Moving With Pets
Anyone who has moved before knows how chaotic the process can get for everyone involved. Adults, kids, and even your pets need to be considered! Although your pets do not exactly know what is happening, they are intuitive and are able to sense stress and disruption to their routine. Seeing their humans suddenly putting everything in their once familiar environment in boxes and taking it away is enough to cause your furry friends a lot of anxiety.
Of course, we want to keep our pets happy and healthy – we love them and seeing them anxious or stressed during a move can be upsetting. Animals also tend to “act out” when they are scared, which could become a big problem during the chaos of a move! Luckily, there are ways to reduce this stress from happening. We have collected tips from industry experts to help us keep our pets feeling as secure and relaxed as possible during a move.
THE PACKING PROCESS
Daily Routine – try to keep your pet’s daily routine(s) as close to normal as you can. Keep feeding times, walks, baths, and bedtimes as close to what they are used to as possible. Animals are creatures of habit and like routine!
Pet’s Belongings – When packing, your pet’s belongings should be one of the last things you pack. If possible, leave your pet’s belongings untouched right up until the moving day. This reduces the chances of accidents, if you moved your cat’s litterbox from its usual spot, for example.
Empty Boxes – leave a few empty boxes open on the floor around the house for your pet to investigate. Allow your pet to familiarize themselves with these new, foreign objects so they won’t be afraid of them come moving day.
Move Pets First – Remove your pets from the house BEFORE you start the rest of the moving process. This will both minimize the animal’s stress, and keep them from being underfoot when you or the movers are trying to work. If you cannot remove them entirely, confine them to one room and keep the door closed and locked until you are ready to remove them. Give them their food, water, bed, and toys to minimize stress.
Tag Pets – Make sure your pets have their collars/identification tags on, as there is always the chance a pet could escape in the confusion of the move. Ensure their tags are up to date with a current name and phone number in case they get lost.
Travelling – make sure your animals are safely secured in whatever vehicle they are riding in. Cats should be placed in a carrier on the floor of the back seat. Dogs should either ride in the back seat strapped into a dog seat belt or placed in the back seat and separated from the front by a dog grate. If you have other, less common animals, research beforehand what the safest way to transport them is.
Never Leave In A Car – every year, thousands of pets succumb to heatstroke due to being left in a hot car. It may seem like it does not need to be said, but in the chaos and business of a move, it may feel easiest to just leave our furry friends in the back seat while we deal with other things. Always bring your animals inside.
Consistency Is Key – as soon as possible, set up your pet’s possessions where you intend to keep them. Place their bed, food and water dishes, toys, and crate (if you use one) where you intend for them to stay. Your pet will appreciate the consistency.
THEIR NEW HOME
Safety First – before releasing your pet in the house or yard, look around for any safety hazards. Ensure the fence is maintained with no holes for your pet to escape, clear the yard of any garbage or dangerous object laying around, take a quick look for any plants or mushrooms that may be dangerous for your pet to ingest, and make sure there is shade your pet can reach in case they get too warm.
Transition Rooms – cats can be especially nervous in new surroundings. Choose a room with a door to use as a transition room, and place an extra litter box, food and water dish, and bed inside with your cat. After a few days, once you are more unpacked and the furniture has been placed, open the door and allow your cat to venture out. Let them take a few more days to get used to their new home before moving their stuff out of the room – they should be given ample time to get comfortable in the new house.