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Caring for pets during a move

Filed Under: pets

puppy Moving is tough. Moving with pets is even tougher. They are so much a part of your family, but movers, hotel personnel, and airline staff may not share your affection. Caring for pets properly during a move isn't overly complicated, but it does take lots of planning.

Here are 9 crucial things to do in order to ensure a successful move with your pet. The list covers everything from how to make arrangements with airlines, to managing the transfer of vet records. You'll also want to map out driving routes, and note the places where you can stop for food and exercise. Having this worked out ahead of time will make sure that your pet gets what he needs but will also take a load of stress off of you.

Don't forget to spoil your pet a little during this time. Transitions are hard for the best of us, imagine going through all of that without really understanding what's going on or what to expect next. When you get to the new home, let your pet explore their new surroundings. Take the time to play together in the new space, but make sure you have current ID tags in case they try to venture home to your old house without you.

If you're planning renovations on your new home, we've got tips for that too. Check out Taking care of pets during home improvement projects.


  • M.E. Williams

    These tips are important. My dog has always been very fearful, and in spite of careful planning -- finding pet-friendly hotels, making plenty of stops, trying to make the car comfortable for her -- her personality changed a little during a two-day move a few years ago. She spent all day both days on the highway and spent the night in pet-friendly hotels. She has never been the same since, and I attribute the change to the stress she underwent. It's an extremely stressful situation for pets no matter what we do to try to ameliorate it, so I hope people will do as much as they can.

    Also, I don't know if the linked article mentioned it (it has a lot of details), but dogs and cats react differently: although both are territorial, dogs are more sensitive to changes in companionship and cats are more sensitive to changes in location. Cats travel well in small, dark containers, while dogs will be much happier with the family. (That said, the cats we took on the same move, in another vehicle, seemed happier when they were out of their crates and on someone's lap. It's unsafe during accidents, but accidents themselves are unsafe to begin with.)

  • Francesca Clarke

    The linked article doesn't mention that, but it's an important thing to consider. Thanks for bringing it up. Different types of animals travel differently and different individual animals. Like you mention, the temperament of an individual pet will have to influence how you accommodate them.

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