We all know moving can be stressful, but unfortunately, it can be doubly so for your beloved pets (and kids, too!). Car sickness, potty breaks, and the anxiety pets feel can make moving day more challenging for everyone. Even the best moving companies usually can’t accommodate the family dog or cat. In the worst case scenario, you could end up like this Montana driver, who decided to transport his beehive in the back of his car. The bees were totally harmless, he said, as he was cited for reckless driving while being attacked by thousands of bees.
Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to make moving more comfortable for man’s four-legged best friends. If you need advice on how to travel with your pet on moving day, then it’s all about the preparation. So follow these Pet Friendly Tips for Your Move before you start packing.
Give Your Pet the TLC They Deserve
Traveling can be confusing for pets. Are they going to that dreaded vet again, or to the dog park they love so much? Pets are also masters of reading human body language and sensing emotions. If you’re family is stressed out during the move, then your pet will be too! As much as possible, give your pets a break. Spend some time giving them love and affection during the trip.
Safety First! Safety Tips For Traveling With Your Pets
When traveling with a pet on the road, always be sure to leave the windows cracked for their safety, just like you would with a child. Cars can become dangerously hot in a matter of minutes. Don’t forget to update your pet’s ID tags if necessary. At the very least, the cell phone you will be traveling with should be listed on their tag. Lastly, if you plan to drive with your pet, make sure they’re used to being in the car for extended periods of time. If possible, get your dog, cat, bunny, or any other animal accustomed to riding in the backseat ahead of time.
Make an Appointment With Your Vet
Unless your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold of a plane, then your veterinarian might be able to prescribe a pet sedative to make the journey less stressful for everyone involved. Be sure to ask lots of questions so you know the exact dosage and method of administration come moving day. Most pet sedatives are mild in effect, but even if your animal doesn’t sleep through the journey, they will be more relaxed on the way.
While you’re at the vet, ask for copies of vaccination records and any other relevant documentation. Also, plan ahead! If you’re moving to a new city or state, try and find a new veterinarian before you arrive.
Double Check and Make Sure Your Itinerary is Pet Friendly
If you plan to stop at any hotels en route to your new home, make sure you are staying at pet friendly hotels every step of the way. If you aren’t sure, there are a number of useful directories online for exactly this kind of situation. Bring Fido even allows you to search pet friendly accommodations all over the world. Don’t leave your beloved dog or cat out in the car while you enjoy a relaxing night’s sleep.
Remember: If you do bring your pet to a hotel, avoid costly cleaning fees by taking them out to go to the bathroom regularly. Also, always place the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, otherwise the maid service could be in for a surprise!
Crate Cats For Moving Day
If you’re traveling with cats, most people find that it’s safest to place them in a carrying case for the trip. Each cat should be placed in its own case, and there shouldn’t be too much room to wiggle around inside. Your cat might be cramped, but ultimately they will be safer on the journey to their new home. And be sure to close all the car windows and doors before you open their crate. If you’re staying in a hotel, leave them inside the crate until you’re safely in the room.
Remember: Get your cat used to the crate before you leave. In the weeks before the move, place their favorite toys or blanket inside the crate. Try and have them spend a few hours inside before you even start packing. Then, when you travel, place those same familiar items inside the crate. The more used to their surroundings they are, the less stress they will feel on the road.
Keep Food, Treats, Leashes and other Pet Care Supplies Handy at All Times
Make sure you have your leashes easily accessible, and place the leashes on your animal’s collar before you let them out of the car. Whatever else your animal needs to be safe and comfortable, make sure it’s always at hand. Don’t pack away their water dish, leash, or favorite toy in the bottom of a bag. Always have these items nearby in case you need to make a sudden stop (or potty break!).
On Moving Day
If you’re going to have pets around on moving day, especially dogs, then give your home movers a heads up. Your dog knows as soon as you put on your shoes and grab a leash that something is up, and the sight of moving boxes and strangers in the home is likely to drive them wild. Keep them out of the way so they aren’t underfoot and risking the safety of the moving crew.
At Your Destination
Relax! You’ve made it, and while there still might be a thousand things to do, it’s finally time for you, your family, and your pets to start a new adventure together. Take some time to enjoy the moment. Then, be sure to lay out familiar beds, blankets, toys and treats in your new home for your pets to enjoy.
Remember: Pets really can read your emotions and body language. If you’re relaxed and happy in your new home, then they will be too!
If you plan to fly with your pets, then double and triple check with your airlines about their requirements and recommendations. Be 100% certain you can travel with your pet on the plane, and memorize the airline’s pet procedures before you leave. If you are placing a dog or cat in the cargo hold, make sure you have all the documentation ready beforehand. We know how stressful it can be separating from your animals during the trip, so try and keep in mind that airlines do this all the time. They’re professionals, and will make sure your animal is well cared for on the way.
Ultimately, you can’t plan for every surprise you will meet during your upcoming move. That’s why preparation is one of our number one Pet Friendly Tips for Your Move!