Moving uproots not only your belongings but you yourself, your members of your family, and your furry friends as well. Stressful as it is to move in general, moving with pets just requires a little bit of planning in order to make sure everything runs smoothly. There’s a lot to think about details-wise when you’re moving but paying close attention to what your pets need and making transferring them easier and smarter is an important part of moving. Here are 5 do’s and don’ts to moving with pets so you can make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Remove pets from the premises as soon as possible
Pets are easily stressed out by their environments becoming drastically changed or drastically changed quickly – both of which are inherent to moving.
Removing your pet or pets from the chaos as soon as possible is ideal. The financial and emotional burden of this are the main parts to consider – you don’t want to be separated from your pet for too long but you also don’t want them to be around when everything is getting packed up and shipped away. Time this right and perhaps ask a friend or family member to care for your pet for the main moving days.
If this isn’t feasible, another option is to keep your pet or pets in an area of your home that you pack up last, as suggested by the ASPCA.
Add them back on the premises last
Similar to removing pets from your home as soon as possible during the moving process, you want to add them back on to the premises last.
Assess your new home and make it as welcoming and accommodating for your pet as possible. Transfer a few of their toys over before they get to their new home. Set up any special areas for them, namely, where they eat or drink water or where the litter box is if you have a cat.
Create a safe outdoor space for your pet, too, if they go outdoors. You want your dog or cat to be able to feel as safe as possible both inside and outside of their new home. Prepping these details ahead of time before they arrive on the scene is ideal.
The objective is to keep your pet’s stress level down as much as possible. Whether a cat or a dog, drastic change is incredibly stressful for pets, and realistically, if their stress levels are down, so are yours! A lot of times, a stressed out pet starts acting up and/or out of character.
Adding a pet to an already settled home will lessen the intense stressor your pet will experience by changing locations and help everyone involved out in the process.
Don’t take away all familiar items and smells
Keeping your pet close to familiar smells and items as much as possible is important. If you are having your pet stay with a family member, friend, or at a kennel, leave with them a used shirt or two of yours as well as some of their favorite toys.
Any amount of familiarity that can surround a pet during the moving process will help the process along in a positive way. Your shirt alone may not ameliorate your pet’s stress, but it certainly helps. The little comfortable, familiar details that you provide to your pets during this time will go a long way and add up.
Check what your location has to offer
Take the time to check what your new location has to offer for your pet. If there are any parks or pet stores nearby, consider purchasing a new toy for your pet after move-in or taking them to a safe park area or enclosure to become familiarized with their new home.
Do this as soon as possible, as the sooner your pet soaks in their new environment and starts to feel comfortable, the better. For instance, if you’re moving to a home in Orlando, you can find plenty of options for dog parks, dog and cat-friendly dining options, and pet stores. In fact, many cities and even suburbs have storefronts that are specifically dedicated to serving your furry friend – do a little research at your new spot for not only your important points of interest but theirs, too.
Consider transportation well
Transporting your pet requires a little bit of planning as many times some pets aren’t allowed to fly based on certain criteria. Finding a crate for your pet that is comfortable, as in, they should be able to comfortably and fairly easily turn around in the crate while they are inside it and it is closed, is also important.
Keep the crate they will be traveling in out in the open in your home for a few days or weeks prior to putting them in the crate for travel. Having your pet become comfortable with the crate as a part of their daily life will help for the moment you actually have to put them in the crate and move them.
A lot of pets start to set up shop in their crates when they are left out, and in this case, this would be a great thing for your pet, as its very likely when it comes time for travel day they will be spending quite some time inside their crate’s walls.
A lot of the important parts about moving with pets is about managing their stress! This ultimately saves you stress as well as moving is stressful enough and a stressed out pet only adds to the chaos. Be smart about how you transition your pet and take them into consideration with the 5 do’s and don’ts above and you’ll be well on your way to managing your pet’s (and your own) transition flawlessly.