The Wheaton Blog
How to Plan a Pet-Friendly Move: Before, During, and After
Your pets are part of the family. So when you move, you want to make sure that your new location becomes a home to both you and your animal.
Work your pets into the details of your big day so they don’t feel uncomfortable or get left behind. We’ve already provided some tips on how to move with your pets, but now we have a checklist for every stage of your move.
Before the Move
Consider your pet from the start to ensure an easier move.
Keep your pet in mind when choosing a location.
Wherever you go, remember that your pet needs space and security. Is the location close to somewhere where it could exercise?
Are there other animals in the neighborhood that could intimidate your dog or cat?
If you will move into an apartment or condo instead of a house, make sure that the landlord allows animals. And if you move into a house, research the neighborhood to make sure your pets will be safe there. If the neighborhood sits next to an industrial park or major highway, your pets have a higher risk of injury if they leave the house.
Purchase a roomy crate or carrier, with enough room for food and water, and get your pet accustomed to the crate. You can use the carrier as a bed or a spot for eating for a few days before the move.
Find a veterinarian.
An emergency could happen at any time, so find the location of the nearest vet before you arrive at your new home.
During the Move
Moving day might be stressful for you, but it’s equally stressful for a pet has never traveled before. Try not to transport your pet by air. If you travel across or out of the country, contact the airline and make arrangements. Otherwise, use these suggestions for a pleasant car trip.
Plan pit stops along the way and keep treats on hand.
If you plan to keep your pet in a carrier for the trip, stop on occasion to let your animal walk around and do its business. Assign one person to keep track of your pets and their needs. A treat now and then or a fun chew toy can reassure your pet through the long drive.
Find a pet-friendly hotel or kennel if you are staying overnight.
Ideally, you will be able to keep your pet with you in the hotel, but you might need to arrange other boarding for your pet overnight. Remember that you shouldn’t leave your dog alone in the car due to theft or uncomfortable weather conditions.
What about my fish?
Fish present fewer issues than furry companions when it comes to planning your move. You don’t have let them out or keep them entertained during the drive. If you keep the same tank, you don’t need to acclimate fish to a new home. You only have to worry about transporting them.
To keep your fish safe, you should:
- Stop feeding your fish a day or two before traveling so they do not produce as much waste and use up oxygen too fast.
- Buy an insulated cooler, durable foam container, or fish bag. You can even set up your filter system if you have a solid container. Whatever you choose, your container needs a tight lid to keep water from spilling.
- Line the container to further prevent spills, but smooth out the lining so your fish do not get trapped.
- Keep your bag or container with a ratio of 1/3 water and 2/3 air.
- Bring bags of hot or cold water to keep the temperature steady.
You’ve finally made it to your new location, and your pet wants to roam around. Not so fast. Before you let your furry friend settle in, follow these tips.
Make your new home or apartment safe and comfortable for your pet.
As you move in, you’re going to have boxes and objects everywhere. Clear out a spot for your pet, in the backyard or in a spot inside blocked off from your other items. Put out food, bedding, and favorite toys so the surroundings become friendly and familiar.
Check that area for:
- Choking hazards
- Strong cleaners or pesticides
- Plugged-in appliances or worn electrical cords
- Access to trash cans or elevated areas
- Loose screens or fences
If you will allow your pets in, out of, and around the house, let your animals roam around as soon as it’s safe. You can also try introducing them to one spot at a time.
Give your pet some attention.
Moving is a long process, and you’ve likely neglected this loved member of your family. Take your dog on a walk around your new surroundings. Buy your cat a new toy. They deserve it.
Try these suggestions and make a personalized plan of your own so moving day goes off without a hitch.