Posted by: petrealtynetwork | July 25, 2007

Top 10 Tips When Moving with your Pet

Buying or selling a home and moving is not only one of the most stressful events in your life, it can also be stressful on your pets.   

A Pet Friendly Real Estate Agent can help you plan and prepare to guarantee a stress-free move.  Here are a few tips to help start your preparations for a safe move for you and your pets. 

1.       Identification.  Rule #1 in moving with your pet is properly identifying your pet with an identification tag and sturdy collar.  A common mistake is to have outdated information on a pet tag.  Make sure your pet’s tag includes updated information including destination location and telephone number and a mobile number, so you can be reached easily.    An additional method of identification is a microchip, which is injected under the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades and is about the size of a grain of rice. The procedure is simple and similar to administering a vaccine. Microchips can be purchased directly from veterinary clinics, and the prices vary.  Some shelters offer discounts for microchipping to people that have adopted shelter animals.  If you have an assistance animal, ask your local shelter or Veterinarian if there any discounts for the enrollment fees.

2.       Veterinary Records.  Notify your Veterinarian you will be moving and ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations.  Your Veterinarian may also provide you with a copy of your pet’s full medical history to provide to your new Veterinarian, but in most cases medical history can be faxed to your new Veterinarian upon request.  Keep your pet’s medical history in a convenient location during your move and not packed away in the moving truck. Depending on your destination, your pet may also need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates.  Have your current veterinarian’s phone number handy in case of an emergency or if your new veterinarian needs more information about your pet. 

3.       Medications and Food.  Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication in case of emergency.   Veterinarians cannot write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship. This means that before you can get any prescription medications, your pet will need to be examined first by its new doctor. This may be inconvenient if you need medication right away.  Discuss your pet’s medical needs with your Veterinarian and they can provide you with a prescription before your move if necessary.  This includes special therapeutic foods – purchase an extra supply in case you can’t find the food right away in your new area.

4.       Keeping your pet secure. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day.   Keep your pet in a safe, quiet, well ventilated place, such as the bathroom on moving day with a PETS INSIDE sign on the door to keep off-limits to friends and movers. There are many different types of travel crates on the market, and many are lightweight and collapsible just for traveling purposes.  Make sure your pet is familiar with the crate you will be using for transportation by gradually introducing him to the crate before your trip.  Be sure the crate is well ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers or your pet could make an escape. 

5.       First Aid Kit.  First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet’s life.  A few recommended supplies for a basic first aid kit include: Your veterinarian’s phone number, Gauze to wrap wounds or muzzle animal, Adhesive tape for bandages, Non-stick bandages, Towels, and Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent).  You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency Stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.  

6.       Traveling by car It is best to travel with your dog in a crate, but if your dog enjoys car travel, you may want to accustom him to a restraining harness. For your safety as well as theirs, it is ALWAYS best to transport cats in a well ventilated carrier. Secure the crate 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 being injured, harmed or stolen. Plan ahead by searching for pet friendly hotels to find overnight lodging during your move, and have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand for Doggy Duty. Try to keep your pet on his regular diet and eating schedule and bring along bottled water to avoid upset stomach or diarrhea. If traveling is stressful for your pet, always consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.

7.       Air Travel.  If traveling by air, first check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you have prepared your pet to be safe and secure during the trip.  Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the size of the pet, but you will need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  If traveling is stressful for your pet, always consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.

8.  Finding a Veterinary Clinic, Specialty and Emergency Hospital.  Before you move, ask your veterinarian to recommend another doctor in your new area.  Talk to other pet owners in your new area.  Call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for Veterinarians in your location. Once you have selected a Veterinary Hospital ask for an impromptu tour as kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client is ‘expected’.  You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the doctors.  Now go through the following checklist:  Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the Veterinary Hospital that you have selected does not meet these criteria, you may want to keep looking so you can be assured that your pet is receiving the best possible care.  

9.       Preparing your new home. Keep in mind that your pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings.  To reduce the chance of escaping due to fear, or pure excitement to explore the new territory, prepare all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need from day one including food, water, medications, bed, litter box, food and water bowls.  Pack these items last, so they can be immediately unpacked and available for your pet in a secure room when you arrive at your new home.  Remember to keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised.  Be cautious of unsupervised areas in the kitchen or utility areas as nervous pets can seek refuge in narrow gaps behind or between appliances.  If your new home is nearby, your pet may be confused and find a way back to your old home. Notify the new homeowners of your new address and ask them to contact you if your pet is found in the neighborhood. 

10.   Learn more about your new area.Once you find a new Veterinarian, ask if there are any local disease concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease as well as vaccinations or medications your pet may require.  Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities.  Contact the city or travel information bureau for more information as your pet may be affected by these laws.  If you will be traveling internationally, always remember to have your pet examined by a Veterinarian and carry an updated rabies vaccination and health certificate.  It is very important to contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country or state to where you are traveling to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs to bring the animal into the country. 

SOURCE: The Pet Realty Network™ Library  
Copyright The Pet Realty Network 2007 



  1. Leaving your pets loose in a bathroom with a sign on the door is not a good idea. The pet will likely get scared by all of the commotion outside that it cannot see and inevidably someone will have to use the restroom and the minute that door is opened, the scared pet will bolt out.

    It would be far better to either crate your pet with the crate in a quiet room or even better, take it to a boarding or daycare facility that the pet is already familiar with.

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