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Moving or Relocating with a Pet

Moving to a new city with a pet can be particularly stressful; in addition to the usual tasks associated with relocation, you'll need to arrange for the care and well-being of your pet, too! Here are a few tips to help assist you in relocating with a pet:

  • Take your pet with you in the car, if at all possible.
    He'll be safer and more comfortable with you than being transported by strangers. You'll feel more secure, too, knowing that your pet is safe with you!

    If you must transport your pet by air, give yourself ample time to research airline regulations. Consult with your vet, too, and take precautions to help ensure your pet's safety.

  • Get your pet accustomed to car travel.
    Take short trips at first, then gradually increase the time. If your pet just doesn't seem comfortable, consult with your vet who may be able to offer suggestions.

    A travel kennel, crate, or doggie seat-belt is a good idea to help keep your pets safe. Do not transport them in the open back of a pickup truck, and do not permit them to ride in the front of the car or bounce around wildly in excitement. These things can distract the driver from paying proper attention to the road.

  • Keep your pet properly secured while the movers are packing/transporting items.
    Regardless of how well-adjusted your pet may be, he or she may get "spooked" or "startled" by all the noise and activity -- and you may be too busy to notice him bolting out the door or the yard.

    Keep your pet with you at all times, in a secure kennel or crate; or place them in a room that's "off-limits" (make sure you tell everyone, especially the movers); or have a trusted family member or friend watch your pet off-site while you manage the moving crew.

  • Be sure your pet is wearing proper identification.
    That includes collars and tags. Tattoos and microchips are convenient too, and they provide an easy way to identify and return your pet should he get lost.

    Once you know your new address, remember to get updated tags as soon as you can. Many pet stores now have automated tag-making machines where you can quickly create a new tag.

  • Keep your pet's documentation with you and in a safe place.
    This includes current vaccination records as well as documentation on tattoo numbers, microchip numbers, license numbers, spay/neuter certificate, phone number for your current vet, a list of unique identifying marks, and a clear recent photo of your pet.

  • Consult your vet
    to ensure your pet is in good health for traveling. Your vet may also be able to provide other information relevant to moving with your pet to a new city or town.

  • Research pet regulations (such as health regulations or quarantines, or required documentation) for your new home city or town.
    This is especially important if you are moving across international borders.

  • Pack a bag for your pet.
    Include bedding, pet towels, toys, treats, food & water (eating the same food will help your pet avoid an upset tummy), bowls, leashes or harnesses, kennel or crate, plus any medications your pet requires. A pet first-aid kit is also a good idea.

  • Make advance accommodation arrangements for any overnight stops along the way to your new home.
    When traveling with a pet it's always best to call ahead and book pet-friendly hotels or lodgings to ensure you both have a place to stay for the night.

Please do not leave your pet behind if you cannot immediately find housing that accepts pets.

If you are in need of a temporary pet-friendly rental until you can find appropriate housing for both you and your pet, consider using one of the many available holiday accommodations. There are hotels, cottages, bed & breakfasts, private home rentals, and more. Ask for their best rate for an "extended stay". This will allow your pet to stay with you until you are able to locate long-term housing.

If you must temporarily leave your pet behind, do so with a responsible, reliable, and trustworthy person or organization. Check in regularly to ensure your pet continues to be well cared for.


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