Written by: Elizabeth Porter
Moving to a new home is exciting. The journey to the new destination and those first steps in the yard are all exhilarating but sometimes, even the most seasoned travelers can feel a little anxious with changes happening so quickly.
If your family move includes pets, taking just a few extra steps of planning can ensure safe, happy travels.
Prepare for your move with pets
1. Update their ID tag. Make sure your furry friend is wearing a collar with an identification tag labeled with your contact information. The tag should include your destination location and cell phone number.
2. Ask for veterinary records. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need a new vet, ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet’s medical history to give to your new vet. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency.
3. Keep medications and food on hand. Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets usually cannot write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same steps should be taken with special therapeutic foods — purchase an extra supply in case you can't find the food right away in your new area.
4. Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a “Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!” sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. Make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape.
5. Prepare a first aid kit. Being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide.
6. Play it safe in the car. It’s best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it’s always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you’ll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.
7. Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Once you arrive at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there.
Source: The Pet Realty network (www.petrealtynetwork.com)