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Moving With Dogs or Cats (1 of 3): Planning Tips

September 12th, 2016 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

The house is sold. This couple is ready to move with a dog!

Moving with a dog or cat?

We’re here to help! With so many pet families moving to different parts of Castle Rock, our veterinarians have created this three-part series on moving with pets. We want to make it easy for you and your furry friend to get through the move process.

After all, moving can be stressful for a pet – just like it is for you!

If you’re getting ready to move, let’s start with planning tips for moving with a dog or cat.

Reducing your pet’s stress

Tip #1: Proactively talk to your vet about ways you can reduce your pet’s stress.

When dogs and cats (especially cats!) start noticing changes, they can get stressed. Boxes, suitcases, travel carriers and just general commotion can all be triggers.

  • In dogs, stress can produce diarrhea. Your pup may become clingy and moody. You may notice your dog isn’t sleeping as well.
  • In cats, stress can appear in different ways. Your kitty may get urinary issues and may hide more than usual.

If you know your dog or cat tends to get stressed when you go on trips or when you spend time in the car, talk to your current veterinarian about proactive steps you can take. You may be able to:

  • Put your pet on a special diet for gastrointestinal issues or stress-related urinary issues. Start introducing the diet one month before your move, if possible.
  • Get a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication, a sedative or a car sickness medication if your move is going to involve a long car trip. (These meds can help your cat or dog relax.)
  • Discuss other ways to relax your dog or cat.

The key is to have these conversations before you move, particularly if you have a pet with a chronic health condition.

A cat and dog snuggle closely to relieve stress from moving.

Tip #2: Ask your vet about symptoms to watch for if your pet has a chronic condition.

Stress can aggravate some chronic diseases in dogs and cats — such as diabetes, renal disease, Addison’s disease and Cushing’s disease.

If your pet has a chronic condition, chat with your current vet to find out:

  • What types of symptoms you should be watching for
  • What steps to take if these symptoms occur

Tip #3: Spend as much time with your dog or cat as possible.

We know how tricky this can be with so much going on! But the more time you can spend with your furry friend, the more you can help offset his or her stress.

Not to mention, this together time can help reduce your stress too.

So, try to get in that hike you’ve been craving! It will benefit both of you.

Carrie takes a break from packing for the move to take a hike with her dog.

Tip #4: Make a reservation to board your pet on your move days, if you’re moving locally.

If you’re moving locally, you may want to consider boarding your dog or cat (or taking your furry friend to daycare) for your big move days. You’ll keep your pet safe and out of the commotion. And for dogs in particular, doggie daycare can be a great way to exercise and escape the distractions at home.

Reserve your spot in advance, so you know your pet has a safe place to go. It’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Visit the boarding facility or daycare at least once before your move day, so your pet can get really comfortable with the surroundings.

Tip #5: Ask a friend to take care of your dog or cat on moving day, if you’re moving locally and you don’t want to use a daycare.

Make this request in advance, and you won’t have to scramble around leading up to moving day.

It’s always a good idea to take your dog or cat over for some “play dates” in advance. That way, your pet can get familiar with the surroundings and will feel more comfortable on moving day.

Pet medications

Tip #6: If your dog or cat takes medication, make sure you have a good supply available.

For example, let’s pretend your dog takes a monthly heartworm medication. Or, your cat is on kidney medication.

If you’re moving away from your current vet and you realize you don’t have the right supply, you may need to reach out to a new veterinarian. A reputable veterinary clinic will want to give your pet an exam before prescribing new medications.

As happy as veterinarians are to help you, if you prepare in advance, this is one less thing you have to deal with when you move!

Another tip for medications… If your pet’s meds are available at a human pharmacy, ask your current veterinarian for a prescription. This can save you time, money and hassle if your pet’s medications get lost during the move.

Tip #7: Keep a month or two of your pet’s medications handy for the move.

Don’t pack your pet’s medications in boxes that have the potential to get lost or arrive late.

If you do pack them in a box, clearly mark the outside of the box.

Larry, the cat, sits in a moving box.

 Move with confidence!

Come in for vaccinations or call us to chat about steps you should be taking.
Call 303-688-3757. Or:

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Pet vaccinations, health history and microchips

Tip #8: Get a copy of your pet’s health records from your current veterinarian.

Have you ever noticed that medical emergencies involving your dog or cat often take place at night or on the weekends?

It’s helpful to have a full copy of your pet’s medical records on hand, particularly if your dog or cat has a chronic condition. If you have to visit a new veterinarian or an emergency clinic during the move process and you don’t have access to your pet’s medical records, the veterinary clinic may want to run more comprehensive tests.

Having your records handy can reduce the number of tests needed, keep your bills down and help your pet get the right treatment faster.

Not to mention, having your pet’s vaccination history is helpful if you have to make sudden boarding or daycare plans.

Tip #9: Make sure your dog’s or cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date.

This step will help protect your dog or cat in your new home and environment.

Plus, this step is important if your furry friend is going to spend any time in a boarding facility or in a pet daycare around moving day.

Keep in mind, some vaccines take five days to go into effect. And some kennels require you to get your shots at least seven days before your visit.

Tip #10: Consider microchipping your pet.

Haven’t microchipped your dog or cat? You may want to give it some thought.

If your pet gets lost and is found, the microchip proves it’s your pet and gives people a way to contact you. (Get the inside scoop on microchipping.)

Tip #11: Check your pet’s microchip registration to make sure it has your current phone number and email address.

Your pet already has a microchip? Great!

Check to make sure your contact information is up-to-date. If your pet gets loose during or after your move and ends up in a shelter, you want to make sure there’s an easy way for people to reach you.

Moving cross-country (to or from Castle Rock)

Tip #12: If your dog or cat is going to travel by plane to your new home, find out whether you need to get a travel health certificate.

Most airlines require them. Learn how to get a travel health certificate for your pet.

Check out our other moving articles:

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Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on what to do for your dog or cat before you move. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)

© 2016, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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