Moving With Pets

Moving with pets

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The stress of moving with a pet begins about the time you start packing up your belongings. If you’re still looking for a pet-friendly apartment in your local area we did a Google search and found this site to be helpful for a list of pet-approved rentals. Let’s assume you’ve gotten beyond all that and now you have to prepare for the big move with your beloved pet.

Moving is stressful enough on us humans, but your pets have no clue why you are packing up all the stuff that is so familiar to them and then to have strangers in your home removing the furniture is even worse. As Humans we are able to plan for it and prepare for the transition. Pets may need a little extra attention and understanding during your moving process. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make their move easier at both ends of the move.

Prepare to make your move plenty of time ahead if possible and take your time. Stretch out your packing time over several weeks. Avoid panic in the last days, leaving the moving day as relaxed as possible for you and your pets.

Make travel arrangements. If your move involves air travel, contact airline carriers one month in advance to inquire about their pet regulations, and to make reservations. Choose a nonstop flight to avoid extra handling, climate and air-pressure changes.

Make an appointment for a final visit with your veterinarian. Before moving request a copy of your pets records, a rabies vaccination certificate, and a health certificate. Be sure your pets are up to date with all of their shots. If you have older pets or pets with health problems be sure he/she can handle the trip. You may want to ask whether a mild sedative would be advisable before travel. Ask your vet to recommend another reputable veterinarian in your new town. Don’t forget to apply for new tags with proper information.

Don’t change your pets’ routines, such as feedings and walks. Keep it as normal as possible in the prior week before moving. Dogs and cats need to feel comfortable and their regular routine will be helpful. They might exhibit behavioral changes or even become ill when under stress from the moving transition. Treat them with the same care and  level of attention you would ordinarily give them and maybe even a little bit extra.

Make space for a pet room by clearing out a small room a few days before moving and allow them to get comfortable going in and out of this room. If you decide to have your pets present on move day then you might consider inviting an extra adult to keep them occupied or detained. If that is not possible then you could tape a sign on the door that says “Pets” Do Not Enter. Make the sign large enough that you or your guest will notice every time you open the door and please make sure to bring it to the attention of each of your movers as you are doing your walk through with them. Be sure to point it out and clearly specify that your pets are in that room. Move your pets food and water bowls as well as toys into this room as this will help them to feel a little less ignored and check on them often to be sure they are comfortable and not freaking out. It will be very helpful to provide them with their litter box (for cats), chew toys, and favorite objects that have a familiar smell. If you plan to transport them in a carrier it will be helpful to leave their carrier in that room with the doors open so pets can adapt to them before travel day.

Get new tags and don’t forget their leashes and chains. Be sure your pets are wearing them during transport and the first few days at your new location when he/she goes outdoors in her new neighborhood. Keep a close eye on them as they may decide to run out of fear and get them selves lost, injured or even stolen.

If you’re transporting them your self in your personal vehicle be sure to keep cats and dogs in their carriers and they are large enough to accommodate food and water. If you are traveling a long distance you might want to stop to allow them some fresh air and potty breaks. Be sure to use their leash if you let them out. Maintain a comfortable car temperature for all pets, and don’t ever leave animals alone in a car on a hot day. Even with the windows cracked, this can be fatal and illegal in most states. Birds and other small pets (hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, etc.) are especially susceptible to drafts and heat. Cover cages to keep them calm and well protected and remove water bottles except during rest-stop breaks. Try to bring a container of water from your home that they are normally accustom to drinking. You don’t want to disturb or upset their stomachs or cause diarrhea.

Travel checklist:

  • □ Veterinarian records / Certificates
  • □ Tags / recent photos
  • □ Pet medications / Sedatives
  • □ Pet food and extra water
  • □ Can opener / Food – Water dishes
  • □ Leashes and carriers
  • □ Pet pillows – beds / blankets
  • □ Chew toys / Treats
  • □ Plastic bags and pooper scooper
  • □ Litter box for cats
  • □ Paper towels or wipes for messes


Moving in with your pet:

If time permits take your pet for a short walk around his/her new neighborhood to get familiar with the surroundings. Taking them for a short walk will also allow them to burn off some energy and allow to them to relieve their bladder before going into your new home.

Do not allow your pets outdoors without a leash or a secured fenced in yard. They are already anxious or scared and could run. That would not make a very good first impression for your new neighbors either.

Place your pets in a small room again while your move is in progress. Be sure to give them extra attention as you are putting them in the room or pet carrier. Try not to punish your pets for misbehaving or acting out unusual behavior for the first few days as they do not understand what’s going on and may be very confused or disoriented. By punishing them it could result in distrust and will only increase stress and anxiety for them. Maybe they have become ill and you will want to make a veterinary appointment.

Clean up accidents immediately. Animals tend to repeat behaviors in the same areas or marking their territory. Remove the odors as quickly as possible.

Take your dogs for frequent walks around the new neighborhood to introduce him/her to the new sights, smells, and sounds. This will allow him/her to get familiar and feel at home with his/her new surroundings. Stay calm and relaxed and in control of the leash as this energy will be picked up by your pet.

If you are moving into an apartment with a cat try to keep your windows closed or open only a few inches with tightly secured screens especially if you are on an upper level floor. If your cat likes to climb curtains, replace existing curtains with an inexpensive tablecloth or sheets that you won’t mind sacrificing to the cause until your cat is settled in.

We hope these pet moving tips are helpful and we wish you, your family and your pets the best of luck in your new place.

We at Frontier Apt Movers know how important your pets are to you and your family. We hope these tips help you. 623-374-5696

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