It is hard enough to move yourself and your family but moving with pets is even more difficult! Here are some useful hints from Dr. Nicole Cohen, my favorite vet to help you hold on to your sanity as you make that move.
Pack a Bag for Moving with Pets
Congratulations on your upcoming move to your new home. No doubt you are excited and a bit overwhelmed. Now imagine how your pet is going to feel on moving day. Here is a detailed set of suggestions to make your move with your pet easier.
To make the process of moving with your pet easier, you should put together a bag for moving day. This should include a travel bed, some favorite toys, snacks, food and food bowls. For your cats, be sure to bring a few smaller litter boxes, a scoop, and baggies to collect the inevitable poop.
GPS Collar for Your Pet
Have you gotten a GPS collar for your pet? Now that you are moving to a new location, your pet might be confused and try to go back to his or her old home. A GPS collar is a great investment to track a missing pet, and will reduce your concerns about your pet’s safety while you are moving to your new home. Don’t forget to include a big bottle of water for stops along the road. A great travel water bowl is a Waterboy travel bowl. It can be placed in the car and is relatively splash proof. It only fills a small amount of water so that not too much can slosh about.
Car Travel with Your Pet
Before you set off to travel it’s best if you can tire your dog out with a nice long walk, run, or ball catching session. ( It will do you some good as well).
To prepare the inside of the car, it’s always safest to house your pet inside a crate or fit them with a harness that you can attach to a seatbelt.
A seat back protector is also a great purchase for traveling with dogs in the backseat. Seatbelts can still be used.
You can use a harness for your cat to clip to a cat carrier and plug into a seatbelt
If there is anything sharp inside your car, you can purchase pipe insulation and fit it around to pad these areas.
When traveling with your pet inside a crate, make sure they can stand up and turn around easily inside. It’s a good idea to line the carrier with absorbant pads. For cats, you can spray the bedding of their crate with feliway.
During your car trip, you should try to pull over every 4-6 hours for a potty break and to take your dog for a quick walk.
Acclimatization Letters for Your Pet
Dogs or large cats that must travel underneath the plane may need an acclimatization letter from your veterinarian. While the cargo hold is temperature controlled, sometimes cargo must spend time waiting to load onto the plane. If temperatures on the tarmac fall below 45°F (7°C) or higher than 85°F (29°C) anywhere on your route, the airline may not allow your pet to travel. An acclimatization is an attestation by your veterinarian that your pet should be healthy enough to withstand these temperatures.
Another consideration since the COVID pandemic is to check with your airlines to make sure they allow pets to travel in cargo. Some airlines have stopped allowing pets to travel in cargo during COVID.
More Helpful Hints for Moving with Pets
According to the ASPCA it takes about 3 weeks for your pet to feel at home in their “new” home. Remember to be patient with your pets as they adjust to a new space and place! For even more helpful hints about how to move with your pets to your new home, check out this website vethelpful.com
The site is written by Dr. Nicole Cohen, DVM DABVP, a small animal veterinarian who has been practicing medicine for the past 17 years in primary care. Boarded in general practice in canine and feline practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Dr. Cohen is filled with lots of useful tips and pet care guidance.