Moving is a tough time for everyone, especially the family pet. Between the stressful emotions of the family members, the packing, the crate time, and the unfamiliar new place, a pet can easily be traumatized and act out during moving time. Here are a few tips to keep your move as stress-free as possible for your family pet.
Get comfortable with the crate. Animals will have to travel in their crate, whether it’s by car or air. Most animals only see their crate during stressful times, and can find its appearance really traumatic. So bring the crate out early and start building positive experiences with it. Let them eat their meals in there and give treats and toys to help them get comfortable inside. When moving day comes, it’ll be easier to get them inside and avoid a chase through the house.
Visit the vet. If you are staying in the same city and area, chances are you will be staying with the same vet. You’ll still need to contact them to update records and any microchip information on record for your pet. If you are going to a new city, take your pet for one last visit and get hard copies of all of their records. Also, check to see if your vet has any recommendations in your new area.
No spring cleaning! Before you move, it’s very common to want to get rid of as much as possible. Do not let that cleaning and purging include pet items. Your pet will rely on their familiar items to help them feel comfortable in a new place. Keep their toys, beds, and food dishes the same to give them a sense of comfort and home.
Have a Plan B. Even if you plan ahead of time, get your pet prepared, and do everything to make things easier, there is still a chance that your pet will have a total meltdown. So have a backup plan in place. You can get a sedative from your vet to use on moving day, just be sure to have all dosage information. You can also schedule a play date at a friend’s house to give them a break in a familiar place. You can also send them to a doggie daycare or boarding hotel for a couple of days and bring them back when the new place is a bit more settled.
Whatever plan you make, be sure to start early. Give your pets plenty of time to get used to the idea of moving. After all, it’s their home and they are moving too!