4545 Hodgson Road

Shoreview, MN


(651) 484-3331


Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Planning a Successful Move with Pets by Car


There is a good reason that May is National Moving Month. Millions of Americans move between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making this period of less than four months the busiest moving season of the year. Sadly, moving is the top reason that people surrender dogs and cats to animal shelters. Many are renters whose new landlords don't allow pets. Although it is sometimes challenging, you can find a new home that welcomes every member of your family if you're determined to do so.

Once you have secured new housing, it's important to consider your pet when planning the move. Both dogs and cats thrive on routine and can experience considerable stress due to all the changes. The anxiety can be especially high for cats who spend most of their time indoors and who may only travel to see the vet once a year.

Preparing Your Pet for the Big Change 
If your cat associates going in the carrier with car rides that she hates, she is likely to run and hide from you on moving day. A better alternative is to set the carrier out and place her favorite toys or blankets inside. Allow her to go in and out of the carrier at will to get her acclimated to it. This also gives her a place to hide when the moving activities become too stressful.

Dogs are more accustomed to traveling in the car with you and visiting different places, but even so it's a good idea to prepare your pooch. Leave his harness and carrier out for several days before the move in a location where he can see and sniff it. You may wish to do a few practice runs in the car going about the same distance as your move. It's also important to be extra patient during this time as he may exhibit behaviors that are out of the ordinary for him.

Visit Us Before Moving Day 
If you're moving out of the Shoreview area, it's important to make sure that your pet's vaccines are up-to-date before you go. We are happy to provide you with a health record to bring to your new veterinarian. If you are leaving Minnesota, you need a formal health certificate and proof of rabies and other vaccinations to transport your pet across state lines.

We can also implant a microchip in your pet if you don't already have one for her. Dogs and cats who are highly stressed while moving are more likely to attempt to escape, and it would be sad to reach your new home without your beloved pet.

When Moving Day Arrives 
On the day of the move, place cats and other small animals in their carrier and make sure dogs are confined to a closed room or are with a sitter. The time to retrieve your dog and put him in the car is when all of your belongings are in the moving vehicle. All animals should be restrained once you get in the car.

Be sure to have a separate container of your pet's medications and a first aid kit in an easy-to-reach location. Additionally, make sure he has access to his favorite toys and blankets and that you offer plenty of loving assurance. The adjustment will take some time, but eventually your pet will accept the new location as home.

Photo Credit:  YakobchukOlena