Moving can be stressful for adults, children, and even your pets! In fact, most veterinarians will tell pet owners that moving for your dog or cat can be downright traumatic. Most pets do not understand what is going on, but they do sense that something is changing with the moving of items and items being put in boxes. All the changes can cause stress and anxiety in your furry friend.
How, then, can homeowners help prepare their pet for the weeks before the move, the day of the move, and then transitioning to the new home? We have years of experience with moving people and their beloved pets. Here are some of our suggestions to make the transition as smooth as possible.
While this suggestion has more to do with you than your dog or cat, it is a step that you will not want to forget. Several weeks in advance of the big move, get your pet’s paperwork in order. This is especially true if you are crossing state lines or moving your pet by airplane. Your vet can give you all of the records and documents you will need to get you there and started with a new vet once you are settled. See if your vet can recommend a new vet in the area where you are moving as well as fill any medications so you will be set for the first few weeks once you move in. In addition check that your dog is microchipped and has ID tags with your new address on them. That way, if Fido escapes during the move, he can easily be traced back to you.
Ok, so your dog or cat isn’t going to understand if you explain that everything is going to be alright in your new home, but they will understand your mood and level of anxiety. That means stay calm yourself and be upbeat about the move as much as possible.
Get your pet ready by doing a few things so they are ready on the day on the move. The ASPCA recommends having your pet carrier out and ready so they can get used to it in the days and weeks leading up to the move. Some vets even suggest throwing an old t-shirt in the carrier with your pet so they have your scent traveling with them.
Pack up a separate travel bag with items that your pet will need once moving into your new home. This should include: favorite pet food, play items, a water bowl & food dish and, of course, the bed for your pet. We also suggest some treats that may calm your pet.
If your pet must travel via airplane, talk to the airlines about the condition of the pet area and whether you will be allowed to walk him/her during the layovers or at least bring water. Many airlines will work with pet owners to allow for a quick walk and scratch before the plane takes off.
The Day of the Move
Before the chaos (in the eyes of your pet) begins on the day of the move, make sure your pet has been walked, fed, and taken care of. We suggest that you remove your pet from all the activity. This means even if you have a fish, guinea pig, or cat, get them to a quiet place while you handle the movers.
Once you arrive at your new home, you will probably be anxious to get settled yourself. But remember, your pet needs some comforting and the time to adjust to the new location. We suggest letting your pet investigate (sniff) the new home from top to bottom. You may want to accompany your pet on this sniff-fest in case any hazards are left from the previous owners. This is a good time to begin to pet-proof your new place.
Create a comfortable and recognizable space for your pet. If your dog had a sleep area and a play area, recreate them in your new home with familiar objects. In addition, stick to their previous feeding and walking schedules. Those first few walks allow for lots of getting accustomed to the new sounds, smells, and sights.
Are you moving with your pet? Call Mastodon Moving for more tips and suggestions. We are pet lovers too and want to see your pet have a healthy and happy transition to their new home. Contact Mastodon Moving at 774-421-9004 today.