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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
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
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
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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