Whether you’re moving down the street, or across the country, moving with your pet (or multiple pets) can be stressful. Below are some guidelines to make the process smoother for your furry friends.
BEFORE THE MOVE
- Make sure your pets have collars and ID tags that list your current cell phone number. It’s also recommended that your pet is microchipped. Order a new tag if your address is listed.
- If you’re moving a long distance, ask your vet for feeding recommendations and possibly medication for the ride. Make sure you plan enough time for potty breaks and exercise.
- If you will need to stay in a hotel on the way, make sure they’re pet-friendly. See https://www.petswelcome.com/ or http://www.pet-friendly-hotels.net/.
- Pack a box with all the essentials your pets need when you arrive at your new home and have it easily accessible.
- Get your pet familiar with its carrier. Leave it out to be smelled and encourage them to go in and out of it. Take them for rides in the car in their carrier, if that’s how you plan to transport them on moving day.
THE DAY OF THE MOVE
- All the activity associated with moving can be very upsetting to your pets. To help them feel more secure, and to prevent accidental escape, keep them in a room away from the chaos. If your pet enjoys being in a crate, that will help as well.
- If possible, complete moving into the new house before introducing your pets to their new home. The less chaotic the environment, the easier they will adjust.
- When you’re ready to drive to your new home, transport small animals in a pet carrier. Keep larger dogs on a leash at all times.
- Confine dogs or cats to a section of the house where they won’t be able to get outside, and they can acclimate to their new surroundings. Give them some familiar items in this space that have the scent of your previous home (favorite blankets, toys, etc.) Set up their food and water (and a litter box for cats) in this area.
AFTER THE MOVE
- Keep cats confined to one room for the first few days. Gradually introduce them to the rest of the house. If you have an outdoor cat, it’s wise to keep them indoors for two to three weeks until they firmly establish themselves in their new residence. The first few times they go outside, go with them and have some playtime. Gradually increase playtime until you feel comfortable letting them be outside unsupervised.
- Even though moving is a very busy time, make sure to carve out time with your pets. They need your reassurance and praise.