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Tips for Moving Your Pet

Moving?  What About Me?
by Debra White
of the

Maricopa County Animal Shelter
, Phoenix, AZ

As a devoted family member, I’d like to move with you, not end up in the animal shelter where I might not find a new home, in spite of their best efforts. Not everyone wants an older dog or cat, even though we make good house pets. So the nice people at the shelter prepared this handout to help you make our move smooth and easy.


            Plan Ahead.

            Call motel chains in advance to see which ones take pets. Many do for overnight stays. AAA can also help you plan your trip.

            Get me used to the car.

            If I’m not used to the car, start driving me around for a few minutes every day. Once the big day comes, I should be just fine. If it looks like I might have motion sickness, ask my vet. She can give you medication that will help me.

            ID tags

            Make sure I have on tags with temporary ID so if I get lost, I can be returned to you. Also, make sure my rabies shots are up to date before leaving.

            Food and Water

            Don’t feed me for several hours before we leave. A full tummy might make me sick, but bring my dish and make sure I have plenty of water.

            Rest Areas

            Almost all rest areas on major highways have designated sections for dog walking. I have to be leashed so don’t forget to bring one.

            Familiar items

            Bring my toys or my blanket so I have something that smells familiar. This will make me feel safe while I am riding in the car.


            If I have a microchip, remember to call the microchip company to change our phone number and address.

            The new house

            It might be hectic for a few days while the furniture is delivered and the utilities are turned on. If we don’t have family or friends in our new city, call ahead and put me in a boarding kennel for a few days. This will be less stressful for us both.


            If we have to fly to our new location, I can still come with you. Call the airline and find out what special requirements they have to fly with a pet. Each one is different. I will need a crate large enough for me to stand up in. You can buy these crates in any pet supply store. Try to avoid connecting flights because that gives the airlines more chances to lose me. Try to fly at night if we move in the summer because it will be cooler then. Remember, we pets have to fly in the baggage compartment, which does not receive cool air until the plane takes off. Small dogs and cats can travel with you in the plane if our crates fit under the seat. Airlines also require that we be current on our shots.

            If you can’t take me, I will miss you. Try to find me a good home on your own. Ask our family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and people who you go to church/temple with. The shelter should be the last place you take me. 


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