The transition to your new home should be as easy as possible for all of your family members, including your family pet(s). Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, all pets require special attention and consideration when moving. EBG is here for you! Here are some tips for the best methods to use when moving with your pets.
1.) Understand all pet rules and regulations in your new location
Whether you’re moving to the city, a suburban setting, or rural area, it’s important to understand the pet regulations of your new location. You should have already connected with a landlord or property manager to understand if there are any size regulations, breed restrictions, or any other regulations that need taken care of before your departure. Understanding these factors is very important for your safety, the safety of others, and simply to make sure you don’t breach any type of contract you have in your new location.
Also, if you’re going to another state or county, be sure to look into any special licensing that may be required for your pet. Make sure to check out exactly where you’re going because certain regulations are county specific, homeowner association specific, and building specific.
Quick tip: You can contact the State Veterinarian’s Office or the Department of Agriculture requesting pet laws and regulations in your destination state.
If you’re traveling internationally, you want to be extra cautious as it relates to vaccinations and being up to date on all pet records. International regulations can be very strict – we recommend preparing your pet’s records months in advance.
2.) Before your departure, talk to your current veterinarian
Depending on the regulations of where you might be going, it’s important to connect with your current veterinarian to see if there are any vaccinations that you are on the verge of getting, or need to get to move to your new location. If you’re not moving far and you’re able to keep your current vet, still inform them about your move and be sure to update your pet’s records with your new home’s address.
If you are changing vets, ask your current vet for your pet’s paperwork. You’ll be able to give this information to your new veterinarian. Also, feel free to ask your current vet for any recommendations they may have for a pet specialist in your new location.
3.) Find a new veterinarian in your new location
Now that you know where you’re going and you’ve done any final check ups with your vet, it’s time to find new veterinarian in your new neighborhood. As we mentioned above, asking your current vet for their recommendation is a great way to find a trustworthy specialist. Be sure to do this weeks in advance so that you’re fully prepared for any possible emergencies that could occur as you’re moving into your new place.
In addition to your current local veterinarian, you should also have an emergency veterinarian on file. Emergency vets are different from your local vet because they operate on emergency hours, so this is an important reference to have when dealing with a situation after hours. Other pet professional resources for your four legged family member include a dog-walker/pet-sitter, as well as a dog behaviorist, depending on the personality of your pet. A simple Google search for your new area will give you everything you need to know.
Local tip: Living in Pittsburgh? Be sure to check out Kevin’s resource guide for further information on helpful pet resources.
4.) Reduce your pet’s stress level when traveling
Traveling with your pet is a challenging subject because the personality of your pet will determine how this transition happens. If you have a super calm pet that’s just a pleasure to be around – this will be smooth sailing. However, if you have an extra sensitive pet and traveling tends to be a challenge, we recommend preparing for your travel time in advance.
Get a comfortable carrier and bed for your pet, especially when traveling long distances. Placing a toy or blanket in the carrier is a great method to make your pet feel more secure. If your pet is not used to car travel or prone to motion sickness, take it on short rides before the trip – or – consult your veterinarian about medication to reduce or eliminate symptoms. You know your pet’s personality, so make sure you match and monitor their behavior, so you’re not overly stressing your pet out during the travel time between your two locations.
Be sure to have these items with you:
- Ample food supply, fresh water from home, and a dish for each pet
- Leash and grooming brush
- Necessary medications
- Extra towels and newspaper
- Favorite toy or blanket
- Room deodorizer for hotel rooms
5.) Help your pet become accustomed to your new location
One of the hardest challenges for pet owners is their pet(s) not warming up their new home as fast as the owner may like. During this process, we want to avoid things like bathroom accidents, regressions in bathroom habits, as well as territorial bouts that can happen due to the stress that’s inherent with moving. Have a plan in advance to increase the amount of exercise your pet is getting before, during, and after you make the transition.
Also, it’s important to keep a steady routine for your pet when you get to your new location. With dogs, take your dog on the same 15-30 min walk multiple times, so it gains confidence. Of course, don’t let your pets run around the new neighborhood without leash. This could be potentially dangerous for your pet and possibly violate your HOA’s rules.
Quick tip: Using your pet’s favorite food bowl, bedding, and toys with greatly aid in getting your pet to feel right at home.
6.) Get professional assistance if necessary
Above all, it’s important to know when to ask for professional help. If you are struggling with any of the tips mentioned, and you have a planned move, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet to find a good dog walker, pet-sitter, or kennel facility. If you have a close friend or trusty kennel close-by, it may be helpful to drop your pet off during the busier part of the moving process. If they must be in the house, keep them in a room away from the move to help reduce the chances of your pet becoming upset or hiding in one of the moving boxes, as cats are prone to do.