Moving can be a difficult adjustment, not only for humans but our furry friends as well. As humans, we have a better idea of what is going on during a move. Animals, on the other hand, are more confused. When you start packing up, a pet may be thinking that you’re going to leave forever. Then, once you arrive at your new home it will certainly take time for your pet to adjust to a new environment. To most pet owners, their pet is not just any animal, but a part of the family. As a critical part of the family, you want to make sure the moving process goes as well for your pet as it does for you. Here are seven tips to moving with a pet:
1. Make sure your new home is pet-friendly
When beginning your search for a new home, one of the first things you should consider is any rules regarding pets. While most suburban neighborhoods will allow you to keep multiple pets, apartments and condos are more likely to have restrictions. Even if a possible apartment says it is pet-friendly, be sure to ask about your specific pet. Some residential complexes may restrict the size of allowable pets. The last thing you want to happen is to move in and realize your favorite critter can’t stay with you!
2. Start Preparing Early
Does your pet get anxiety when they know you are about to leave the house? Imagine the stress that all the packing and moving boxes will create for your beloved pet. A good way to help alleviate this stress is to start putting a few boxes out early. Maybe even a month before you move, start putting some packed boxes out near your pet. That way, once the big day arrives it won’t seem overwhelming.
3. Have Documentation Ready
If you’re moving to another city, state, or perhaps country, you may need to have documentation regarding your pet on hand. Keep records regarding past shots and veterinary appointments. On the off chance that someone questions the health or safety of your animal, you need to be prepared. Plus, it will help your new veterinarian become familiar with your pet. In a worst-case scenario, having your pets records could help them be located if they run away.
4. Prepare a Travel Plan
Generally, most moves that occur in the United States are within a localized area. In that case, moving your pet may be as easy as taking them to the vet or groomers. However, if you’re planning a long distance move, animal transportation can be more complicated. For long drives, you’ll have to make sure your pet is contained and won’t move around the car. Also, be sure to make rest stops as needed. On most commercial airlines, animals over a certain size must travel in the cargo section of the plane. While this may sound like a traumatizing experience for your dog or cat, there’s no reason to worry. Most airlines have experience with transporting animals and will make sure they have ample room away from the luggage on board. If you want to feel more comfortable about your pets’ air travel, you can use Air Animal, which helps make arrangements for pets traveling by air.
5. Keep Them Calm on Moving Day
Whether you’re moving by yourself or with a family, moving day can be hectic. Boxes and suitcases everywhere, movers walking in and out of the house; it can really be a chaotic scene. When you’re leaving your old residence, keep your pet in one room where they are comfortable with the door closed. That way, you won’t have to worry about them getting in the way of the movers. Once you arrive at your new home, find a good space to keep your pet until all the furniture and boxes have been unloaded. Just be sure to check in on your pet throughout the day, keep them fed, and take them for a walk when you have a chance.
6. Pet Proof your new Home
Your previous home was probably full of all sorts of creature comforts to keep your pet happy. In your old home, your pet knew exactly where to find their favorite toys, cushions, and treats. Moving to a new house or apartment will force your pet to adjust to a new space. Hopefully, before your pet arrives, you can set up any gates or scratching posts your pet may need. While your new home may be vastly different, try your best to put things in similar locations. Keeping the toys by the back door or the litter box in the basement will help your pet feel comfortable in their new home.
7. Show Them Around
Your dog or cat will need to become accustomed to the area surrounding their new home. If you have a dog, consider taking them for a walk immediately after the move. The walk will help your dog to become familiar with its surroundings and maybe even give them an idea of how to get home if they wander off. Of course, you hope that your pet will never wander off, but you have to be prepared for the worst. Additionally, showing your pet around the neighborhood will help them to become more comfortable with their surroundings.
Even without pets, moving can be stressful. Making sure your furry friends are comfortable and accounted for can make the process much more worrisome. However, if you simply follow the steps above, your pet will be just as happy in their new home as the old one!