Advice for Moving With Animals
If you think moving day is stressful for you because you have animals, think of how stressful it is for them being moved out of surroundings that are familiar to them into a strange place. On top of that, they are forced to deal with boxes and other moved items, and often watch people they don’t know walking in and out of their house, carrying items that they deem as their property. If you have pets, you need to make the extra effort to make sure the entire process goes smoothly for them as well.
Minimize the Mess
Most pets do not like change, especially cats, as they can get very stressed. If you have ever moved your furniture around, you have likely watched your pet pace for a while. Now, think of how disrupted they must feel when there are a ton of boxes everywhere. While you do want to pack as early as possible, you want to minimize the chaos. If you have a spare room, garage or basement, put as many boxes as you can in here so your pets don’t have to look at them.
Do you have somewhere you can take your pets for the day so they do not have to be there while the movers are in and out? This is especially true for dogs. If you can drop them off at a friend’s house or even a doggy daycare for the day, this is ideal.
Introduce the House
If you are moving somewhere nearby, it is recommended to take dogs over there ahead of time. Let them sniff around the home and around the yard so when they come back, it will be a familiar place.
If you don’t have a pet sitter, then the morning that you move, it is not a bad idea to take your pets over to the new place with toys, water and food. If they have been there before, it won’t be such a strange place. If you run around with them in the yard or take them for a quick walk, they will likely sleep while you leave for a couple hours to meet the movers.
Moving Long Distance
If you have to travel with your pets for a long distance, things change a little. If you are going on a plane or leaving the country, you will need their vet records and they will need to be up to date on vaccinations. Will you be stopping at a hotel? Make sure it is pet-friendly.
When traveling in the car, take plenty of breaks and be sure your dogs are leashed before opening the doors. When dogs escape on the road, they seldom find their way back because they are surrounded by a strange environment. You will need to pack food, water, bowls, treats, toys, waste bags and a blanket. You may also want to have your vet prescribe a sedative for your cat, if he does not enjoy car rides, which most don’t.
Always make sure that tags have current contact information, and if you pet is micro chipped, have this updated to the new address prior to leaving, or at least make sure the phone number is correct. Pets are prone to running away from a new home because they are confused by the chaos and trying to find a calm place. It is vital that you do everything that you can to make the move as tranquil as you can for them.