October 7, 2010

Moving House Checklist for Pet Owners

Boxer dog in moving box

Updated July 2014: Moving with pets can be a little complicated. The needs of moving pets are often overlooked on the huge list of priorities that have to be taken care during moving.  Pets do get anxious when the boxes come out and the packing begins.  Adding some line items for your pet to your moving house checklist can help make sure you are taking good care of your pet during the transition and will make it easier once you move in.

Moving House Check List Items for Pet Owners:

1.  Decide how your pet will travel to the new home.  If you are flying, be sure to book arrangements with the airlines.  Pets cannot always fly on all planes and there are some restrictions on layovers and times of year.  There are services that will walk, feed and give water to your pet during layovers. If you are driving, be sure to pack a bag with all their necessities, including food, medicine, water bowls, toys and pillow.
2.  Arrange for boarding after you arrive at your destination, if necessary.  Add the contact numbers, cost and dates of the reservations to your moving house check list.
3.  Make sure you have the appropriate carrying kennel for your pet at least a month before you move so he or she can get used to it.
4.  Find out what vaccinations and records will be needed by the airline and for the location where you are moving.  It is much easier to take care of those things with your current veterinarian. 
5.  Make an appointment with your current veterinarian and take care of all necessary vaccinations and prescription needs 2 weeks to a month prior to your move.  Pick up a records transfer form for your new veterinarian. 
6.  Add any details you might forget to your moving house checklist. For example, you may need to give your dog food and water no more than 6 hours prior to his flight.  Or you may need to give a cat a prescribed tranquilizer at least 1 hour prior to an international flight. 
7.  Assign one person in the family the task of taking care of your pet on moving day.  This helps eliminate confusion and assures that the pet will not get lost in the shuffle. 
8.  Take some time to give some love to your pet in the ramp up for your move.  Take your dog out and play fetch.  Snuggle with your cat.  It will be good for both you and your pet.  (It seems silly, but you can put this on your moving house check list as a reminder to simply take time out from the stress of moving.)