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Moving Timeline and Tips for Moving with Your Pet

Moving Timeline

Eight Weeks Out

  •   Contact your moving company and discuss your needs with them. Have a representative come to your home to do an inventory and provide a written estimate. Keep in mind that charges are most often based on actual weight and mileage at the time of the move, however, most estimates are not binding. Make the estimator aware of all moveable items - don't forget items in the crawlspace, basement, or backyard. Most moving companies will charge extra for items added to the inventory on packing and loading day.
  •   Review the moving company's rules and regulations. Some companies and some states have different regulations on items they will and will not transport. Plants, guns, jewelry and chemicals are typical items that may be prohibited.
  •   Start to use up items that will not be moved such as perishable food and household chemicals.

Six Weeks Out

  •   Use moving as an excuse to purge your household of unnecessary items. Arrange to donate these items to a local charity or plan a garage sale.
  •   Make a list of people and organizations to contact about your move. Don't forget magazine subscriptions, state agencies and professional contacts.
  •   Contact your lawyer, accountant and family doctors to obtain important records. Ask for a referral in your new location.

Four Weeks Out

  • Get a change of address kit from the post office and complete the cards with the effective date of the move. Remember to complete separate cards for each family member who receives mail. Arrange transportation for pets, and take them to the veterinarian for any required boosters and/or health certificates. Ask your vet for suggestions on helping your pet handle the move and adjust to the new home.
  • Contact the school in your new area to determine the necessary steps for registration. Notify your children's school of the upcoming move and make arrangements to obtain school records. Most schools require an original birth certificate, health and immunization records, and proof of residence.
  • Contact all utility companies, both in your present locations and your new location. Don't forget water delivery, cellular phone service, Internet service providers, security monitoring services, lawn service, etc. Make sure that telephone and utilities remain connected through closing at your old home, and are already connected on date of ownership at your new home.
  • Discuss your move with your insurance companies (homeowner's or rental and auto). If possible, transfer coverage to your new location or make arrangements to terminate coverage and establish new policies. Ask for a referral if possible.
  • Request medical insurance coverage information for your new area and select doctors, if necessary.

Three Weeks Out

  • Make travel arrangement and reservations for your moving trip. Keep in mind that the packing and loading process is difficult to estimate precisely. Don't commit your family to a tight time schedule. You may want to plan to stay locally the first night and leave town the following morning.
  • Collect important personal records, such as wills, insurance policies, saving bonds, passports and birth certificates. Plan to move these items with you instead of the moving truck.
  • Arrange to close bank accounts and establish new accounts in your new location. Don't forget to empty safe deposit boxes and handle any automatic deductions that are taken directly from your accounts each month.
  • Transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new town.
  • Drain the oil and gasoline from your lawnmower and other power tools.
  • Back up all computer files on disk and make arrangements to transport all disk with you. Many moving companies require you to disconnect and disassemble your computer prior to loading.

One Week Out

  • Have your car(s) serviced.
  • Transfer insurance on household goods and personal possessions so that they are cover on route to your new location and at your new home.
  • Make sure that you have access to sufficient cash for the trip and for the moving company. Most moving companies will not unload your possessions without cash or a certified check.
  • Handle any loose ends, such as picking up dry cleaning, returning library books or rented videotapes, retrieving items from consignment shops, etc.

Two to Three Days Out

  • Defrost refrigerators and freezers. Be sure to block doors so they are not a safety hazard to children or pets.
  • Prepare any boxes that you personally want to pack, and pack any items that you wish to transport yourself. Establish one location of any items you will be taking with you, so that they will not be loaded into the moving truck in error.
  • Cancel newspaper delivery.
  • Retrieve all spare keys from neighbors, friends and services such as the exterminator or cleaning services.

Moving Day

  • Make sure someone trustworthy is home to supervise the packing (if your movers are packing for you) and loading. Read the bill of lading and inventory carefully before you sign them. Keep these and all related papers in a safe place with you as you travel to your new home. If any claims need to be filed, these papers will be crucial.
  • Leave keys with your Realtor. Remember to leave garage door openers and security codes as well, if applicable.


Moving with your Pet
If you and your pet are getting ready to move, these recommendations may help keep your companion safe on moving day.

Plan ahead
Advance planning will make your move less stressful on you and your pet. Pack over a period of time and try to maintain your pet's normal routine.

Invest in a high-quality, sturdy pet carrier
If you have a dog or cat that you want to keep safely confined on moving day, get a carrier ahead of time and gradually accustom your pet to spending time in it.

Purchase a new ID tag for your pet
As soon as you know your new address, get a pet ID tag that includes your new address and telephone number(s). Or obtain some other visible form of pet identification such as a collar with ID information imprinted on it or an identification band that attaches to a collar but does not dangle like a traditional tag. An up-to-date ID tag is a lost pet's ticket home.

Keep your pet secure
On moving day, place your pet in a safe, quiet place, such as the bathroom, so that he or she cannot escape. Place a large sign on the door that says, DO NOT ENTER, and be sure that friends and professional movers are aware that the room is off limits.

Make your car trip safe
Some pets aren't comfortable traveling in cars so you may want to accustom them to a restraining harness and it's best to transport them in a well-ventilated carrier. Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle during warm weather. In any season, a pet in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to being harmed or stolen. Never put an animal in the open bed of a pickup truck or the storage area of a moving van.

Talk to your veterinarian
If your pet doesn't enjoy car rides, consult your vet about things to do that might lessen the stress of traveling. This is also a good time to get your pet updated vaccinations, medications or health certificates.

Find hotels or temporary housing in advance
Listings of pet-friendly hotels are available. You can find information online, and you can contact your local Humane Society, they can point you to some useful resources.

Plan ahead for air travel
Check with your veterinarian, the US Department of Agriculture and the airlines if your pet will be flying. You will need to take precautions to ensure your pet's safety. Check out

Prepare your new home
Take all familiar and necessary things your pet will need to be comfortable in their new surrounding: water dishes, food, litter box, bed, toys, medication etc. Also, have a recent photo of your pet in case he or she becomes lost.