Moving can be an overwhelming event for us humans and our pets. So much change, so much to do, and sometimes – so little time. Elite Moving wants to take the guesswork out of making a move with your furry loved ones. Keep reading for our top tips for a stress-free move with your pets.
Preparing for the Move
Getting ready to move is always a process. There are many things to consider, such as packing your belongings, figuring out the timeline, scheduling your movers, and securing all loose ends. When moving with a pet, you will want to do a few things to ensure both you and your fluffy (or feathered) family member are set.
- Know the rules. Whether you’re moving to a new city, county, state, or even country, there are usually rules and regulations for what kind of breeds are permitted, leash laws in public areas, and more. You don’t want your pet to have to stay in quarantine if you’ve made a big move because you are not prepared with the rules you needed to follow.
- The box dilemma. You will want to decide whether or not you want the boxes out ahead of time or on the day of. There is a strong argument for both sides. Some may say the boxes out ahead of time give your pet time to smell and explore the boxes, familiarizing them with these new smells. Others protest that it is very stressful for the pet and will put them on high alert with boxes lying around. You will have to make the best call for you and your pet (and your situation).
- Get licensed. If you’re able to, license your pet in your new location. This takes some of the hassle out of handling it once you’ve arrived. A more minor task like this can get lost in the cracks if you’re not careful.
- Know who to call. Gather a list of important numbers to have on hand at your new location. This would include resources such as animal control, non-emergency police line, and vet clinics.
- Keep it current. It is helpful to have a recent photo of your pet on your phone and printed out, just in case of emergency.
- Keep it consistent. If possible, avoid any drastic changes to your daily rhythm. Animals love routine, and when it’s thrown off, it can be challenging for them to adapt. If you’re planning on road-tripping it with your pet, perhaps try out some shorter trips ahead of time to help them get comfortable with being in the car.
- Accommodations. If you are traveling for more than a day to get to your new home, don’t forget to make pet-friendly accommodations at hotels or even try camping!
- Be up-to-date. Get in touch with your vet before you leave town. Ask them about stress reduction tips and recommendations specific to your pet. Request a copy of their medical files and ask if they can help you stock up on your pet’s prescriptions. Don’t forget current vaccination records! Some counties require a rabies certificate.
- Properly fit. Your pet’s ID tags and collar may become loose with daily wear and play. You will want to update your pet’s tags with your new address and ensure the collar fits properly. Don’t forget to update their microchip information, too!
- Pack a “go bag.” Having a bag packed with all the essentials will make traveling and setting up your new location that much easier especially because you will want to hold off on packing these items until the very last minute. Things to include: water and food bowls, toys, blanket, medical supplies, and any other favorite items.
- Take a walk. If you’re not moving too far from home, take your pet for a walk around the new area. This will allow them to get familiar with the new scents of the area so it won’t be so foreign once you move in.
The Big Day
You will want to consider where and when you are moving. The distance of the move plays a significant role as this will determine what some of your options are.
If you can, find a pet boarding location, family, or friend near your new home where you can allow your pet to spend the next day or two while you get things situated at home. The chaos of moving boxes and no real sense of order can feel very overwhelming to your pet.
If boarding isn’t an option, you have another option using your new space. Keep your pet safe by confining them to one room and labeling “do not enter.” Keep the animal’s kennel, toys, bedding, and food/water in there so they can feel a sense of comfort. Make sure the temperature is comfortable, check the room ahead of time for hazards, and of course, check-in periodically to offer safety and love.
Tire Them Out
See if you can find a dog walker who can tire out your pup while you get things done.
This allows your pet to have some fun and explore, while you work on getting things safely moved into your new space.
If you are driving with your pet on this journey, have a plan for when you need to exit your vehicle at rest stops and gas stations. You want to make sure they are not darting out of the car. It is best to have them attached to a leash before you open the door with a firm grip on the leash. If the trip is especially long, find dog parks along the way to let them “stretch their legs” out a bit.
Pet FBI, one of the first web-based lost and found pet databases, along with Lost Dogs of America, offer some excellent insight for how to effectively secure your new home for the arrival of your pet.
Here are a few tips to help them (and you) adjust to your new home safely.
- For at least a few days, place pet or baby gates in front of all exits, such as the front door and the garage, to avoid darting out.
- Assess safety in your new home’s front and back yard. Ensure there are no holes in or under the fence, loose boards, or broken gate latches. You want to ensure there is no opportunity for your pet to find a way to escape from the yard.
- Secure all screens, windows, vents, and balconies.
- Close toilet bowls.
- Find out about any previous or future pest control services such as traps, poisons, etc.
- Familiarize yourself with where your local animal shelters, animal control facilities, vet clinics, police departments, and town offices are in proximity to you. Knowing these locations will be especially useful if your pet goes missing.
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