Moving with Pets
Tuesday, May 18th 2010 12:00 am

Pets are a part of the family, and that means you have to take some specific measures to make the move to a new home as easy and safe as possible for your animals. Step one, particularly if youre moving to a new state or city, is contacting the local Department of Agriculture. Some animals are not allowed in specific areas, while others require you get a permit (this normally applies to what would be regarded as an exotic creature).
Next give a quick call to the City Clerks office. Each town will often have pet regulations. The most common are the requirements for licensing a dog and using a leash when walking your dog. Also there may be limits on the number of pets you can own. Once youre certain you know whats allowed, and what you need to do before you move to keep your pet legal then you can start planning and packing.
Before the Move:
Now, get a camera and take GOOD pictures of each pet. Sometimes when we move to a new residence a pet may run away because its out of its normal element. Having pictures will help you find your pet should it get lost. Also call your vet and get a copy of your animals records. Note that some states require a health certificate for your move. Make sure you obtain any permits you require, and get identification tags for each pet.
Moving the Animal
Did you know that most moving services cannot transport pets? If youre not planning to move your pet personally youll have to find a specialized service for that element. Additionally you need to get a good pet carrier one large enough that your animal can stand and lay down comfortably. This carrier must have good ventilation and be made of a material thats easily cleaned. Put a blanket inside and a couple of your pets favorite toys so theyll feel less insecure.
If your pet has to fly, your chosen airline will be able to give you all the information you need to know to crate your pet properly (some airlines even sell special crates). Make sure your crate is clearly labeled as live animal and note if the pet has a tendency to bite. Most airlines do not allow crates to be locked as they must be accessible for emergencies.
If youre moving your pet by car (which is very common thanks to cost-effectiveness), thats probably easier on both you and your animal stress wise. Take your pet in the car frequently before moving day so they get used to the vehicle. Note: do not leave your pet in a locked car with the windows up. The chances of heat stroke go up dramatically. Also remember to travel with food, water and any medications your pet may need.
Move on In:
One you reach your new house, its time to give your pet a tour. Walk them around. Show them where their food and bed will be. Get out those toys! If you have a pet that you take outside, take them around the neighborhood so they become accustom to new sites and smells. Try to keep your animal on the same routine that youve always had (the time for feeding, when you walk them, etc.). This provides a comfort zone for your pet. The more normal everything seems, the less likely it will be that the pet runs away.
Summary:
Moving with pets can be stressful on both you and them. Sometimes a vet may even recommend medication to decrease the animals anxiety (particularly for air travel). Pay close attention to your animals behavior during and after the move. Give them extra consideration and comfort petting, playing, etc. so that they know everything is ok. If you do that, and prepare for your move properly, youll find the transition goes far more smoothly.