Timothy Harris
dog in moving box

Moving is never an easy or enjoyable process, but moving with pets can complicate the process even further. If you’ll be moving soon, there are a few things you should avoid to keep your furry friends safe, happy and healthy.

1. Don’t pack all your pet supplies

This seems like a given, but many people will be so caught up in the moving process that they will forget to leave out some important essentials. When moving with pets, you should pack an “overnight bag” that includes everything your pet might need.

You can use anything for your “bag” – a box, suitcase, duffle bag or any other container. The important part is that you can access the bag right away and that it has essential items like food, medicine and a couple of your pet’s favorite toys for good measure.

You don’t know how long it will take you to unpack your belongings and you don’t want to find yourself unable to get to important items for your pet.

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2. Lose track of your pet

Moving involves a lot of action. There are usually several people going in and out of the apartment moving and loading boxes. This can be troublesome for animals and they can even get lost pretty easily in the hustle and bustle of moving.

When moving with pets, put them somewhere secure and quiet like a kennel, the garage or enclosed in a bedroom. Even better, if you can, board your pets with professionals for a couple of days while you move your belongings.

3. Forget to update your pet’s health and registration information

It’s always important to have updated information on your pet’s health and registration but especially when moving.

Pets can become extremely unpredictable in a stress-causing situation like a move. You might think you have the best-behaved pet in the world, but unfamiliarity can trigger even the most obedient pets.

Since erratic pets tend to run away, you should ensure that you have proper contact information available for your pets. If your pet is microchipped, you should update their home address to your new one. You should also consider making temporary tags with your new home address for identification before you’re able to register your new pit in your new city.

You should also have a current copy of your pet’s health information. Many states will actually require you to have a copy on your person if you’re traveling on the interstate and you could be fined for not having it.

As a final precaution, consider finding a new vet prior to your move day.

4. Avoid letting your pets loose right away

When you show up to your new place, you’ll likely be excited to let your pet explore right away. It’s important that you don’t for a couple of reasons.

You can’t be sure of what’s been left behind that you may not have noticed. There could be dangerous rat traps or pest poison hidden somewhere in the home. There may also be holes or escape routes. Before letting your pets out inside the home, check under beds, behind appliances, inside cabinets and in other nooks and crannies.

You should also not let your pets explore the neighborhood around your home right away. It’s especially common to let cats outside, but the recent stress of moving may have your pet disoriented. Give them time to settle in before you take the risk of letting them loose outside the home.

Other options

To avoid much of the stresses of moving a pet, you could try to find a professional pet shipping company that will make all the arrangements for you. These companies move your pet safely, quickly and without you having to think about it. However, this means you'll be trusting someone else with your animals, which may understandably be difficult and add even more anxiety for you and your pets.

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About The Author

Timothy Harris

Timothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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