Moving is one of the most exciting—and stressful—things you ever have to do. Moving with pets makes things even more nerve-wracking. But, if you plan in advance, you can ease the transition for both you and your pets. Take some of the stress out of moving day and follow our tips for the best way to move with pets.
Prepare Your Pets Before the Move
The key to a smooth move is to make sure you and your four-legged friends are ready for the big change. Here are a few things you can do in advance to make things easier on moving day.
Take Care of Vet Business: Before you hit the road, make sure Fido or Mittens is ready for their new home. Even if you’re just moving across town, environmental changes can have an impact on your pet. Consult with your vet and make sure your pet is in tip-top shape for the upcoming relocation. If your move takes you out of state, get a recommendation for a new vet in your new hometown.
- Make Sure No One Gets Lost: One of the biggest fears about moving with pets is losing track of them in your new neighborhood. Get all licenses and tags updated with a current phone number and email address. You may also want to consider getting your pet fitted with a microchip to ensure that no matter where they wander off, someone will always be able to reunite you.
- Prepare Them For the Ride: Whether it’s a ride across town or a trek across the country, you want your pet to feel safe and comfortable as you relocate to your new home. If possible, prepare a cozy, secure carrier to keep them from harm. If your pet is prone to motion sickness, consult your vet for the best way to ease that distress. And, for longer road trips, be sure to plan plenty of stops where they can get out, stretch, eat, and do their business.
Care For Your Pets on Moving Day
Boxes, furniture scraping across the floor, and strangers coming and going are just the sorts of things that put pets on edge. Set them up for success with these calming measures.
- Keep Them Away From the Action: Shield them from the bulk of the action by setting them up in a familiar place that’s secluded from all the movement. It can be a remote room or the backyard—anywhere that gives them some space from the chaos.
- Don’t be Afraid to Crate: For animals that are crate-trained, that is a place where they usually feel safe. If there’s no other way to keep them out of harm’s way, consider setting your pet up in a quiet spot with a favorite toy or blankie, and let them settle into the security of their crate.
- Give Them Some Breaks: No matter what solution you use to protect your pet and shield them from stress on moving day, don’t neglect to give them a break from time to time. Check in on your pet regularly, and let them out for a few minutes to go potty and to check out what’s going on. If you can spare a few minutes, take time for a belly rub or a few rounds of fetch before getting back to work—you’ll both feel better.
Help Your Pet Feel at Home
Once you arrive at your new house, you want to make sure your pet feels right at home. Chances are they’ll be disoriented and nervous at first, so it’s up to you to set the tone.
- Find a Safe Place: Your pet is going to be excited and curious about your new place. Help temper their enthusiasm by finding a safe spot to let them start exploring. You might start in the backyard or a designated room that will be somewhat isolated from the action of unpacking. As the day progresses, give them more free reign to discover their new environment and start getting to know its layout and smells.
- Include Familiar Favorites: One of the best ways to put your pet at ease is to set them up with some of their favorite things like their bed or a beloved toy. Find a place for their food and water and make sure they know where to go when hunger or thirst strikes. If you have a cat, scope out where the litter box is going to live and orient them to the new location. If you can spare a body, let someone who your animal trusts hang out with them for a while so they don’t have to figure things out on their own.
Moving with pets is a challenge, but there’s no reason it can’t be a success. If you include your pet’s needs in your overall moving plan, it will save both of you unnecessary stress and worry.