Tips for Moving with Pets

June 18, 2015 / editor

Anyone who’s seen Homeward Bound knows travel can be stressful for pets. (And if you haven’t seen it, you need to add that to your queue today).

So…now that you’ve hand picked a perfectly chic new apartment in Alexandria, VA, it’s time to think about Coco/Princess/Winston/Bear’s needs. Start planning early, and you both could experience a more seamless transition to your new home. The Parker hasn’t started leasing yet, so you have some time (thank goodness).

Read on for some helpful tips for moving with pets that will prove indispensable as you embark on this new journey together.

One Month Before

Make an appointment at the vet, and ensure your pet’s up to date on all vaccinations and medications. Ask for vet records and medical history (email or hard copy). If you’re traveling to a different state, you’ll want to acquire the right health/travel certificates. Ask your vet for more information.

If you’ve noticed anything strange about your pet’s behavior – say, too many trips to the water bowl – this is the time to mention it. The last thing you want is for Baldo to go through a last minute surgery before your vacation due to something that was a “smaller issue” a month before. If your best fuzzy buddy hasn’t been neutered or spayed, and they’re at an eligible age, do this ASAP. The recovery period (and corresponding cone head) isn’t fun for anyone.

Once you’ve taken care of any outstanding medical issues, go ahead and purchase a crate, and if you haven’t already, start crate training. If your dog is larger than a lap dog, you will either have to drive with your dog in a crate, or send it to the bottom of the plane in a crate. Cats are especially sensitive to travel or location changes – and it won’t be a pleasing experience for her if she suddenly finds herself in “jail” for an undetermined period of time.

Two Weeks Before

Ensure you have some food, water, medications, and poop bags that aren’t packed away in boxes. Place some in your carry on for emergencies, especially if your furry buddy is traveling on board the plane with you. Take your pet’s tag to the pet store, and make sure information is updated – both on their tag, and in your new county’s registration system (note: if their pet registration system is not online, you may need to do this upon arrival).

Continue to make the crate a positive place for your pet to be – throw in fun toys, treats, and speak in a reassuring tone when you close it. Definitely do not use it as punishment.

Get back in touch with your vet, and if you haven’t asked already, get a recommendation on a new vet. The vet hospital community can run deeper than you realize, and if you love and trust your current vet, wouldn’t you rather trust them than a Yelp review?

Moving Day

On moving day, it’s all about keeping your pet safe and comfortable – even if you have to lock it in a room while the movers are there. Even better, board your pet for the day or have a friend pet sit so you don’t have to worry about Stella racing out the door when the movers carry the couch out.

Double check all of your supplies you’ll be carrying on the plane, and make sure your pet’s crate and travel papers are ready. Ensure they go potty before the trip begins, and if you’re traveling by plane, you may want to take a puppy training pad or two to lay down on the bathroom floor, just in case.

Once you reach your brand new apartment, you can try any of these assimilation options:

  • Once you’ve allowed your pet the option to go potty, you can place them back inside their crate with a very enthralling treat or new toy until most of the big stuff is unpacked.
  • If you have a very confident pet, you can allow them to roam the new apartment freely, and enjoy the new sights and smells before the movers come. Just use caution, as this is not the right option for all pets, especially cats – it can be overwhelming.
  • Let Buster stretch his legs! Go to the dog park, the gorgeous park in front of The Parker, or just go for a stroll around your neighborhood.
  • Make your way to the pet spa at The Parker (the Parker Pooch) so your pooch can fully recover from the moving process.

Believe it or not, the moving process doesn’t have to be incredibly stressful, especially for pets. With a little bit of extra planning early on, you can avoid a lot of common pitfalls (We need papers at the gate??) of traveling with pets.

And it’s all worth it.

At the end of a long moving day, there’s nothing better than cuddling with your furry BFF – especially when you’re living in the best luxury apartments in Alexandria, VA.

Tagged: features & amenities, pet friendly, The Parker