Moving to a new home can be an exciting adventure. Since it’s a very busy time, there are many tasks to accomplish through every phase of your move. When you add your pet into the mix, considering his needs along with yours adds to your checklist of “to dos”. However, by following some practical, tried-and-true pre-moving tips, you can greatly up your odds of experiencing a smooth, successful, and stress-free move for you and your four-legged kid.

Stick with your normal routine

When planning for your move, try to pack over a period of time and stick to your pet’s normal day-to-day routine as much as possible. This will make it easier on you and your pet to control the level of stress and change happening in your house. In addition, your pet will not be alerted to so much change all at once, and he will be likely to ease into the process if it’s more step-by-step rather than all-at-once.

Visit your pet’s vet

Set up an appointment with your pet’s current veterinarian to get a thorough exam and ensure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations. You’ll also want to stock up on any medications – including heartworm and flea/tick preventatives. Additionally, depending on your new home’s location and laws, your pet may need extra shots and a health certificate. While you’re at the vet’s office, be sure to request a copy of all of your pet’s medical records to give to the new veterinarian you choose in your new hometown.

Look for a new vet

If you’re moving to a new town, it’s a good idea to research veterinarians well before you move to your new home. You can even ask your current vet for a recommendation or referrals. Compile a list of potential vets, and stop in and visit those you’ve selected once you’ve arrived at your new location. Take the time to select the right vet for your pet, just as you would when choosing your own doctor.

Get the scoop on pet rules & regulations

Pet laws and ordinances vary depending on your geographic location. Before you move, find out about all local laws, licensing requirements and pet ordinances that may apply to your pet and your situation. For pet regulations and laws at the state level, contact the State’s Veterinarian’s Office or State Department of Agriculture. On the local level, contact the City Clerk’s Office to get information on city pet ordinances.

If you’ll be renting a house or apartment, find out whether your pet’s breed is eligible for renter’s insurance in your state. Also, review your lease thoroughly so that you’re fully aware of any pet fees or restrictions before you sign on the dotted line.

Choose a device for securing your pet in your vehicle

You and your family buckle up when you’re out driving, and so should your pet. Choosing which device to secure your pet in your vehicle depends on your individual furkid. Vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates are all viable options that will help ensure your pet’s safety when traveling by car. Whichever you choose, it’s best to give your furry sidekick at least one month to become comfortable and familiar with it.

Make reservations at pet-friendly places to stay

If you’re moving a long distance and there will be overnight stops, it’s important to book pet-friendly accommodations in advance to ensure there’s availability and that your pet is welcome. Plus, if you’ll need extended stay accommodations when you arrive at your new hometown, be sure to secure pet-friendly lodging for that time as well.

Pack a bag for your pet

Just as you pack an overnight bag for yourself, be sure to pack one for your four-legged family member. His should contain all the essentials, not only for the road trip, but for at least a couple of days after the move. Some necessities include ample food, water, medications, bowls, collar/leash, favorite toy or blanket, and a first aid kit.

Book early and prepare your pet if you must fly

There are many safety issues to consider, and many important steps to take, if your move involves flying with your pet. First, be sure to familiarize yourself with your airline’s pet policies and guidelines. Also, you can help prepare your pet for air travel by ensuring he has the proper pet travel kennel and he is familiar with it beforehand. It’s also important to purchase your tickets early to ensure you get your preferred flight. During your pre-move veterinarian visit, don’t forget to let your vet know that you’ll be traveling by plane with your pet, so that he can assess your pet’s health and provide you with a health certificate. Airlines normally require a pet health certificate to be issued within ten days of departure.

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, planning ahead and preparing before you move is essential. Taking these measures will help ensure that the moving process goes as smoothly as possible, for both you and your pet.

TripsWithPets has been helping pet parents find and book pet-friendly accommodations since 2003. TripsWithPets provides online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels and accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for all they need to book the perfect place to stay with their pet – including detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. #jointheroadtrip

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