Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience for your pets. This blog will cover some tips to help you help your pet adjust well before, during, and after the move. Your pets may need some special attention during the move to help remove some of the anxiety they are experiencing. Often times you are so busy during a move, you might miss the clues that they trying to give. These tips will help their transition go smoothly and help you with a list of helpful tips, hints, and reminders.
Before You Move
There are a few things that you should take care of in the weeks leading up to your move. Some of the things can be done well in advance so that you can avoid the task interfering with your last minute packing details.
- See Your Veterinarian. Make an appointment to have your pet’s annual checkup with your vet. If you are moving out of the area and will need a new veterinarian, it is best to have the doctor that is familiar with your pets do a full examination. Also, make sure that they are all up-to-date with their shots. If your pet has a history of anxiety, especially during other moves you have made, ask the veterinarian to prescribe something to help your pet relax and remain calm on moving day. If you are not comfortable with a prescription for this, ask about all natural solutions for keeping your pet calm. If you are not moving out of the area, it is still a good idea to make sure they have a check-up and it is a good time to change your address and telephone details. If you are moving out of the area, ask your veterinarian for referrals for veterinarians in your new location; and this is also a good time to get a copy of the records or have it sent to the new vet directly. This can be done up to 2 months before your move to allow time for other last minute essentials.
- Choose the Right Carrier. During a move, your pets will likely need to be in a travel carrier. Purchase a carrier ahead of time so that they can get used to it. Make sure that the carrier you choose has enough room for them to be comfortable during the move. The carrier should be a comfortable place that they like to be in so that they are not stressed out when they need to be in it for an extended period of travel time during the move. This acclimation process should begin 2 – 4 weeks before you move.
- Packing Your Pets Essentials for the Move. Make sure not to pack away the everyday essentials you will need for your pet. In addition to their leash, food, water, and feeding bowls, you will want to have other objects, toys, beds, blankets, etc. that will make them feel comfortable with their surroundings during the move and upon arrival at your new home.
During the Move
There are two very different sets of tips for moving with pets based on whether you are flying to your new home or driving.
Moving Tips if You Are Flying with Your Pets:
- Place a prominent “Live Animal” sticker on your pet’s crate or carrier.
- Make sure that your pet has a microchip in place and wears a collar that includes your contact information and is updated with your destination information.
- Put a recent photo of your pet on the crate or carrier for identification purposes.
- Try to book a direct flight whenever possible.
- All natural pet calmers are better than tranquilizers to keep your pet calm yet safe.
Moving Tips if You Are Driving with Your Pets:
- Don’t let your dog ride with his or her head hanging out of the car window. Besides the safety considerations, the dirt and debris can cause injury or infection.
- Plan to stop frequently for a walk and a bit of exercise.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car; the temperature can get too hot very quickly.
- Keep a small litter box in the car in case of accidents.
Settling In Your New Home
Once you have arrived home, it is time for your pet to learn that this is his or her new home too. Here are tips for helping your pet get acclimated to your new home:
- Leave the crate or carrier out and open in case they want to retreat to it for safety. They might feel overwhelmed and their crate can be a familiar space for them where they feel comfortable and safe.
- Place their familiar toys around the house.
- Put out food and water.
- If you have a cat, set up the litter box.
- Give out treats.
- Let your pet explore their new home.
Infographic Image Credit: Pinterest
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