PART I. Preparing for the Move
Update your pet’s tag with your new address.
Make sure your pet’s collar is sturdy and correctly sized. The tag should also include your mobile number and e-mail address if possible so you can be reached during the move.
Request veterinary records.
Make sure you take the time to research, contact, and even set up a meet and greet appointment with the new vet you will be going to before you make the move. Ask your current vet to send your pet’s medical history directly to the new vet. Also, ask the vet to e-mail or fax your pet’s records to you as well. It’s always a good idea to have a set of back up records just in case the new vet doesn’t get them and you have an emergency soon after you arrive. Make sure you program the new vet’s contact information into your phone, and if they’re not a 24 hour vet, ask them who they would recommend as an emergency vet in case your pet gets into trouble outside of normal business hours. Program this contact information into your phone as well.
Keep a week’s worth of food and medication with you.
If your pet is currently taking prescribed medications, you may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. Take the same precaution with special therapeutic foods.
Prepare a pet first aid kit.
Include your vet’s phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for use on bandages, nonstick bandages, towels, cotton swabs, antibiotic ointment (without pain relief medication), and 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Play it safe in the car.
Use a crate or carrier in the car, securing it with a seat belt. Never leave your pet in the bed of a truck, the storage area of a moving van, or alone in a parked vehicle. If you’re staying overnight, find pet-friendly lodging beforehand and have kitty litter or plastic bags on hand.
Get ready for takeoff.
When traveling by air, check with the airline about pet requirements or restrictions and whether you must purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Every airline is different and regulations can change, so even if you’ve flown with your pet before, always look into the specific pet travel requirements for each airline you’re using before you book your ticket.
Prep your new home.
Make sure you pack a box with the essentials to set up one room with everything your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, scratch post, and toys. Clearly label this box, and make sure it’s packed someplace easy to find when you get to your new place. If your old home is nearby, give the new home owners or neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, in case your pet tries to return.
Learn about local health concerns and laws in your new area.
If you’re moving to a new country, contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs related to bringing your pet into the country.
UP NEXT: Part II. Moving Day! – Coming Soon