Moving to a new home is often exciting but can also be stressful for you – and it’s easy to forget how our pets can be affected too. Pets can get nervous and anxious during the moving period. This guide can help you to ensure that bringing your furry, feathered friend along for the ride is less stressful for everyone.
Scout various neighborhoods to find a new home in an area conducive to pets. If you have a dog, make sure you’ll have a safe place to walk him. Look for doggy parks, walking trails and reserves. Remember, packing can cause distress for your pets, too. Do everything gradually in the weeks leading up to the move. Give them a safe place to escape to during the final packing phase.
Make sure the living space is big enough and appropriate for your pet. If you have a cat, they’ll need space to climb and roam. If you have a younger/active dog, space to run and play is important. If you have an older dog, try to avoid moving to a place with a lot of stairs.
No matter how you’re traveling, allow your pet plenty of time to adjust to the crate before actual travel.
Update your pet’s ID tags and microchip with the relevant authority. Though you plan to keep your pet inside, the moving process can get hectic and pets can escape or become lost.
If you’re moving over a long distance, find a new vet at your destination beforehand. Consider visiting a few vet clinics in your new area so you can choose the one that works best for you and your pets if and when they’re ready for the new vet.
Long Distance Moves may also require hotel stays with your pets. Call ahead to find hotels along your planned route which are pet-friendly. Be prepared as some hotels require an additional deposit/bond for pets.
Place your pet in their crate with some items they love and keep them away from the hustle and bustle of the move itself. If they are easily stressed, ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on him or her until you are ready for him to join you in the car or moving truck.
If you’re traveling with cats – they can usually go 6-8 hours without a litter box. Long distance travel may require you to have disposable litter boxes for use along the way. If they are easily stressed, talk to your vet about medications that can help them to relax for the journey.
Remove your pets from the vehicle and tend to any food/bathroom needs…don’t forget to give them a big hug!
Place them in a single room with some familiar items and toys (and water of course) to keep them entertained while you move.
Inspect the home for potential issues before letting your animal out: Open windows or gates, curtain cords, that cats love so much!
Don’t let your animal out to explore the new surroundings until all boxes are unpacked and everything is in place. This helps them to feel familiarity with their surroundings.
Try to make the new house familiar for your pet. Put objects in locations similar to where they were in your old home.
Don’t make any sudden changes to schedule or routine in terms of feeding/playtime, etc. as this will increase anxiety.