What to Do With Pets During a Long-Distance Move?

Moving with dogsDo you have pets and plan on moving somewhere new that’s a long distance away from the place you normally call home? Since the majority of pet owners have either a dog or cat, for the purpose of this article we’ll concentrate on those two furry friends and assume they’ll be traveling many miles by car or truck.

Before the stress of the move comes into play, acquire a safe and sturdy travel crate for your pet and let them get used to it at their present home. Put their food and water near it. Let them sleep in it. The crate should become a place of comfort for your pet.

If possible, take them on some shorter trips around town before the day of the big move, to get them acclimated to being out of the house and driven around while in their “comfy” crate. Ideally, you should manipulate the seat belt to attach to the crate to hold it in place from moving/sliding around. Treat your pet like you’d treat a newborn baby in a vehicle, paying specific attention to his or her needs.

When the day comes to put your pet in the crate and then into the backseat of your car or truck for the long ride to a new home, they’ll hopefully be ready-to-go. You’re welcome to consult your local vet about medications, sedatives, and supplements to help your cat or dog through the stress of moving. On the ride to the new home, bring along some catnip for cats to enjoy and some chew toys for dogs to distract them from the rigors of the road.

Cats and dogs are used to their routine, and moving disrupts their life. So, if you’re used to feeding them at a certain time each day, do your best to present them with food and water at the typical times they’re expecting to be fed. Along the route, leash your dog and take him or her for a walk at rest stops—this is also a good time for them to relieve their bowels. Cats, meanwhile, have the luxury of pooping in their litter box inside their crate while the vehicle is moving.

If you end up staying in a pet-friendly hotel room overnight on your trip, let your pet roam free around the room so they don’t feel so cooped up in their crate.

Pets should be wearing ID collars and/or have microchips implanted in them in case they accidentally run away and you want to be able to find them.

Upon arriving at your new home, it’s best to wait to release your pet from their crate until the majority of furniture has been brought in and set-up, and there’s a sense of calm in the home for your cat or dog to make their debut.