Moving to a new home is an exciting yet challenging endeavor, especially when you have furry or feathered family members. Whether you’re relocating to a new city or simply switching to a different neighborhood, moving with pets requires careful planning and consideration.
In this guide, we’ll explore 15 tips and strategies to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your beloved pets.
Table of Contents
1. Prepare in Advance
The key to a successful move with pets is proper planning. Start preparing well in advance to minimize stress for both you and your pets. Make a checklist that includes tasks like updating pet identification tags with your new contact information, arranging a pet-friendly place to stay during the move, and finding a reputable veterinarian in your new neighborhood.
2. Visit the Vet
Before you move, schedule a visit to your veterinarian. Ensure that your pets are up to date on vaccinations and have a clean bill of health for the journey ahead. Discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the move with your vet and request a copy of your pets’ medical records to bring with you.
3. Pet-Proof Your New Home
Just as you would childproof a new home for a toddler, pet-proofing is also necessary for a successful move. Before your pets arrive, identify potential hazards and secure them. This could include covering electrical outlets, removing toxic plants, or securing cabinets that store cleaning supplies and chemicals.
4. Maintain Routine
Animals thrive on routine, and a move can disrupt their daily lives. Try to maintain as much of your usual schedule as possible throughout the moving process. Feed your pets at the same time and stick to their exercise routines to help them feel secure.
5. Acclimate to Travel
If your pets aren’t used to car rides or being in a carrier, start acclimating them to these experiences well in advance of the move. Take short trips with them in the car or use a carrier to get them used to the sensation. Positive reinforcement, like treats and praise, can help ease feelings of anxiety.
6. Packing and Loading
When you start packing your belongings, involve your pets as little as possible. Their familiar surroundings will be changing, and they may become anxious or stressed by the sight of their home in disarray. On moving day, keep your pets in a quiet, safe space away from the hustle and bustle. If possible, ask a friend or family member to look after them.
7. Travel Safely
When traveling with pets, always prioritize their safety. Ensure they are secured in appropriate carriers or harnesses in the vehicle. Make frequent stops for bathroom breaks and exercise, and never leave them unattended in a hot car. Bring essentials like food, water, and their favorite toys to keep them comfortable during the journey.
8. Pet-Friendly Accommodations
If you’re staying in a hotel or temporary accommodation during the move, make sure it’s pet-friendly. Research hotels or rentals in advance and inform them of your pet’s presence when making reservations. Be sure to bring familiar items from home, like your pet’s bed or toys, to help them settle in.
9. Update Information
Update your pet’s identification information as soon as possible when you arrive in your new home. This may include their tags and microchip, if applicable. Try to reach out to your new neighbors as well and provide your contact information in case your pet gets lost in the new area.
10. Create a Safe Space
In your new home, designate a quiet, secure space for your pets. This can be a separate room with their bed, toys, and food and water bowls. This helps them adjust gradually to their new surroundings and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed.
11. Explore Gradually
Allow your pets to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. You may want to start with one room and gradually introduce them to the rest of the house. Spend quality time with them in each area to help them feel comfortable.
12. Stick to Routine
Once you’re settled into your new home, try to re-establish a routine as quickly as possible. Familiar feeding and exercise schedules, along with regular playtime and affection, will help your pets adjust and feel secure in their new environment.
13. Be Patient
Moving can be as stressful for pets as it is for their human companions. Be patient and understanding if they exhibit signs of stress, like hiding or acting out. Give them time to adapt and offer plenty of reassurance and affection.
14. Seek Professional Help When Needed
If your pets are having an especially difficult time adjusting to the new environment, don’t hesitate to seek help from a vet or professional pet behaviorist or trainer. They can provide guidance and strategies to make the transition smoother.
15. Monitor Health
Keep a close eye on your pets’ health during and after the move. The stress of moving can affect their well-being, so watch for any signs of illness or behavioral changes and consult your new veterinarian if necessary.
Remember that your pets rely on you for their well-being and comfort, so make their transition as smooth as possible by planning ahead, maintaining routine, and offering plenty of love and patience. Take steps to ensure that your pets are happy and healthy in their new home, making your move a positive experience for all family members, furry and otherwise.