If you think moving is stressful for your family, just imagine of how hard it is on your pets.
You have time to prepare yourself for the exciting chaos that is a move, but moving day for a pet is simply a sudden upheaval. Want to make the transition easy for the whole family? Follow these five tips for protecting your furry friends during the moving process.
Tip #1 Plan Ahead
Depending on where you’re moving, landlords or homeowners’ associations may have specific pet rules. Your pet may need specific vaccinations, medications or certificates depending on their policies. Ask your landlord, new neighbors, or local animal control facility what they allow and require.
If you’re moving across town, it’s likely the rules and regulations will be the same, but if you’re making a big move, you’ll need to check local laws in your new neighborhood. Find out if you need a new license, what the leash laws are, and whether or not there are breed bans in place.
Tip #2 Update Your Veterinarian + Information
A big move will require you to find a new vet. (Don’t wait until your dog gets injured or sick!) Your current vet may be able to make recommendations for colleagues he or she knows in your new area. It is recommended to set up an appointment as soon as you move in order to get established and to obtain a copy of all of your pet’s medical records to give to your new vet before you leave home.
Before you make move, have new identification tags with your new address and phone number made for your pet’s collar. If your pet has an identification microchip, remember to update your contact information with the electronic database. If you do not have a microchip in your pet, discuss the pros and cons with your pet
Tip #3 Prepare Your Pet
Cats, especially, are not big fans of change. You can help your cats (and skittish dogs) adjust to the moving process by bringing in moving boxes early, and by packing over a long period of time so that your pet thinks everything is normal. This will keep their stress level down.
During the actual moving day (where boxes and furniture are being moved), pets should be removed from the noise. Find a friend who wouldn’t mind pet-sitting or find a place like a dog or cat care center. If you must keep them with you, put them somewhere that’s locked away, like a quiet room with their food, water, bowls, and any other important supplies (that favorite squeaky toy!).
Unless your move is long distance or international, your pet will likely be traveling by car with you nearby. By driving them yourself, you can care for them and give them a sense of familiarity as they move. To prepare your pet for this trip, drive for short distances with your pet to get them used to the car ride.
If you are moving your pet by air, be sure to check rules and regulations far ahead of moving day (and to keep your pet’s special documentation at hand!).
Tip #4 Pet-Proof Your New Home
Once you get into your new place, you need to pet-proof immediately. Check your fence for places they may escape, and install gates and additional fencing as needed. Keep potentially harmful items packed away so your pet can’t get into them. After harm has been tucked away, take some time to create a familiar space for your pet using beds, crates, and toys they are acquainted with.
It will take some time for your pets to learn where they can and cannot be in and around your new house. After moving day, don’t let pets roam through the neighborhood until they are acclimated. Instead, take them out on a leash to explore their new territory and show them how to get home.
Whether you’re going across town or across the country, your moving day checklist will include packing up your four-legged family members. Using these tips, you can make moving into your new home as stress-free as possible for everyone in your family.
If you’re preparing your home for the market, consult with one of our agents for ways you can make the home-selling process easier for you and your wallet.