Moving is a stressful time, not only for you, but for your pets. Planning ahead and taking the proper precautions can make the entire process easier for your entire family. And once you’re in your new home? Take the time to make sure your pet stays safe while he acclimates.
Make sure your pet is wearing a well-fitted collar with his name, your name and your cell phone number on it. Your current number and address will not do any good if your pet gets separated from you on the move.
Check with your vet.
If you are crossing state lines, your pet probably needs a health certificate. This is a quick process if you have a regular veterinarian.
Socialize as much as possible.
If your pet has little travel experience, start taking it on short drives around the neighborhood as often as possible. You want him to realize the trip is no reason to get excited as well as practice transporting him the same way you will while on the move. So, for example, if he will be crated, have him crated on the trips. If he will travel in a seat, practice this way so he is used to staying in his spot and you get comfortable loading and unloading him. If you do plan to allow him to ride loose in the vehicle, invest in a travel harness that connects to the seatbelt, to keep him still and safe.
Get him out of the way when the movers arrive.
Have one room emptied completely, and shut your pets in there while you and the movers pack. Put a sign on the door so no one opens it accidentally. In the chaos of packing the moving truck, your pet could slip away without anyone noticing.
Find the best fit for pet shipping.
If you are flying for a move and can’t bring your pet on the flight, consider shipping the pet. There are specific companies that have specialized services just for shipping your pet. One option is uShip.
Introduce him to home.
Once you’re in your new home, don’t immediately let him loose, either in the house or yard. Select one room, check it thoroughly for safety, and put your pet in there. Now, carefully inspect the rest of the house. Open cabinets, check closets, and generally make sure the home is secure before letting your pet inspect the premises. Do the same with the yard. If your pet happens to escape, he will be unfamiliar with his surroundings and may react in unexpected ways, such as running off or hiding.
It is important to note that dogs and cats behave differently after moves. Dogs are typically bonded strongly to their humans, so they will acclimate quickly as long as you provide plenty of attention. Cats are more often bonded to their location, so they will want to explore their new location thoroughly before settling down.