The following is a guest post from Ashley Spade. Ashley, in addition to being Sir Winston Pugsalot the First’s favorite human, is a blogger and law student. She volunteers at her local pug rescue in between studying and training for triathlons (sometimes at the same time).
If you think moving is stressful, just imagine what your pet might be going through. While you’re occupied with selling and buying a home, hiring moving companies, packing and arranging a new job, your pet is left in the dark.
As the environment around them changes, and you’re too busy to devote the time to them you once you did, they may feel neglected or exhibit poor behavior.
Whether you’re moving two or 2,000 miles away, follow these guidelines to help make the move as easy as possible for your pet and to make a smooth transition from one location to the next.
General Tips for Moving with Pets
- Monitor Your Pet’s Stress Level: Try to keep your pet calm and comfortable during the process. This time is uncertain for them, as well as you. If they are behaving poorly or erratically, do your best to soothe them and keep their stress to a minimum.
- Pack A Little At A Time: To avoid a jarring change in your pet’s surroundings, pack up the house a bit at a time. Going from their home being full to boxed up in two days might be a lot to deal with.
- Maintain Your Pet’s Routine: A great way to keep their stress level in check is to try to maintain their daily routine as much as possible. Keep their eating schedule, bathroom breaks and play time as regular as possible.
- Set Up A Pet Room: Once you arrive at the new location, set aside a room in your house to be the pet’s room. Fill it with their food, water, toys, pillows or litter box, if applicable. While you unpack and get settled, they can begin to feel at home. Keep them on a ‘short leash,’ for the first few weeks to help them learn their neighborhood!
Domestic Moves with Pets
- Check State Laws: If you’re moving out of state, be sure to check any laws for vaccinations, animal entry or other requirements. Each state’s government or agricultural website will list any rules and regulations for animal entry. Be prepared to provide whatever information is required, or allot time for your animal to pass through any inspections.
- ID and Updating Information: Make sure your animal is properly identified either with a collar tag or an internal chip. Be sure to update the information for internal ID’s, so if your pet gets turned around at the new place, he’s not sent back to your old house.
- Pack For Traveling: If you’re driving to your new location, you’ll need to keep your pet entertained on longer trips. Pack a special bag of travel items like crate liners or pillows, plastic bags and scoopers, food, water, treats, a litter box, leashes, chew toys and cage covers for birds or rodents.
Moving Internationally with Pets
- Medical History: Make sure your pet’s medical history is up to date and get all the records from your vet before leaving town. Get documentation from your vet that your pet is in good health and be sure to keep track of these documents for your new vet.
- Check Country Laws: For a smooth trip through customs with your pet, be sure to thoroughly read up on and research country laws well before your departure date. The process for ironing out these details can be long, so make this research one of your first priorities!
- Choose Shortest Flight: This step might seem like a given, and somewhat out of your control, but do your best to get a flight with the fewest stops and layovers possible to avoid too much handling or changes in air pressure. Contact the airline well before the flight and ask about any pet regulations so you’re not surprised at the baggage check.
Though making the move with your pet requires planning and preparation, a smooth transition is within reach! Start early and stay cool. Soon, you’ll both be settled in your new home!