There’s no way around it – moving can be really stressful! But when you throw a pet into the mix, it can make the task even more daunting. If you’re getting ready to move, but aren’t sure what to do to make the experience less stressful for you and your pet, read on.
- Tag and microchip
With so many people coming in and out of the house during a move, an otherwise well-adjusted pet may get a little spooked and bolt. Moving day is already stressful enough without having to search the neighborhood for your nervous dog. Be sure you pet is microchipped and wearing a collar that clearly identifies your contact information. Also check that the chip registry has the correct information and update it to your new address.
- Visit the vet
Your vet is a great resource for you during a move. They can recommend behavior modification techniques or even medication to help quiet your pet’s nerves. You may even be able to get a recommendation for a vet by your new home. Ask for your pet’s medical records before you leave so you can give them to the new vet.
- Get your pet comfortable
At minimum, your pet is probably going to have to travel in a car to their new home. If your pet has travel anxiety, give them a few practice trips in the car before the big day. If you’ll be transporting them in a carrier, put the carrier in your home with the door open and a favorite toy inside so they can get used to it.
- Have a moving day plan
Your home will be a flurry of activity on the day of the move, so make arrangements for your pet to be out of the house on that day if possible. Board them at a kennel or ask a friend or family member to keep them for the day. If your pet must stay at home, keep them in a quiet room with the door closed.
- Have pet supplies ready
You’ll want to get your pet settled into your new home as soon as possible, so pack them a bag that contains all the essentials they’ll need, including food, water, a bed and a litter box.
- Prepare for travel
If your move requires a trip on an airline, be sure to make arrangements with the airline beforehand. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin if they can fit under the seat. If not, they may need to travel with checked baggage. If you’re driving to your new house and will need to spend the night in a hotel, find the ones on your route that are pet friendly.
- Know the rules
Familiarize yourself with any pet laws at your new location, including leash laws and license and vaccination requirements.
- Create a sanctuary in your new home
It may take awhile for your pet to get settled into their new home. Create a sanctuary for them in a quiet area of the home that includes their food and water bowls, litter box, beds and toys.
- Introduce them to the neighborhood
If you have a dog, work on establishing a routine as soon as possible. Schedule regular walks in the morning and evening to familiarize them with the neighborhood.
- Save yourself a headache or two
If you are traveling great distances, including to a foreign country, you might consider hiring a pet relocation service. They can guide you through the process and help move your pet from one location to the next, saving you a few headaches and lots of stress along the way.