Whether you’re a buyer or seller, you’re probably going to be engaged in the process of moving, unless your purchase or sale is strictly an investment.    While it can be a wonderful adventure, moving can also be quite stressful; not only for people, but also for our pets.  However, with a bit of planning and compassion, the following tips may put you and your pet at ease and ensure that the experience is a good one for your family as well as your furry friends.

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.  Also have your vet microchip Fido or Fluffy for additional security should they ever get lost.

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, and its medical history to give to your new vet.

Keep medications and food on hand. Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move.

Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets may feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, on moving day.  Ideally your pet should be familiar with the carrying case/crate that you’ll be using to transport him in before moving day, and make certain the crate is well ventilated and sturdy to prevent a potential escape.

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, heat stroke or excessive cold 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.

Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital. Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new community and talk to other pet owners when you get settled in your new neighborhood.

Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc.  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 you follow the above suggestions, there is a good chance that once they reach their new home, your dog will wag more and bark less and your cat will purr with delight!