Are you preparing for a household move with pets in tow? Be sure to prepare and help your pets through the moving process to minimize their stress as much as possible. Use these suggestions to make the move easier on them.
Pets key in quickly on those things that predict a change. A house full of moving boxes and the sound of packing tape signals a life-altering event and can be stressful for pets. You can take steps to make the transition easier for your four-legged friend.
Accustom Pet to Boxes
Bring a few boxes into your old home a few days before you need to begin packing. Let your pet explore them in their own time and their way. If cats are still skittish around the boxes, spray one with catnip to make the smell more inviting; if dogs are nervous, place treats in one of the boxes. Allow pets to be with you when you pack rather than isolating them.
Familiarize With Carrier
If your pet hasn’t traveled much in the car, you’ll want to familiarize them with their pet seat, crate, or carrier. Begin by putting treats, food, or a favorite toy in the carrier. After the pet has begun exploring the carrier, try shutting the door and carrying it around the house. Finally, put the pet into the carrier, crate, or seat and go for short drives.
Visit the Vet
Before you move, obtain copies of your records if you’ll be changing vets. Make sure the microchip and ID tags are up-to-date in case the pet gets lost during the move. After the move, schedule a get-acquainted visit if you’ll have a new vet.
Keep routines as regular as possible both as moving day approaches and afterward when you are in your new home. Meals, playtime, and walks should be at the usual time.
Confine On Moving Day
While movers are there, confine your pet to the room that you’ll load last or keep him with a neighbor or his favorite sitter. Pets can become nervous with all the chaos and may bolt. Also, feed them lightly on moving day.
Acclimate to New Home
If your new neighborhood is near your old one, walk your dog there before the move so that he becomes familiar with it. If not, be sure to walk with him on a leash once you arrive, patiently allowing him to explore the sounds, sights, and smells of his new surroundings. If he will have a fenced-in yard for the first time, supervise him for the first few days until he feels comfortable and carefully check to be sure he can’t escape through a hole.
Some cats adjust slowly to new surroundings. Follow your cat’s lead and consider confining her to one room as a base camp for the first few days, putting her litter box there, and spending a lot of time interacting with her there. As time passes, her curiosity will allow her to feel comfortable exploring more of her new home.
Be sure to pet-proof the new house, removing dangling cords and keeping doors and windows shut.
Create Familiar Space
At your new home, arrange toys, scratching posts, beds, litter boxes, and other familiar objects similar to those set up in the old house.
Don’t expect perfection right away. Some pets can be overwhelmed at first. Re-enforce positive behavior. Be patient, and your pet will adjust.
Moving with Pets
Your pets sense your stress and will pick up on that during the moving process. To alleviate the stress of your move, contact us for a free quote.