Moving is listed as one of the most stressful things a person can go through. A few things can make moving even more stressful, namely moving with kids and moving with pets. Today we will focus on helping you with tips for moving with pets.
Our pets are members of the family but like small children, they likely won’t understand the process of moving. You will want to do all you can to help them make this transition stress-free. After all, they alleviate our stress every day. The least we can do is help them through a move that they didn’t ask for.
Whether you are moving with pets down the street or moving across the country with pets you will want to try to keep their routine the same. Most pets are pretty savvy and will notice something is going on when the house starts to get boxed up. Maintaining their schedule will help alleviate their stress.
Plan and Prepare
Moving cross country with pets comes with its own set of challenges. You can alleviate some of this stress by planning a smart move. You will want to contact your vet to make sure your pet is healthy and their vaccinations are up to date. Your vet might even have a recommendation for a good vet in your new area.
If you are moving across the country with pets by airplane you will want to check with each airline to find out their specific requirements. Your vet may need to provide you with documentation before you board a plane with your pet so don’t skip this step.
If you are moving with pets by driving you will want to be sure you have a way to secure your pet during travel. A pet crate is a good choice but you will want to be sure not to place the crate in a seat with an airbag. Another option is to disable the airbag temporarily, just don’t forget to enable it again once your move is complete. A large crate may have to go in the back of the vehicle.
Never transport a pet in the trunk of a vehicle or in the back of a moving truck. You will want your pet to be somewhere comfortable where you can control temperature and check on the well-being of your pet. If your pet hasn’t spent much time in a vehicle before, take your pet for little mini-trips before moving day. Make these positive experiences and your pet will associate car trips with fun family time.
Whether your trip is short or you are moving across the country with pets you will want to bring items for the comfort of your pet. Things like your pet’s favorite brand of kibble, treats, toys, as well as plenty of cold water will come in handy. Make sure the pet’s leash is stored with the items reserved for moving day. Some other handy items to get together to prepare for moving with pets:
- Paper towel
- Collapsable or anti-tip bowls
- Supplements and medication (including an anti-nauseant)
- Wet wipes
- First aid kit
- Current photo of your pet (in case you get separated)
- Garbage bags
If you are moving cross country with pets you will want to make sure there are pet-friendly hotels along the way. Get this done ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling on the road to find somewhere to stay after a long tiresome day of travel.
The best way to move pets across the country or even across the city is to hire a moving company.
When you hire professional movers, look for one with a high reputation such as Torex Moving. Then you can relax and let them handle the packing, move, and unpacking. This will allow you to put your focus on moving your pets. Why not call them and get a free quote? Consider it one of the ways to calculate the true cost of moving. This cost isn’t just a monetary one but takes into account the well-being of your family including moving with pets.
In addition to preparing a box for the transport of your pets, you will want a box dedicated to your pet’s first two weeks in your new house. This way you can focus on settling into your new home and not be worrying if you have supplies for your pet. In this box/boxes keep a supply of pet food, kitty litter if necessary, and medicine. If you haven’t already found a vet in your new area, it might be a good idea to locate one online and keep the phone number in this box in case of a pet emergency. Add some items with familiar smells like used clothes or blankets and favorite toys.
Once your big moving day has arrived, you will be thankful you prepared well for moving with pets. If your move is local, consider having family or friends care for your pet for the day or perhaps your pet can go to a pet daycare or spa for the day. You might be surprised how happy your friends are to help take care of your pet while you move. Frankly, they are probably just happy you hired a moving company and aren’t asking them to move that ridiculously heavy sofa bed.
Before you start loading your moving truck, or before the moving company arrives, make sure your pet is safe. Keep them in their kennel or in an empty room. Make sure to put a note on the door that the door must remain closed so you don’t experience an unexpected jailbreak on moving day. It’s a good idea to inform the movers of the location of your pet so they can avoid that area, saving your pet the stress of seeing new people in the house.
If you are keeping your pet in a crate or empty room for a few hours or if you are moving with pets across the country, be sure to spend some time outdoors with them. Get up early and take your pet for a long walk before the movers arrive or before you start your long car trip. Your dog will appreciate the exercise and it will be good for you to get your mind off the move for a bit.
How to Move Pets Across the Country
Remember that when moving cross country with pets they will need breaks just like you do. Put their leash on and get out of the car so everyone can stretch their legs and go to the washroom if necessary. You might not want to give your pets big meals while you are making a big cross country move but little meals will keep them happy and distracted. Remember moving cross country with pets does not have to be a race. Take your time, enjoy your travels and make moving with pets fun.
Consider getting a tag when moving cross country with pets. Make sure this tag shows your current cell phone number in case something happens and you get separated from your pet. Pet theft is shockingly on the rise so don’t leave your pet unattended if possible.
Settling Your Pet into Your New Home
Keep your pet on a leash when you first arrive at your new home. Talk to your pet to reassure them. They likely won’t understand you but hearing your calm voice will help them to relax. When you take walks in your new neighborhood keep them short yet frequent for the first week or so. Your pet is going to need some time to get used to a new environment with new smells and new neighbors (both human and fur varieties).
Pull out your pet’s ‘new home’ box so they have their favorite food, toys, and some items that smell like their old home. Keep these around for the first two weeks while your pet transitions to its new home. Try to stay home for the first few days, if this isn’t possible consider getting a pet babysitter or send your pet to a daycare or pet spa for the day.
Remember like small children, pets love routine. So try to maintain your old routine when you are moving with pets. If they eat at certain times of the day or you always walk them first thing in the morning try to keep to that schedule. If your new job doesn’t allow for this, try sticking to the routine for as long as possible.
Consider asking another family member or hiring a pet babysitter to come entertain or walk your pet at least at first. This can be weaned off eventually and you can get your pet on a new schedule that works for both of you.
Once you choose a new vet make sure to update the contact information for your pet’s tattoo, microchip, or collar tag. Your pet will be disoriented at first and may try to get away from you. Having updated information will ensure the safe return of your pet if this does happen.
Moving can be overwhelming and even more so when moving with pets. There can be a tendency to just want to work nonstop to get everything organized again. That’s understandable but remember to take some time to give attention to your pets. They need your love more than ever to adjust to their new home. If you spend quality time loving and playing with your pets, even if just in short bursts through the day, it will help. It won’t just help your pet, it will help you to relax and deal with the move in a calm organized manner.
Moving with pets across the country or across the city can be a bit traumatizing for you and for your pets. Follow these tips for moving with pets and remember to be patient. After a few weeks in your new home, your pet will have adjusted and you can continue to enjoy life with your beloved pets in your new digs.