Moving with Pets? 21 Stress-Busting Tips
Moving into your new home is hectic enough. But for your pet, it’s overwhelming. Learn how you can make your pet’s transition to your new home easy, safe, and stress-free.
1. Bring your boxes, tape, and other packing materials into your home long before you intend to use them. That gives your pet a chance to get used to their presence.
2. Take your pet to the vet for a checkup. Your vet may also suggest special medications or feeding recommendations for the trip.
3. Snap a photo of your pet. If your pet runs away and gets lost when you move, a recent photo can help others identify and return your pet safely.
4. Before you move, take a walk around your new neighborhood. Be on the lookout for aggressive or loose dogs. Pay attention to any hazards that could be unsafe for your pet.
5. Update your pet’s ID tag and microchip with your cell phone number and an emergency number. Consider including your new address, too.
6. Make sure your pet is wearing its ID tag on moving day.
7. Don’t let your pet ride unsecured inside a vehicle or truck bed. To minimize the chance of injury (or distracted driving), use a travel crate or kennel.
8. Help your pet get acclimated to a travel kennel several weeks beforehand. Start by placing treats inside, and leave the door open. Eventually, put the food dish inside the open kennel. Finally, get your pet used to eating inside with the door closed.
9. Once your pet is acclimated to being in a travel kennel, bring it along on short car trips to get your pet used to driving.
10. On the day the movers arrive, have your pet stay at a familiar friend’s house. If that isn’t possible, keep your pet in a closed room to avoid getting spooked and running away.
11. Despite the seemingly endless disruptions of moving day, keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible. Bring along everyday food and favorite treats.
12. Limit feeding during the trip. Keep water available for your pet during the drive, but do not feed while driving.
13. While traveling for your move, give your pets plenty of breaks.
14. If you plan to stay at a hotel overnight, call ahead to make sure your lodgings are pet-friendly.
15. If any air travel is involved, check with the airline about requirements such as vaccinations or a health certificate.
16. Pet-proof your new home by installing window screens, hiding electrical cords, and removing any toxic pest-control traps.
17. Choose one room of your new home to serve as a “pet headquarters” where you’ll keep the water and food bowls, treats and favorite toys.
18. For cats, place the litter box in your pet headquarters room for now. Later, you can gradually move it to its final location.
19. Keep your dog securely leashed at your new home until it is completely comfortable.
20. Cats can easily become overwhelmed by a new environment. At your new home, keep them in one closed room at first, and then gradually introduce new areas.
21. Remember that it takes pets time to become comfortable in a new environment. Be patient, give your pet extra attention, and introduce new elements gradually. Before long, your pet will feel right at home.