If you plan on moving with pets, know that it can be just as stressful for them as it is on you. Take steps to ensure a safe and smooth move, whether it is across the country or down the street.
Try these ten tips for moving with your dog or cat.
- Make Your Pet Identifiable
Always update your pet’s tags prior to moving day and have your pet’s microchip updated if need be. If you are moving out of town, get a copy of your pet’s vet records before you go. Make sure your pet is identifiable before leaving familiar surroundings.
- Set Up a Safe Space
Moving with pets is easier when you keep them happy. Make sure your dog or cat has a safe haven when you arrive at your new home. Before the actual move, go ahead and set up a room that is intended to be a safe place during the chaos and potential hazards of moving day. Stock the space with food, water, bedding, and a few familiar items and toys to make your pet more comfortable.
- Keep an Eye on the Door
Don’t risk your dog or cat slipping out when the door is open on moving day. This is a recipe for disaster. Take steps to ensure your pets can’t sneak out by putting up baby gates or other barricades ahead of time.
- Don’t Leave Them Alone
Assign someone to stay with your pets at the new place while you step out. Don’t leave them in an unfamiliar place alone, or you could face a mess when you return. Your absence in a strange environment can cause them a lot of undue stress and anxiety. Always accompany them outside to relieve themselves until they have adjusted to the new digs.
- Tire Them Out
Tired pets are calmer during stressful situations, like being on the road or in strange surroundings. Distract your dog or cat with a new toy or treat, or take your pet for a long, tiring walk prior to a busy day of moving.
- Be Safe and Board
Is boarding the best option for your pets? Older dogs and cats can have difficulty with change, as well as the activity building up to the actual move. Consider boarding and then bringing the pet home to the new place to acclimate smoothly.
Boarding not an option? Consider hiring a pet sitter to focus on the pets’ well-being on moving day.
- Skip Breakfast
You may want to skip the morning meal on the day of the move if you plan to be on the road with pets for a while. If they don’t travel regularly, they could get carsick. Feed them when you get to your new environment.
- Keep Cats Inside
Give your cats two to four weeks to adjust and acclimate before letting them outside of your new home. The Humane Society of the United States encourages owners to keep cats indoors between dusk and daylight to help protect other species of wildlife, as cats are considered predatory animals.
- Plan Ahead
Plan ahead to make the move smoother and easier for pets. Go ahead and line up a new vet, if necessary, and make sure you have your pet licensed if applicable.
Take the pet to visit the new home prior to the move, and bring some items with the smell of the old home into the new home to make it more familiar before moving in. You can also take a safety walk around the property to double-check the fence for holes or problem spots that could pose hazards.
- Keep Things as Normal as Possible
Experts agree that you should keep your pet on the same schedule during your move, even amid chaos. Cats like predictability, so a change in routine can be unsettling for them. Older dogs also benefit from keeping things on schedule as much as possible during a stressful time.
Are you planning a move? Get more information from our moving professionals at Island Movers.
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