Moving can be a stressful endeavor. There is so much to do, and often not a lot of time to do it. It is easy to forget that moving can be just as stressful, if not more so, for your pets.
Whether you are moving across country or across town, here are 10 tips to make moving as stress-free as possible for you and your pets:
- Vet Records– If you are moving out of state or far enough away from your current veterinarian it is a good idea to get all of your pet’s records before you do. See if your current veterinarian can recommend someone in your new area to begin taking your pets to.
- Microchip– You never know if your pet will get away. The stress of a move can make them act irrationally. Your pet should be fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and a current cell-phone number. Some animals are tricky and able to get out of their collars, so it is a good idea to have your pet microchipped as a back-up.
- Moving Kit– Pack an easily accessible moving kit for your pet. Make sure that there is enough food, toys, grooming tools, and kitty litter if you are moving with a cat to last your pet at least the first week of the move and unpacking. Be sure to pack a small bed or blanket they like to sleep on or with will help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. Don’t wash it beforehand, the familiar scent will be comforting.
- Car Sickness– If you have a pet that is prone to car sickness, make an appointment with your veterinarian a few weeks prior to the move. Ask for a sedative or other medication and feeding recommendations to make things easier on both you and your pet.
- Planned Route- Make sure that you have planned your route ahead of time and have identified pet-friendly hotels on your way should you need them. You can find a list of pet-friendly hotels at petswelcome.com or www.pet-friendly-hotels.net.
- Keep it Quiet– Keep your pet in a closed room of your house or apartment until you are ready to load them into the car. All of the noises and activities of moving day can be frightening to your pet. To help reduce your pet’s stress and to prevent a possible escape, it is important to keep them in a calm, quiet place as much as possible.
- Keep Them Secure– Small dogs, cats, and other small animals should be transported in a well-ventilated pet carrier. Large dogs should be leashed and kept under control. Even the most loyal and obedient pets can run away due to unfamiliar surroundings and stress. Do not allow pets to roam the vehicle. This is dangerous for you and them. Try and sit animals in a quiet and cool part of the vehicle. Pets should NEVER be transported in an open truck bed, the trunk of a car, or in the storage area of a moving van.
- Potty Breaks– Avoid accidents in the car by stopping frequently for potty breaks and fresh water for your pet. Make sure that pets are leashed at all times during potty breaks.
- Keep Them In– If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, keep them strictly inside as they become accustomed to their new surroundings. Keep them in for at least one week. Gradually allow them to spend more and more time outdoors. A good tip to stop a cat straying from your new residence is to put butter on its paws, it will spend ages licking it off and will then get used to its surroundings.
- Make Time for Them– It is a busy time after you move, but don’t forget about your pets. Make the time to play with them and love on them as much as possible. Let them know you still love them, that everything is okay, and that this is home.