Moving can be a stressful and arduous undertaking for us humans, never mind our animal companions. As people prepare for a move, they also need to think about their pets.
Moving can be a stressful and arduous undertaking for us humans, never mind our animal companions. As people prepare for a move, they are generally concerned with things like packing boxes, hiring movers, and changing addresses. But another very important thing to consider is the well-being of your family pet. Moving from one home to another can be traumatic for a pet if not handled properly, and there are several important steps to take in order to make the transition an easy one.
Before the Move
- Plan transport – Ensure that your pet becomes acclimated to the actual act of transportation during the move. If your dog or cat is not used to being in a carrier or a car, plan accordingly and expose it to several short trips before moving day. Place its toys or blankets in the carrier or car with it so that it is surrounded by familiar objects.
- Pack a bag – Gather enough food and water for the duration of the trip, and some extra in case of emergency. Bring bowls for feeding, toys, treats, and blankets, and a disposable litterbox for cats if needed. Also, it’s handy to have a pet first aid kit on hand.
- Print paperwork – Print copies of your pet’s license and vaccination certificates, and ensure that your pet’s identification tags are up to date and show the correct contact information for your new address.
During the Move
- Provide space – On the day of the move, ensure that your pet is in a safe, secure place away from the heavy moving traffic. It’s best to leave it with a friend or sitter, but if you must have it at home during the time of the move, place it in a quiet room with its bedding. Ensure that others know not to leave the door open, as the animals may spook easily during this stressful time, and open doors can provide a quick exit for scared pets.
- Monitor behavior – Check in on your pet often to see how it’s doing and to provide it with food and water. It is normal for your pet to be stressed by the move, and any comfort you can provide it with will go a long way.
- Ensure safety – Once in transit, make sure that your pet is safely confined and restrained, and make frequent stops to allow it to go to the bathroom and provide it with food and water.
After the Move
- Explore together – Walk around your new home with your pet to monitor its reaction to and comfort within its new surroundings, and be sure to keep it restrained when near any open doors or open fencing, as it may be tempted to run away if frightened.
- Set up camp – Pick out a spot for your pet’s stationary belongings, such as the food and water bowls and bed, and try not to move them from that spot. Signs of stability are very important at this stage, and this will provide it with comfort if its belongings are in the same place consistently.