Preparing Your Pet for a Move

If you’ve ever moved a household, you know how stressful a move can be for you, but often it can be even more stressful for your pet, whose whole world is your home.  Here are some simple steps to consider to help settle in your furry friends more comfortably.

  1.  A visit to the vet:  According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, take your pet to the veterinarian for a complete check up and to update any shots before a move. If you’re moving out of state or are traveling on a plane to your new destination, updated documents are required by airlines and some states. If your pet does not already have an identifying microchip, now may be a good time to have one implanted, in case they become lost in the chaos of a move. 
  2. Bring in the moving boxes:  Cats especially dislike change, so it’s a good idea to start bringing in some moving boxes so your pet can acclimate to the new scent, according to the ASPCA.  As more boxes are added, the strangeness of the activity can help mitigate the stress on your pet.
  3. Keep your pet in a safe space on moving day:  If you haven’t arranged for off-site boarding for the big day, then it’s best to find a quiet room for your pet, with a crate or pet carrier to secure them. If they are not used to an enclosed space, introduce it to them beforehand so you don’t have a battle on your hands  Make this safe room the last to be packed up, then move your pet to another quiet place as that room is cleared.. 
  4. Keep familiar toys and food accessible:  Since your pets’ favorite toys have a familiar scent on them, keep them accessible for your pet and make sure the packers know this so they’re not packed away. Have enough food available at your new location, especially if it’s a vet-prescribed food.  Check in advance the availability of your pet’s food in your new location so there are no surprises.
  5. Spend time with your pet:  It’s a busy time, but it’s important for your pet’s health to know that you’re still around for them, so try and play, take a walk, or just cuddle with your pet before, during and after the move.  They’ll need that human connection during this time.
  6. Establish a safe space in your new home:  Just as in the home you just left, you’ll want to have a quiet and safe area to keep your pet during the move in process.  Keep those same toys and food accessible. Resist the urge to buy a new pet bed at first, so the familiar scents of your old home are still present.
  7. Keep the litter box nearby:  Even though you likely won’t keep it in the “safe room” where your cat is being confined, you can gradually move it to its ultimate location as your cat acclimates to its new surroundings.
  8. Explore your surroundings:  Take the time to stroll around the entire house and yard with your pet, so they become familiar with their new surroundings.  
  9. Be patient: If you have an anxious pet, expect some hiding to take place initially, and given them time to adjust.

Reducing the stress for your pet (and you!) during your move may take a little planning, but will pay off down the road as your pet acclimates to its new surroundings.  While we can’t move your pet, The Move Makers can take the stress out of your move. Let us know how we can help!