Guide to Moving with Pets: How to Relocate Safely with Your Dog or Cat

Pet ownership has been growing steadily in recent years. As the millennials and Generation Z population enter adulthood, the number of homes with pets keeps rising.

Studies have shown that more adults consider their furry friends, especially dogs and cats, full-fledged members of their family. As such, even the pet market has expanded to meet animal lovers’ needs. For instance, there are now pet sitters, walkers, and a range of commercial products and technology geared towards people who have a pet.

Pets are definitely feeling the love as they are essentially privy to their humans’ lives. This builds a strong, loving bond between pet and human. So when it’s time for a big move, animal owners usually want to bring their dog or cat (or any pet they may have) along with them. Read on to learn more about relocating with pets.

Set a Vet Appointment

Calling your vet should be the first thing on your pet moving checklist. You will need to see if your dog or cat is fit for travel, especially if you will be bringing them abroad via plane.

A veterinarian is also a good source for advice on how to move your pet from one home to the next. Furthermore, animal doctors also provide necessary records and documentation for your pet to travel and enter certain areas or countries.

1. Health Records

If your pet vaccinations haven’t been kept up-to-date, you should visit the vet a couple of months prior to the move. Make it a point to schedule all the remaining shots your dog or cat needs before relocation.

2. Paperwork

Every place, especially when it comes to moving overseas, has different rules regarding pets. For instance, the new house or apartment you are moving to may require specific documentation from a veterinarian before the animal is allowed on the premises.

When it comes to living abroad, your dog or cat may need a passport (just like you) and a microchip. For instance, countries in the European Union are starting to require pet passports before an animal is allowed to cross the border. In Europe, an animal’s travel book usually contains their health history, where they were born, and their current and past owners.

Some countries also set a quarantine period for pets brought in from overseas. This is why it is essential for you to coordinate with the vet, along with the concerned government authorities (especially in the host country) to ensure you get the required documentation. This way, you (and your pet) won’t have to deal with the unnecessary stress of missed paperwork and delays.

Packing for Your Pet

Just like people, pets have belongings they’d want to bring on the move, too. Dogs and cats have needs as well and they become attached to certain items. It is especially important to bring things that will help them adjust to their new surroundings.

Below is a packing list for your pet:

  • Favorite toys
  • Pet bed
  • Blanket
  • Collars and leashes
  • Food tray or bowls (collapsible ones if you are traveling with them)
  • Towels
  • Doggie bags (just in case they make a mess)
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Grooming supplies
  • Other pet accessories (i.e., cute clothes, shoes, hats)

Transporting Your Animal Friend

When it comes to transporting your pet from one place to another, there are a couple of options.

1. Driving With a Pet

Transporting your pet in a vehicle is highly recommended. Below are some tips to remember when driving to your new home with Fido or Kitty by your side.

  • If your new residence is far from the old one, take your pet on long drives before the move, so they are used to being in a vehicle for long distances.
  • Place them in a spacious, well-ventilated crate (one they can stand up fully in if they want).
  • Give them some time to get used to the crate if they haven’t been inside one before.
  • If crates are not an option, use a pet belt or harness to keep them in place for the duration of the drive.
  • Never leave your pet in a car unattended.
  • Take bathroom and water breaks as needed.

2. Flying With a Pet

Your dog or cat may not have a fun time traveling on a plane, but if you must go by air, keep the tips below in mind.

  • Consult your vet before booking a ticket.
  • Research the airline rules on pets and how they care for them during and after the flight.
  • Get the required documents for your pet to travel via air (e.g. vaccination record and passport).

3. Hire Professionals

There are moving companies that offer pet transport services which could alleviate some of the stress of pet relocation. The right people will know how to handle your pet in transit and ensure that he or she arrives at your destination safely.

If you are already hiring removalists, you might as well find a company that will help you with all your moving needs.

Settling Into Your New House

Once you and your pet are in your new home, give them time to adjust. Give them some space to explore the environment, like the backyard, patio, and the rooms inside the house.

Immediately unpack their possessions, especially their favorite toys, beds, and blankets. This way, they can have a comfortable place to relax in after the move.

Robert Wise, Sales Administration Manager at Nuss Removals, has been a respected figure in the removals industry for over 20 years. His attention to detail and the ability to truly understand the needs of the customer have ensured the successful relocation of thousands of satisfied individuals and families. For moving and storage across Australia and around the world, Robert’s wealth of experience ensures his customers are in safe hands.

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