarding documentation on animals entering and leaving the country. Many exotic pets such as snakes are not allowed at all, and most domesticated species like dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets will need a thorough immunization record and medical history.
Moving Pets Overseas or to a New Country
When moving to a new country with pets, you’ll want to spend some time getting familiar with the laws regarding animals entering each country you will be traveling through. Some airports and cities require proof of immunizations and at least 2 years worth of veterinarian records for all animals, including service dogs. Some are more strict, and some are less so, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect before you board the plane. Be prepared and prepare all of the necessary documentation in advance to avoid delays.
Moving with Medical Alert Dogs
If you are moving with a diabetic alert dog or other type of service animal, make sure to have all records on hand when traveling in case you need to present them to authorities. If you are traveling via an airplane with a service dog who will not be traveling in a cargo hold, you will more than likely have to provide proof of your service animal’s training and credentials multiple times, so it’s a good idea to have these in an easy to access carry-on bag or purse. If traveling by car, you’ll also want to keep records on hand in case of an emergency or when traveling to restaurants and other locations which may ask to see proof of your dog’s training and certification.