Moving with Pets - Schaumburg IL Area in the Northwest Suburbs

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Suburban

Moving to a new home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. Experts offer these tips for easing the transition and keeping pets safe during the move.

1.  Update your pet's tag.   Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information. The tag should include your destination location, telephone number, and cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately during the move. Be sure to at least have a working phone number with your pets microchip registration company.

2.  Ask for veterinary records.   If you're moving far enough away that you'll need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet's vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet's medical history to give to your new vet, although that can normally be faxed directly to the new medical-care provider upon request. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency, or in case your new vet would like more information about your pet.

3.  Keep medications and food on hand.   Keep at least one week's worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets can't write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same preparation should be taken with special therapeutic foods - purchase an extra supply in case you can't find the food right away in your new area.Lyn Sims, Pet Friendly Realtor

4.  Seclude your pet from chaos.   Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a "Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!" sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. However, make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape.

5.  Prepare a first aid kit.   First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash, or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.

6.  Play it safe in the car.  It's best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it's always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you'll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.

7.  Get ready for takeoff.   When traveling by air, check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you've prepared your pet for a safe trip. Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal's size, but you'll need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian. If traveling is stressful for your pet, consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.
Lyn Sims, Pet Friendly Realtor
8.  Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital.   Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale. Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location. When choosing a new veterinary hospital, ask for an impromptu tour; kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client's expected. You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the vets. Now ask yourself: Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, and assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the hospital doesn't meet your criteria, keep looking until you're assured that your pet will receive the best possible care. Lyn Sims, Pet Friendly Realtor

9.  Prep your new home for pets.   Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there. To be safe, give the new home owners or your former neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, and ask them to contact you if your pet is found nearby.

10.  Learn more about your new area.   Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions - perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes. If you will be moving to a new country, carry an updated rabies vaccination and health certificate. It is very important to contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country or state to which you're traveling to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs to bring the animal into the country.



Northwest Suburbs - Market Areas of Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, Medinah, Roselle, Itasca, Bloomingdale, Bartlett, Streamwood, Hanover Park, Carol Stream, Elgin, and South Elgin.


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lyn sims remax suburban  Lyn Sims    Schaumburg IL Area    Northwest Chicago Suburbs  ●  (847)230-7324

Comments (24)

Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

What a great post topic, Lyn!  And, great tips for our beloved furry family members!  Like Jane said, we tend to take for granted that we can just pile them in the car and go on a move but, they have needs just like we do!

Oct 14, 2011 05:31 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Lyn - This is super advice.  Yes, the move can be rather stressful for pets and they express themselves in different ways.

Oct 14, 2011 10:35 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Lyn, I know eventually we'll move, and that challenge with all our kitties is something I don't look forward to.  I'm guessing we'll be renting a u-haul just for the furry ones :)

Oct 15, 2011 12:54 AM
Hillary Sheperd
Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon - Scarsdale, NY
Co-Owner ~ Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, NY

Oh yes, taking care of our furry friends is always important.  We are moving soon, so this advice is very timely.

Oct 15, 2011 12:55 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Lyn, excellent advice for families. We've made several moves in the past with pets and it can be very upsetting for them until they get settled.

Oct 15, 2011 01:12 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I've moved around the world with a pet or two so know keeping them safe during a move should be a top priority.

Oct 15, 2011 01:39 AM
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

Pets deserve a nice trip too! Changing their tags is a great tip... and probably one a lot of people don't think of.

Oct 15, 2011 02:30 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Good checklist to give to our relocating sellers ! Planning is the key to a less stressed move !

Oct 15, 2011 02:46 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

What a well thought out post about man and woman's best friend.

Oct 15, 2011 02:59 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Lyn, these are great tips. I especially like #4 Seclude your pets from the chaos.

Whenever we go on vacation, our dog sees the suitcases and goes crazy. She won't eat or do her business and she tries to dodge out the door at every chance to jump in the car. Now, we put her away the night before and quietly take the bags out to the car.

The next morning when we leave, she doesn't know any better. The house/dog sitter shows up a few hours later and she's good. It really relieves the stress of leaving her. Sounds silly but that's how pet owners are.

Oct 15, 2011 03:16 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Congrats Lyn!  Told you it was a great article!!


Oct 15, 2011 03:31 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

nicely done Lyn.

and when you're done moving, you can buy a pair of Sunglasses at emptymalls&

Oct 15, 2011 04:01 AM
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group - Atlanta, GA
Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

It's always such a challenge to move with your pets! I've thought about writing a similar post 1,001 times, but now that you did such a fantastic job, I may have to re-blog!  LOL  



Oct 15, 2011 06:51 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Alan:  Spammers, aren't they annoying?

Kerry:  Often times we forget that have to be planned for too.

Gene:  Thanks.

Bliz:  It really has to be confusing for them with all the strangers milling around, open doors & then the new environment.

Ellen:  When I update this version I will add chickens just for you.

Bill:  Interesting that I didn't know you owned a pet shop.

Jane & Debe:  I think that sometimes we just think they are very flexible & as you said pile them in the car & take off to the new house.  My own dog went thru the move very well but I could tell she was definately confused with all the people.

Tammie: Great story on how your dog relates with your suitcases to you being gone.

Aaron:  The microchip company is the best one to be sure that they have a working cell phone # for you in case something happens.  Usually the police take the dog to a vet to get the ID & then the vet can contact you.

Cheryl: I know you would plan well for your furry darlings.

Cindy:  Around the world? That's cool. Military transfers I take it.


Oct 15, 2011 07:25 AM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

This is a great topic for those with pets. I recently purchased a harness for the auto seat belt. It works great, ans eases your mind while driving, knowing he can't get into trouble in the back.

Oct 15, 2011 09:56 AM
Roberta Davidson
Keller Williams Realty Professional Partners - Sun City West, AZ

Thanks for the information. In Arizona, it is important that new homeowners learn about their new surroundings. We have coyotes and other animals which can pose a real threat to pets, whether they are in the yard or on a leash. Newcomers do not realize that a 6 foot fence is no deterent to a coyote.

Oct 15, 2011 10:44 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Lyn, those are excellent points.  We have moved with pets several times, by land and also by air and even overseas.  It's a challenge and a good checklist, plan, and vet are all valuable in making sure your pets arrive safely!

Oct 15, 2011 02:22 PM
Haris Dedic
RE/MAX Villager 847-878-2588 - Glenview, IL
Glenview Real Estate - Chicago North Shore


I would vote for this blog post to be in AR's top 5 of the year! 

There is no app for that; Ask a pet frinedly realtor!

Oct 15, 2011 04:23 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Lyn~ these tips are super-helpful for sellers who have pets to consider when moving.  Sadly, I read about sellers who leave their pets behind in today's troubling economy -- I hope they'll opt for bringing them to a good shelter, if that's the case.

Oct 16, 2011 08:44 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Maureen:  I know it is very sad. Someone on AR did a post recently about a culdesac that people just 'drop off' their pets' when they go into foreclosure.  This agent gathered them all up & brought them to a shelter. It was heart breaking.

Haris:  Thanks! Glad your pet friendly too!

Sandy:  My dog & all her friends have those seat belt harnesses & they really keep them in one place not jumping around the entire car.

Silvia: Overseas for you too! Wow.

Roberta:  I would think that in AZ you'd have to get quickly knowledgeable about scorpions too.


Oct 20, 2011 07:24 AM

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