Whether relocating a Yorkie to Youngstown, Siamese to San Antonio, or bunny to Boulder, Rent.com understands that moving with pets presents its own series of challenges. The good news is that a little preparation—no matter what kind of extended family member you are moving—can make all of the difference.

How to Move with Pets:

  • Update Tabby’s Tags and Champ’s Chip Before You Move: With so many details to cross off of your moving list, this may seem like an extra pain and easy to put off until you get to your new home. It’s an ounce of prep worth taking. Should you become distracted and your American Longhair goes AWOL in new surroundings, it could be a disaster. Also, remember to contact the vet or company who chipped your pet.
  • Get Max’s Medical Paperwork: When you move, take along a health certificate, rabies vaccination certificate and make sure their shots are current. Ask for a vet referral in your new town. Also, if moving to a new state, find out shot and moving requirements. For example, moving a pet to Hawaii requires an inspection at an office that closes at 5:00 p.m. If you don’t make it in time, your pet will have to spend the night at the airport.
  • Prepare Transportation for Toby: Most moving companies will not move pets. For either long or short distance moves, prepare your pet weeks in advance. If not used to being in a carrier, make sure you spend time practicing with your pet prior to the move. If traveling more than two hours, make sure the carrier can contain food and water. It may also be a good time to get your pets groomed, especially clip toenails that can get caught in the gate or holes of a carrier.
  • Keep Sausage Safe and Otto Outta the Way: Pets—especially in apartments—can get under the feet of people carrying heavy furniture. This can be a hazard for everyone. It is suggested to get them out of the way for the day. Perhaps this would be a good day for a pet day spa. If so inclined, you can denote a room—such as a bathroom—as the Pet Zone and place an obviously worded sign like “Don’t Let the Dogs Out” on the door. Make sure they have plenty of food, water and toys.
  • Make a special box for Bessie: Some pets can get nervous or spooked by new surroundings. Make sure their favorite and immediate items are accessible. Try to avoid washing blankets, toys other items that will hold the scent of your previous home. Also bring water from your old place, the taste may be different in these new surroundings.
  • Gradually Introduce Gracie: If possible, introduce your pet to your new home gradually. Let them sniff the perimeter and take a walk in the neighborhood before moving day. That’s also a good way to make new pet pals.
  • Maintain Rex’s Routine: Keeping normal feeding and walking schedules will make the transition go smoother. If you are making a dramatic time zone change you can adjust slowly in the weeks preceding the move.
  • Give Winny and Winston a Welcome Home: When moving a pet, they may experience a few bumps in the relocation. Spend extra time and watch for behavioral changes as this completely new environment can throw them.
    • Appetite changes: Some pets, especially cats, refuse to eat in new surroundings. Try using food that is aromatic to entice them. If they haven’t eaten in 48 hours, call a vet.
    • Boundary changes: In a new environment, “accidents” may happen. Clean up after your pet immediately. They may be marking their territory and will repeat this.
    • Outside: Keep all pets on a leash while outside. It takes at least a week for them adjust to the surroundings.

Remember you know your pet best, so make sure you choose what works for them. Take a moment to check out our article on Pet Proofing. For additional information, contact your local chapter of the SPCA or Humane Society.

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