Tips for moving with pets
We moved a couple of months back and had 3 dogs to move along with us. Our 3 dogs are over 260 pounds between the three of them, so as you can imagine it was a lot of work and planning to make sure they stayed safe, didn’t get too stressed out and got well-adjusted to their new home. We had a few tricks up our sleeves and learned a couple new ones along the way and I want to share them with you to make sure your pets stay safe and happy throughout the whole moving process.
Moving as a human is stressful enough, but for animals they don’t have the ability to understand what is going on and that can put a lot of stress on our furry friends. A change in environment can be pretty rough so be sure to keep your animals in mind as you go through the whole process.
Considerations if you are selling
When we moved, we had to sell our house. This meant we had to find a place for our dogs to be when people came to take photos, when buyers came to view our home, when professionals came to do repairs, the inspection, the appraisal and the buyers came to do their final walk through. With three good sized dogs and two full time jobs we decided we would need to remove them from the home for the whole day when we had something scheduled. We luckily had a place to take them, but before you get started in the process of selling think about what you are going to do with your pets. Can they stay home? A friend or relative’s house? Or a doggy day care? If they do need to leave the home start getting them used to the car and the new place as soon as possible.
The new place
Keep your pets in mind as you are picking a new place to live. Is there enough space for them to play inside and/or outside? Is it safe? Is there a fence already in place? What rules and regulations about pets does my new city or HOA have?
When you are getting ready to move think about your pet’s vet. If you are staying in the same town, you most likely will keep the same doctor. But, if you are moving farther away you should talk to your vet and get their medical records or any prescription medications to take with you. Your current vet may even have some good recommendations for a vet in your new city.
Your new address
Don’t forget to have new identification tags made for your pets. You will want to update your address and possible your phone number if that changes too. If your animals are microchipped, you will want to update your information the database.
Animals are typically not big fans of change, especially cats, so it is best to start packing a head of time. Bring in boxes early and leave some familiar items out until the day of. If the boxes and other packing items are around for a while it will not seem like anything is changing too suddenly for your four legged friends. If you are moving with cats, it may help to bring out their carriers a few weeks before the move. You could try carrying them around the house or go for short drives, try creating a positive association with them by providing treats.
I would suggest making an ‘overnight kit’ for your pets. We had a big plastic tub and filled it with their food, toys, grooming tools, leaches, food and water bowls and couple blankets that smelled like home. Keep your pet’s beds or crates handy if that is something they use regularly or if you will need them the day of the move. If you have an indoor cat, you will want to include their litter box and kitty litter too. This will help you know where all of your pet’s supplies are, and help to keep them comfortable the first few days in your new home.
It would be best to remove your animals from the house on moving day. Find a friend or relative that wouldn’t mind pet sitting or find a doggy day care. If you can find a spare moment during the move go and visit your animals, this will help to reassure them that nothing is going on. If you don’t have place to take them on moving day, keep them in a separate room with plenty of food and water and check on them frequently. You want them to be in the quietest room, as far from the action as possible. If you have friends or movers coming to help, be sure to put up a big sign so they don’t open the door and give your pets a chance to run. Try to feed or walk them at their normal times too.
Take your pets in your own car if at all possible, this will give them a sense of familiarity and allow you to take care of them during the trip. Prepare your pets ahead of time with short drives if they are not used to riding in the car. For air travel, be sure to check all rules and regulations and keep their documentation on hand.
Set up as much as you can, even if it is just one room, before you introduce your pets to your home. Confine them to a section or room with lots of familiar objects as they adjust to their new surroundings. Also be careful when you get to your new home; they are not used to the area and will be scared, be sure to keep them on leash or in crates until you get a chance to introduce them to your new neighborhood.
We all love our furry friends and moving is quite hard on them, be sure to give them lots of love and snuggles and you will all feel at home in no time.
Blog by Cara Fust