Relocating with Pets
Relocation is tough, but when you have beloved pets it becomes even more challenging. The issues will depend, in part, on how far you are going and how you are going to get there. And, of course, the type of pet.
Watch the video at the bottom or view the complete set of relocation videos on my YouTube Relocation Tips and Advice playlist.
1. Have a discussion with your vet about his/her suggestions for moving your pet. Let your vet know when you are traveling (summer months vs. winter) and how far.
2. Find out if your vet has any special concerns about your pet's ability to travel (pet is sickly, very old, has special dietary needs) and how to handle them.
3. Obtain a copy of your pet's records or sign a permission form for their release. Ask if your vet has a recommendation for a vet in your new location.
4. If you need a referral for a vet in your new location ask any new acquaintances or neighbors who have pets who they recommend.
5. When relocating to a new state find out if there are any special requirements for your pet, such as a clean bill of health, when you enter the state. It will very likely be an issue when moving overseas and there may be a quarantine period.
6. If you are traveling by air, check with your airline to determine their requirements (is there a minimum temperature pets can fly at in the hold; required carriers; costs; vet certificates; check in times).
7. Be prepared for possible problems and have a back-up plan, such as contacting friends or family members who can assist with your pet while you transition, e.g., you need to leave them for a period while you leave then come back to get them (we left our dogs with family who later got them into their carriers and to the airport - bless them!).
8. You may want to try a few dry runs if you have not traveled with your pet, at least if you will be traveling by car. It may be best to use a carrier rather than not to see how it goes.
9. If your trip will be overnight by car, plan where you will stay to be sure the hotel accepts pets. By the way AAA is a terrific resource for planning your trip and the travel books they provide list pet friendly hotels and costs.
10. When traveling make sure you have plenty of pet food, water bowls, favorite toys, their favorite towel or bed, leashes, treats, and anything else you feel will help them feel more at home. This will help in the car, in the hotel, and especially when you get to where you are going.
11. At your new home be prepared that your pet may act differently - new smells, new surroundings, new noises. Having the pet in a small room for an extended time (hours, perhaps even overnight) such as a bathroom allows them to acclimate a bit at a time instead of being overwhelmed by a whole new house. This is especially true when your furniture arrives. Not only do you want to protect your pet from the movers, boxes, and from escaping out the door (movers don't shut doors I have found) but they will likely be freaked out by all the commotion.
Need more relocation tips? Please give me a call at (760) 840-1360 so we can discuss your personal relocation needs, concerns and questions. I am happy to help from start to finish with your relocation here to SoCal, or with a move out of this area.
If you are moving someplace other than SoCal, I can still assist you. I know a great network of highly qualified agents around the country and can help refer you to the right person to help find your new home and/or sell your current one.
Here are the prior articles (with videos) in this series in case you missed them:
View just the short videos (under 2 minutes each) without the articles on my Youtube Relocation Tips and Advice Playlist