Don’t Forget the Dog! A Moving Checklist for Your Pets

Couple with bulldog

Just like humans, animals get stressed out by moving. If you’re going to be moving with pets, it’s essential to set aside some extra time and money to make them comfortable.

Pets in cars:

If you’re moving to a place that’s about a day’s drive away, it should be fine to transport your animals in your vehicle. Make sure that you stock your car with more than you think you’ll need. Here is a list of good things to have on hand with animals in the backseat:

  • Sheets, towels or blankets to protect the upholstery
  • Food and water in resealable containers
  • Cleaning supplies (sponges, plastic bags, deodorizer, towels etc.), just in case
  • Treats
  • A couple of your pet’s favorite toys
  • A leash or harness, plus a stake to attach it to the ground in case there’s nothing to tie it to
  • Medications and/or sedatives prescribed by your vet
  • Air freshener
  • A way to keep the animal carrier or cage level and in one place
  • Collar with current ID and rabies tags
  • A friend or family member to ride along in case you need an extra pair of hands
  • Entry permits and licenses

Pets on planes:

When you won’t be able to drive to your new home in less than a day, it might be a better idea to fly your pet to their new digs. Some airlines won’t take pets at all, and those that do often require paperwork and advance notice. Use the checklist below as a guideline for things you may need.

  • Recent (last month) health certificates and rabies tags
  • Licenses and/or entry permits for certain animals (contact a veterinarian in the area you’re moving to and ask what kind of paperwork you might need)
  • Pet insurance
  • Pay shipping charges in advance
  • Plan for drop off/pick up
  • Regulation-size pet carriers/cages/stalls that give your pet enough room to move around
  • Have tropical fish professionally “packed”
  • Air Waybill papers signed by you and your consignee
  • Attach leash, contact info and pet’s name to outside of carrier
  • Copies of all shipping, health and license documents to carry with you
  • A recent photo of your pet for identification purposes

While you’re packing…

To keep your pet from feeling as stressed as you are, do your best to keep your furry (or scaly) friend away from the crazy furor of packing and moving. If you know it’s going to get ugly, consider having your pet stay at a kennel or with a friend for a day or two.

Animals often show stress by shedding, so one way to keep your own stress level down is to get them groomed a week or so before the moving day. Give them a thorough brushing or pay to have a professional do a trim. You’ll be thankful for it when you don’t have to spend the first week in your new home cleaning up tufts of fur from the new carpets. For more information about moving pets, read this article.

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