Planning to move long-distance or interstate soon? A long-distance move is a big ordeal; it requires a lot of planning and preparation in order to execute the move successfully. (In case you missed it, we recently put together some resources to assist you with your move. For the pre-planning checklist, click here; for the packing supplies checklist, click here.) If you’ve got a four-legged family member (or two) that will be making the move, it’s important to take their needs into consideration as well. In this article, we’ve outlined the important points to keep in mind when long-distance moving with pets.
Consult with Your Vet
The first thing to do before moving is to consult with your vet. If you’re moving long-distance with pets, then you will be needing to find a new veterinary in your new town. Ask your current vet if they have any recommendations and what needs to happen in order to transfer your pet’s records to your new veterinary office.
If your pet struggles with anxiety, it might be a good idea to discuss this with your vet as well. There are a lot of things that happen in a move that might trigger anxiety in a pet, from the packing process to the long road trip to settling into a new home with new smells. Your vet will be able to either prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or provide further suggestions to make the move as comfortable as possible for your pets.
Long-Distance Moving with Pets: First-Night-Box
In a previous article, we shared our first-night-box checklist. This checklist outlines all of the items that you will likely need to have on-hand as soon as you get into your new home. The last thing you will want to do after a long move is sort through boxes looking for toothpaste and pajamas. If you haven’t seen this checklist yet, check it out here.
While you’re planning your own first-night-box, be sure to add in your pet’s needs as well. Medication, food, leashes, comfort toys, bedding, crates, and the like will all need to be easily accessible once you arrive at your new home.
Keep Your Pets Separate From the Action
Many pets will find the commotion of moving day as an anxiety trigger. We suggest keeping them safely contained as far away from the action as possible. If they have a daycare, consider booking a stay for the day (but don’t forget to pick them up before hitting the road!). Or you can keep them in their crate in a closed-door room. Whatever the solution, consider your pet’s safety and comfort on moving day.
Update Identification Before Long-Distance Moving with Pets
If you use identification tags on your pet, be sure to update the information. We suggest having new tags ahead of time so that they’re ready as soon as you leave for your new home. Many pets may initially find the move confusing and may try to slip out and make their way back to their old home.
Pet-Proof Your New Home
Window Screens – Long-Distance Moving with Pets
If your new home has window screens or screen doors, be sure to check that the screens are secure. A loose screen creates a fall or escape hazard for pets.
Will your new home have a backyard? Don’t assume the current fencing is up to par. Do a thorough quality check prior to releasing your pet in the backyard alone.
Many commonly used household cleaning products contain ingredients that are harmful to pets. If your new home or apartment had a previous owner, be sure to check all closets and cabinets for any cleaning products that they may have left behind. The ASPCA has put together a helpful guide to help you determine what products and chemicals need to be avoided. You can access their guide here.
Once you remove the harmful products, what do you replace them with? Rover.com has put together a great list of fifteen different cleaning products that are safe for pets and the environment. Check out their list here.
Did you know that some common household plants are actually toxic to pets if ingested? Before Fido or Whiskers has time to wander the new home alone, be sure to reference the ASPCA’s guide to toxic household plants, available here. Examples of toxic plants include Aloe, Lilies, and Amaryllis.