Moving with pets can be a logistical nightmare that harms your pets. Make sure you do it safely, efficiently, and thoughtfully by reading our essential guide.
Moving to a new home? Prepare for stress. According to a survey conducted by British energy company E.ON, 6 out of 10 people voted moving as their most stressful life event.
Now, add a pet to the chaos of packing boxes and moving trucks. Did your stress level just go up?
Moving may be stressful but you can get it right for your pets!
Read our 7 tips for moving with pets before you bring out the boxes and packing tape.
- Don’t Move Their Cheese
Keep a few things in mind about consistency for Patches, especially if Patches is a cat. We weren’t really thinking about mice here, but if you have one, be considerate of them too.
Cats thrive on consistency. If you don’t believe it, move their litter box to a different area. When preparing for a move, keep your cat’s routine consistent as far as feeding and snuggle times.
Because of the strong attachments they form with their environment, moving to a new home creates high-stress levels for cats. Watch for stress-related behavioral changes so that you can help your cat cope.
If their human remains calm, most dogs go right along with the program. That said, they also like consistency in their routine.
Gradually move their beds, feeding dishes and toys to one room. Help them get comfortable being in the room alone with the door closed. This is their safe room on moving day.
A certain amount of stress is inevitable but these small things can minimize a lot of stress for Patches and Scruffy.
- Do Pets Prefer Driving or Flying?
You might assume you’ll pack the car, pop the pet carrier in the backseat and off you go. That doesn’t always work.
For a variety of reasons, you and Scruffy might not travel to the new house in the same vehicle. Maybe you hate driving across the country, and you’ve decided to ship your car.
Or, you’ve decided to embark on an overseas living adventure. Moving overseas presents its own set of challenges.
Pet’s don’t have a preference when it comes to driving or flying. But they do prefer traveling with you so that they can stick their wet nose in your ear while you drive.
If working out the logistics of moving with pets makes you cringe, consider talking with the professionals.
Whether you’re staying in-country or moving overseas, pet relocation services know how to get pets from point A to point B. For overseas travelers, pet relocation specialists know the rules and ensure your pet doesn’t have “immigration” issues at the border.
Sites like www.atw.net give you an idea of how relocation services work and so you can decide if it’s a good option for your pet.
- Visit with Your Vet
Before moving day make sure you schedule an appointment with the vet.
This is the time for updating vaccines and making sure your pet is healthy.
If your pet takes regular medications ask for a new prescription. It may take a few weeks to find a new vet and you don’t want to risk running out of medication.
Ask the vet for pointers on making the move more tolerable for your dog or cat. Your vet may also share a few tricks that can help Patches adapt more easily once you’re in your new place.
Once the visit is complete, you’ll walk out with a health certificate and peace of mind knowing you’re moving with a healthy pet.
- Avoid an Identity Crisis
One of the biggest fears associated with moving with pets is that they’ll get lost. We’ve all heard the stories about pets who get away from their owners while traveling. Some of those stories have happy endings, but many don’t end well.
Help your pet avoid identity problems by making sure they wear an id tag.
Even if they despise collars, buy one for the move and make sure they keep it on. Update the information on your pet’s i.d. tag. Include your new address and a contact phone number.
If you’ve not yet microchipped your pet, consider doing it now. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to ensure someone can identify your pet if it gets lost.
If your pet is microchipped, make sure you contact the company that stores the microchip information. Update them with your new contact information.
Also, take a few photos of your pet and keep them with you. If you do lose your pet, you can quickly create a lost pet flier.
- Pack an Overnight Bag
You don’t leave home without your essentials, right? Your pet shouldn’t move without theirs.
Before you start packing boxes, put together things you’re pet needs for the next few days. Put them in a tote or bag and put in a place where it won’t get mixed up with boxes slated for the moving truck.
Your pet’s overnight bag should include:
- Food and treats
- Pet records
- Leash and extra collar
Earlier we suggested keeping a collar and tags on your pet at all times. In case they slip out of their collar, you’ll have extras.
A well-stocked overnight bag or box keeps your pet’s food and other belongings accessible to you. This means less stress for you and consistency in food and other routines for them.
- Rules of the Road
It’s moving day and chaos is the rule of the house. It doesn’t need to be for Rover and Kitty.
On the day of the move, place your cat in its carrier and confine it to an empty room. Put Rover in the backyard and lock the gate.
Wait until you’ve moved everything out of the house, before placing pets in the car.
If your pet is one of those accustomed to traveling in a purse or soft-sided carrier, that won’t work for the road. The rule for cats is confinement in a hard-sided carrier.
Allow room on the sides of the carrier for ventilation. Cover the carrier with a sheet or lightweight blanket. Leave the covering in place for at least the first few hours of the trip.
Dogs do better when they’re restrained while in the car. Use a safety harness or a safety gate.
When you don’t restrain a dog, you run the risk of it jumping into the front seat with you. You also risk the dog escaping from the vehicle at a rest stop.
Remember the current health certificate we mentioned earlier? Keep it handy while traveling. Many states and most countries require it and authorities have the right to ask for it.
- Put Out the Welcome Mat
We get it. You’re anxious to get settled in your new home. If you can take time and prepare the home for your pet it helps them with a less stressful transition.
Before you move anything in, do a safety and security check.
Make sure the fence and gate are secure with no gaps or other escape routes. Look around for things your pet shouldn’t chew, like old bones or sharp objects.
Depending on your pet’s personality, you might want to confine them in one room at first with their bed, food, and water.
Most animals acclimate quickly but watch for any unusual behaviors. Kitty might just need a few extra play sessions to help her adjust.
Moving with Pets?
Yes, moving with pets can cause stress for both them and their humans.
Following our tips should help make everyone feel better about this major life change.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article! If you enjoy connecting with other pet owners, we’d love you to join our community here. Happy Moving Day!