How to Move with Pets
Do you have an upcoming move and are looking for tips to make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your fur baby? Moving can be a stressful task for everyone, including your furry (or not-so-furry) friends. Below are a few tips for moving with pets that will make moving day as easy and stress-free as possible for your entire family. We have the inside scoop to make it a meowgical time for all!
Preparing for the move—
- Many pets aren’t big fans of change. That’s why making any new introductions such as moving boxes and supplies is best done slowly. Begin bringing in a few new boxes each day, while reserving some of their favorite spaces for last minute packing so they can still enjoy them.
- Try to keep some sense of routine. Pets thrive off of consistency. Keep doing at least a few things a day that your pet knows they can count on. If you always walk the dog after you get home from work or cuddle the kitty and play before bed, keep doing that! It will not only help them to feel reassured you’re still investing in them, but, it may even help YOU keep your sanity!
- Research new vets in the area. Before actually moving to your new location, interview a handful of vets (if you’re able to). It’s always reassuring going into a new neighborhood knowing help is nearby that you can trust if anything were to go wrong!
- Make sure that your pets have the right amount of space to thrive and play in your new home. Whether it be a house or an apartment, be sure to allow for space to build a fun play space vertically for your feline friends. Dog lovers should look for lots of green space for their puppy to run and play whether it be a large yard or dog park, evaluate your options with your fur baby in mind! Also be on the lookout for other dogs who live in the neighborhood and see how friendly they are (or aren’t!)
- If you will be traveling on a long trip (in the car or by plane) with your pet, start to acclimate them beforehand. Pets don’t always have a positive association with their crate, that’s why it’s important to introduce the crate early on in the moving process. Have it sitting out in the living area, open with some food inside. Slowly, as they begin to get used to it, try closing the door while they eat. Walk around the house with them in the crate or go for short drives. This can make all the difference on move day, if they’re comfortable with the situation because its happened before. Consider it a “rehearsal” for the big day. If you find that your pet is prone to car sickness, make sure you visit your veterinarian a few weeks prior to your move to get any prescribed medications and feeding recommendations.
- Make sure your pets are fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and current cell-phone number. Microchipping is also recommended and will serve as a backup if your pet loses their collar.
- For long-distance moves, be sure to identify pet-friendly hotels along your route and reserve rooms ahead of time. For a list of pet-friendly hotels, see www.petswelcome.com or www.pet-friendly-hotels.net.
- Cat parents: Be sure to keep your kitty in its crate away from all of the chaos of the move, or in a room complete with their favorite things. Bathrooms typically work best for this because it’s not usually a high traffic area on move day and you can easily keep their food and litter readily available for them. Be sure to put a sign on the door letting the movers know so the cat can’t easily escape! Dog parents: We advise having one of your dog-loving friends or family members watch your dog for the day to avoid more anxiety on both you and your pet!
- One of the best things you can do is travel WITH your pet!
- Traveling in the car? Be sure they have collars with ID information and that they’re properly vaccinated. Keep a leash on them while they are in their crate so you can grab them more easily when you let them out for a potty break. On road trips, disposable litter boxes work great! Also, check with hotels ahead of time to make sure they accept pets.
- Traveling by plane? Be sure to have their medical records with you, and research the airport ahead of time to map out the closest pet relief area. Travel potty pads are also helpful to have on hand!
- Make sure your pets are secured in a crate or closed room of your house or apartment until you are ready to load them into your car. The activities and sounds of moving day will be frightening to your pets, so it is important that they be kept in a secure area to reduce their stress as much as possible and to prevent an accidental escape.
- Always transport cats, small dogs and other small animals in a secure, well-ventilated pet carrier. Keep larger dogs leashed and under control at all times. The stress of a move can cause even the most obedient dog to run away in unfamiliar surroundings. NEVER transport any pet in an open truck bed, trunk of a car or storage area of a moving van.
- For long-distance moves, make sure you give your pet potty breaks and fresh water whenever you stop for a break yourself. Make sure pets are leashed at all times during potty breaks.
After the move—
- New spaces can be anxiety provoking for pets.
- To make the transition as easy as possible for cats, begin by keeping them contained to one room at a time in the new space. Choose a room to keep all of the things they’re familiar with like their toys, food, litter box, etc. and have them stay in there for the first few days until they start to feel more comfortable.
Helpful tip: When moving the litter box to a new more convenient location, try moving it one foot forward each day instead of just completely moving it at once from its original place.
- For dogs, the process is not as complicated. Simply place them on a leash initially and give them a grand tour of the inside and outside of their new home, allowing them to thoroughly sniff everything. Continue routines your dog is used to and try to stay home with them for the first few days while they adjust.
We hope that these were some PAWerful tips to assist you and your furry friend on your next moving adventure!