How to Move Pets to Your New Home

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dog in suitcase

When you move to a new place, you want to bring every member of your household, including your pets. Soft, cuddly, scaly or hairy, and from dogs and fish to cats and iguanas, pets can be sensitive to moving and need a smooth transition. Everyone needs to know how to move pets.

Moving With Pets

Whether you are moving across the country or just to the other side of town, you will want to ensure your pets have a comfortable move to your new home.® has outlined some helpful hints and tips to help you deliver your pet to your new home, safe and sound.

Preparing Your Pet for the Big Move

Make a point to maintain your pet’s regular routine right up until the moment you leave. If they’re accustomed to a morning walk, make sure you take it. Whether your travels are just a few hours or several days, keep them on their normal diet with their regular food. A common mistake made by pet owners is to bring special treats as comfort food. This often leads to nausea or diarrhea for the pet. Bottom line when preparing your pet for a move: Stay the course and go with what’s familiar and customary.

Things to Consider Before You Move Your Pet

  • Make sure that your pet’s medical records are up-to-date.
  • Bring copies of your pet’s medical records with you.
  • Purchase a sturdy, comfortable transport carrier if needed.
  • If traveling by plane, try to book a direct flight.
  • Prepare a travel bag with food, medicine, water and other essentials your pet will need.

Transporting Pets

In planning to relocate your pet, you’ll first need to pick a means of transportation. Whenever possible, pick the form of transportation that is least likely to upset your pet. In most cases, moving your pet via car is easiest. If your move is across the country, overseas or a long driving distance, you may want to fly with your pet or use an animal transport service.

Tips for Driving With Pets

Cats should always be kept in a carrier during auto travel. With dogs you have the option of using a restraining harness, available in most pet supply stores. Make sure to stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and relieve itself (a good rule of thumb is to pull over every two hours). Cats can benefit from the use of a harness and a litter box on long trips. As always, never leave your pet unattended in a parked car, and never travel with a pet in the cargo area of a moving truck or van. This is especially true during the hot summer months, when the temperature in your car can rise to deadly temperatures.

Tips for Flying With Pets

Make your flight arrangements far in advance. Many airlines have restrictions on the total number of pets allowed onboard any one flight. You may also be surprised to find that some airlines don’t allow pets at all. Expect to pay a fee for your pet’s travel accommodations.

When you call the airline’s reservations number, find out any restrictions that may apply. Ask if you’ll be able to bring your pet onboard as a carry-on. This is highly preferable to checking your pet into the cargo hold of the plane.

Plan to visit your veterinarian within 30 days prior to your flight. Most airlines require an up-to-date health certificate. Different countries and states may also have their own requirements, so make sure to check with the proper authorities before your trip.

Transportation Services for Animals

If all else fails, you may want to consider an animal transport service. The expense may be justified by the peace of mind that your pet will be with people who make their living transporting animals.

No matter how you’re traveling, planning ahead will help ensure that your pet will travel as comfortably as possible.

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