If you think moving is stressful for you, let’s talk about your pets for a minute. Cats and dogs are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and moving to a new home is a huge event for them. Here are some tips on how to make it easier on your furry kids.
While you are preparing for your move:
- Set out their carriers several days before you leave, and leave them open so they can explore them and perhaps sit in them.
- Bring the packing boxes in a few days early as well, so they have time to acclimate to the sight of them. (The Dollar Self Storage in your area has high quality packing and moving supplies available for purchase.)
- Try to keep their routines as normal as possible – feed and walk them at the normal times.
- Your pets respond to your mood – if you can manage to stay calm and upbeat during this stressful time, it will help your pets to stay calmer as well.
- Keep track of your cats – the more stressed they are, the more they are likely to look for hiding places, including holes at the back of your closet you didn’t know existed, the tiny space between the dryer and the wall — and packing boxes.
- Keep your dogs leashed – even the most well-behaved dog can run away when faced with the stress of moving to unfamiliar surroundings.
- On the final day, you might want to confine them to one room. Cats especially might try to run away, so best to keep them safely confined. You could also consider having a friend or neighbor take care of them while the truck is being loaded, or board them for the day at your vet.
When you are ready to hit the road:
Most people choose to take their pets in the car with them for the move. (If you are flying or moving out of the country, there are many more things to consider that we won’t cover here. You might want to take a look at this article.)
Here are some tips for travelling to your new home by car with your pets:
- Pack separate bags for your pets with food, water, blankets and toys.
- Get current Health Certificates for your pets from your vet, especially if you are moving to another state.
- Make sure your pets have collars and ID Tags with your phone number (if your pet has been microchipped, all the better). Even if they don’t normally wear an ID tag, they should have one for the trip.
- Bring appropriate pet carriers. Your dog may be familiar with riding in the car, but you should still have a carrier in case of emergency (and for when you arrive at your new home.) A cat will be much happier in a carrier, preferably with something light draped over it so he doesn’t have to see the world going by, at least for the first couple of hours.
- If you have to overnight somewhere, look for pet friendly motels and try not to leave them alone.
Once you get to new home:
Introduce them to their new home slowly, one room at a time. Keep them indoors or on a leash at all times until they are familiar with their new surroundings. Spend as much time with them as you can, and give them lots of love and positive reinforcement.
With a little planning, you and your pets can make a safe and happy transition to your new home!