Moving with Pets: Tips and Tricks
Guest post: Operating Oz Moving & Storage New York, for 25 years, we know from firsthand experience that most households include pets. In fact, a 2019-2020 National Pet Survey showed that 85 million in the US have at least one pet. If you’re one of those pet owners and are about to tackle a move, then you have a bit of extra planning to do to accommodate your furry and scaly friends.
Whether you are about to embark on an NYC move with dogs or planning to move your cats cross-country, here is what you need to know.
Searching for New Home
Of course, your dog will need room to roam and your cat will appreciate some windows to birdwatch, but looking more at the legal side of things, you need to make sure that your pets are welcome in your new home. You’ll want to start your search as soon as possible to find the best pet-friendly rentals. Many websites, such as rent.com and apartments.com give you the ability to not only filter apartments by “pet friendly” but by “dog-friendly” or “cat-friendly” as well.
Do guinea pigs count as pets in rental agreements? Yes! However, while rodents count as pets, they usually aren’t seen the same as cats and dogs since they are much less likely to cause property damage. Therefore, landlords are much more lenient for letting them in. But if a building is pet free due to allergies, even guinea pigs may still be a no go.
Can I have fish in a pet-free apartment? Since animal restrictions generally stem from risk of damage or allergies, probably. However, if you have a large tank, ask first. Better safe than sorry.
Want more information on renting with pets? Check out the Humane Society of the United States rental guide.
One More Veterinary Visit
If you are moving long-distance, then you need to book one last veterinary visit for your cat or dog. During this visit you will want to:
- Get a copy of your pet’s medical records for the new vet.
- A general exam to make sure your pet is fit to travel.
- Vaccination updates, especially if you are crossing state lines.
- A certificate of health, which will be required if traveling overseas.
If your dog is prone to anxiety. Possible routes to discuss with your veterinarian:
- A Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap for comfort
- The pheromone to minimize stress and help to to keeps comfortable in their own environments, Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats.
- Calming Care, a probiotic to minimize anxiety in dogs.
- Nutraceuticals, such as Zylkene, which helps pets to find their “zen.” Zylkene contains bovine-sourced hydrolyzed milk protein, an ingredient that has calming properties.
- For dogs or cats with a history of anxiety, medication is a possibility.
On the day of the move, it is best to keep your pet out of harm’s way. You want to keep your fishbowl or tank in an area that doesn’t risk being accidentally knocked or contaminated. At the same time, cats or dogs, should get placed in a quiet room with food, water, toys, and their bed. Not possible? See if a friend or family member can take your furry friend off your hands for the day.
Tags and Microchips: Dogs or cats feel anxious with the movers coming in and out or in their new home, and with that front door opening and closing, they may try to bolt—even if that’s uncharacteristic of them. Putting your pet in a secure location can help you avoid this, but accidents happen, and you need to be prepared. Have a tag ready with the new address once you reach your new home, and you should also update your pet’s address with the microcip database. This is done through the chip manufacturer’s website. Not sure where to go? Give your vet a call and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Lodging: If your move requires a pet-friendly overnight stay, use a website like Bring Fido to find accommodations that suit both you and your pet’s needs.
Everything is moved into the new house and you are ready to start unpacking but don’t forget about your pets. It is best to resume their routine as soon as possible to help ease anxiety and give them a sense of normality in the unknown environment. This means returning to their normal feeding schedule, taking your dog for regular walks, and giving them lots of attention and playtime.
Using these tips, both you and your pets will be happily settled into the new home in no time. And thanks to a bit of extra planning, they will have had a safe and less stressful journey getting there.
This guest post is authored by Nancy Zafrani, general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. She has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.