Moving is a significant event in any family and if your family includes a pet, it is important to consider how the move will affect them. Moving is not only tough on us, the changing environment and disrupted routine can be challenging for pets to adjust to as well.
There are steps you can take to make the transition smoother for both you and your furry friends. This article will cover what you can do before, during, and after you move to help keep your pets calm and happy.
Moving with Pets: Before the Move
Pets are an important part of your family, so chances are you have already considered their requirements before choosing your new home. If not, here are some things to take into account when choosing a new pet-friendly home:
- Stairs: Puppies, older dogs, or non-house-trained pets need to be let outside often. Homes with fewer stairs and ample yard space may be your best bet.
- Surrounding neighbourhood: Walk around the neighbourhood to get a feel for the space. Does it feel safe and spacious? Are there any nearby dog parks?
- Room to play: For indoor cats, homes with higher ceilings are great. Cats love vertical areas to climb like cat trees and shelving. If you have a large dog, consider opting for a yard with more grass area than interlock stone.
Packing & Preparation
Pets are sensitive to changes in their family and surrounding environment, and packing up your home may cause your pet distress. To avoid this, you can keep your pet in a separate and familiar room while you pack the rest of your home, and pack that room last.
If you will be moving your pet in a crate, ensure they are comfortable and familiar with it. You can start feeding them in their crate a few weeks before the move to ease the transition, as well as taking them on drives in the crate. Ensure you give them treats and positive reinforcement when they are calm in the crate and behave positively.
In preparation for moving day, make sure your pet food and supplies are easily accessible rather than buried in boxes. If you are moving far from your previous veterinarian, ensure you have your pet’s prescription medications and records with you. In addition, your vet may also be able to recommend a new veterinarian in your area.
Moving with Pets: Moving Day
On moving day, maintain your pet’s usual routine as much as possible. Take your pet for their walk and feed them at their usual time to keep them relaxed.
While moving out of your current home, it is best to either keep your pet at a friend’s home, daycare, or in a separate closed-off area so your pet does not become stressed at the movers and boxes. Whenever possible, it is best to unpack your boxes and furniture into your new home before you bring your pet in.
The best course of action is to choose one room to keep them in initially. Arrange their favourite bed, toys, water bowls, food, and litter box there, so the familiar smells can comfort them and help them adjust. Once they are comfortable in that room, you can slowly introduce them to other rooms in your home. It is best to do this one at a time, keeping some doors shut.
Moving with Pets: After the Move
Once you are settled in your new home, do not forget to update your pet’s tags and microchip with your new address and phone number. Keep your pet supervised while outside until they have had a chance to become familiar with their new surroundings. When you are away from home consider leaving music on for your pet to comfort them.
Moving is a significant transition in both yours and your pets’ life. However, following these steps will support your pets in adjusting to their new surroundings. With some thoughtful preparation, you can make your move a smooth transition for every member of the family, so you can start enjoying your new home.