How to Prepare Your Pet for a Long-Distance Move

Whether you’re moving across the neighborhood or around the world, moving is a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved. But no one feels the pain of moving quite like the four-legged members of your family. Even the most gregarious dog or cat will feel stressed by the accumulation of boxes, the loud sounds of moving trucks, the unfamiliar people going in and out of your home, the long car or airplane ride, and the new environment.

But the good news? If you prepare carefully in advance, you can minimize the potentially traumatic effects of your move on your beloved furry friend. For decades, Compass Relocation’s long-distance movers in Cleveland have helped customers make challenging moves across the country, so we know the secrets to a stress-free relocation for everyone.

Here are our top five tips on how to prepare your pet for a long-distance move:

1. Familiarize your pet with his carrier.

Whether you’re driving or flying, it’s likely that your pet will have to spend some time in his carrier either during the move itself or during the packing and loading stage. To make your pet feel comfortable with his kennel, set it up in your home at least two weeks before you move. Leave the door open, allowing your pet to explore it as much as he wants. Fill it with toys and blankets to give it a familiar feel and smell. The longer you can give your pet to become comfortable with the carrier, the easier it will be on him during the move.

2. Make sure your pet has ID.

Your pet probably already has a collar with a nametag and your contact information, but you should double-check that the collar is in good condition, that it fits well, and that your contact information is up to date. If you haven’t microchipped your pet already, we highly recommend that you do—it’s a quick, inexpensive, and highly effective way of finding lost pets. In the unlikely case that your pet escapes from the car at a gas station or dashes out the door while you’re unloading boxes, you’ll be thankful to have taken these precautions.

3. Speak with your veterinarian.

Especially when you’re making a long-distance move, it’s always a good idea to let your regular vet know about your upcoming plans. Have the vet perform a complete physical examination of your pet to make sure he is healthy enough for the move. If your pet is especially nervous or skittish, you can also ask your vet whether anti-anxiety medication would be appropriate. Keep in mind that you should never give your pet human medicine or tranquilizers without approval from your vet.

4. Plan your route.

If you’re moving across the country, you’ll probably make a few pitstops along the way, either to grab a quick bite to eat or to rest for the night before driving on. To avoid the stress of driving around an unknown place looking for somewhere to eat or sleep, do some thorough research well before your move. If you have a list of pet-friendly parks and accommodation on hand, you won’t have to worry about your dog overheating in the car while you eat or about finding a cat-friendly hotel in the middle of the night.

5. Take pet supplies with you.

Does your dog prefer a certain brand of food? Or maybe your cat refuses to use the litterbox without a specific type of litter? Even if your pet isn’t picky by nature, maintaining the same type of food, litter, treats, and toys can comfort him during this strange transition. Plus, having enough supplies for the ride will keep you from having to make an unnecessary pet store stop along the way. If you have enough room, try to bring enough of the necessities for at least the first few weeks in your new home.

By taking these five easy steps to prepare your pet for a long-distance move, your pet—and you!—will feel much more at ease during this hectic time. Moving is always hard, but moving with a pet adds extra considerations to your list. If you’d like some professional help managing your long-distance relocation, then give us a call at Compass Relocation! As the leading long-distance moving company in Cleveland, we’d love to ease your burden and ensure that every member of your family makes it to your new home without worry. To get started right away, just fill out our quick online form for a free moving quote!

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