Moving Considerations with Pets

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general General Moving

If you have a furry friend in your family, it is important to take their needs into consideration when moving.  Pets are not immune to the stressors that occur with any move.  Between the hustle and bustle leading up to a move and feeling displaced in a new environment, you’ll want to make sure your pet feels as at ease as possible.  Here are some things to keep in mind to help your pet adjust quickly.

Health and Regulations

Whether you are traveling to a new town or to a new state, it is important to be aware of the laws governing animals in your new community.  Almost every state has some ordinance relating to the entry of animals.  Some require permits or a border inspection, while others might just assess a pet fee.  Regardless, you will want to familiarize yourself with these rules.  One helpful hint is to contact a veterinarian in your new state if you are making an interstate move.  A state veterinarian official will have the most knowledge about any regulations.  While not all states have this office, it is worth looking into.  Even moves within your current state may have special animal rules.  The city clerk or town hall in your new community should be able to provide you with information on any animal rules, like a licensing fee or pet limit per household.  It is also imperative to speak with your current veterinarian before you move.  In addition to verifying your pet’s health and ability to move, this visit will allow you to discuss your pet’s travel plan and any questions.  In case your pet will need any vaccines or procedures, be sure to schedule this visit well in advance of your moving date.  Most states require proof of an animal’s health and some may require it prior to your pet’s entry.  You should obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records to keep on file in case it is needed.  This record will also be important to have if you need to change veterinarians.

Travel

Getting your pet from home A to home B is an important part of the moving process.  Pets cannot be transported in the moving van, and trains and buses do not allow animals, unless they are service animals.  If possible, animals can travel with the family in the vehicle.  You should keep all animals either in carriers or on leashes and make sure they have good ventilation while traveling.  Some animals are particularly prone to agitation and fright when traveling, like birds.  Covering their carrier with a blanket or cloth can help relax them.  Air travel is another option, but requires advance planning.  If you plan to use air freight to transport your pet, you will need to research the company and learn the specific guidelines.  Some smaller pets can accompany you on an airline if you are flying to your new home.  However there are specific rules governing which animals may travel in cabin and typically larger pets are not allowed.

Travel is taxing on animals.  Keeping them calm and comfortable will help ease their journey.  Some animals may benefit from a sedative, but you should consult your veterinarian for the proper instructions and dosage.

Welcome Home

While their journey may be complete, your pet will probably not feel at home in their new dwelling right away.  Just like humans, animals need time to adjust to new surroundings and familiarize themselves.  You will want to keep a close eye on your pet when they first arrive.  Some animals, particularly cats, may try to return to the old home in their confusion.  Keeping pets confined and undisturbed until they settle in can help in this adjustment.  Using familiar food and water bowls, toys, and beds can help your pet acclimate quicker.  Ultimately, your pet will recognize that you and your family are here to stay and they will become settle into their new home.

 

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