There are two challenges facing pet owners when it comes to moving to a new home. The first is the actual moving. The second is helping your pet to adjust to the new surroundings. (Cats take longer to adjust to new surroundings. As with anything else, they are stubborn and move at their own pace.)
Here are some guidelines.
Keep them out of the way
On the day of the move, keep the pet in a crate or closed room. Doors opening and closing, strangers in the house, boxes everywhere - all of this can cause anxiety. Plus, people with boxes don't need a skittish pet running around when they've got full arms.
Using a crate
When transporting, it's best to use a crate. Your pet should always ride up front with you; never in the cargo area of a moving van. If you're flying, make sure it adheres to airline guidelines. Your pet should be able to 1) stand up; 2) turn around; and 3) lay down naturally.
Packing their bag
Everyone has a travel bag, right? You’ve got CDs, magazines, books. Kids have DVDs, video games, gadgets and books. Packing a travel bag for your pets will help make the ride easier. The kit should include:
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Chew toys
- Waste bags
- Litter box
- Kitty litter
Stretching their legs
Stop often to let your dog walk around. However, it's a good idea to not let your cat out.
If your pet gets really anxious during long travel periods, you may want to ask your vet about sedation. If you're flying, however, tranquilizers and altitude are not a good mix for your pet.
Pet-proof your new home
Look for things left behind by previous occupants such as cleaning products and sharp objects. In the back yard, look for poisonous plants and mushrooms and eradicate them.
Exploring the new home
Help your dog get familiar with new surroundings in the house, yard and neighborhood. Take long walks on a leash to help him explore the new territory.
Cats take longer to adjust to their new homes. Put them in a closed room in their crate with the door open. Place the litter box, food and water dishes, toys and scratching post in the room with them. Even though this may not be "their" room, it will help your cat to be more comfortable.
Make sure their nametag has your updated information. If they happen to get out to explore new surroundings, it will help whoever finds them get in touch with you sooner. Update licenses as soon as possible.
Search for new resources including groomers, sitters, dog parks, veterinarians and boarding facilities.
Moving is difficult for everybody in the family. Pets are no exception. By making sure that your pet has everything they need during the move and for the first few days of living in their new home, the transition for your pet will be smoother and quicker.