Moving with Pets
Packing up all of your things and moving into a new home is incredibly exciting, but you may not realize how stressed your pet can feel when you introduce the chaos of moving boxes, packing tape and moving trucks into their lives. We have heard endless stories of cats hiding under beds and dogs misbehaving. You have to remember, they don’t understand what’s going on, so if you are moving with pets, you want to try to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here’s a few of our tips that can reduce stress when moving with your four legged family members.
Update Your Pet’s Tag
While having a pet wear a collar with a tag is a great step, if the info on the tag isn’t up to date, you’re missing the point. Even if your pet has never run away before, a new environment could cause them to get scared and bolt. Be sure to give your pet a tag with their updated home address before you move to limit risk. Likewise, having a microchipped pet is great, but be sure to update the microchip before moving so the information in it will be properly helpful. While moving definitely doesn’t mean that your pet will get lost, it’s still important to be prepared.
If the move means you’ll be changing vets, be sure to get your pet’s medical records. Also, your current vet can be a valuable resource. Ask questions like: Do you have any recommendations for a new vet? I know my pet acts this way when traveling, do you have any suggestions for how to make the move easier?
How Are You Actually Moving Your Pet
Are you driving to your new home? If so, make sure that your pet is comfortable in their crate or carrier. Leave the carrier open a few days before moving day, placing food, treats and toys inside of it. This will help your furry family member to feel more comfortable being in the carrier. On moving day, make sure your pet is in the carrier until you are ready to load into the car. Your pet will be able to sense the stress in the room and will likely be reluctant to enter the carrier once the hustle and bustle begins.
Make sure to reach out to your vet to see about possible anti nausea medications if your pet gets sick. If the car trip will last overnight, you can find pet friendly hotel options.
If you’re leaving on a jet plane, make sure you understand your airline’s protocol surrounding traveling with pets. On most commercial flights cats and small dogs are able to ride in a carrier under the seat in front of you. However, larger dogs must to fly in the cargo area. Check with your airline before your flight to confirm how they want to transport your pet.
Pack Your Pet’s Essentials First
Make sure that you have a small amount of food, bowls, kitty litter/box, and toys, are packed in an easily accessible location. This way you won’t need to dig through your things to find the items that you need to keep your pet comfortable while you move into the new house.
Create Familiar Scents
When you move into your new home it will have that new house smell that will be unfamiliar to your pet. Don’t worry, you can ease them into the environment by providing them with items which smell familiar — set up pet beds, littler boxes, and toys in the home as quickly as possible. Remember, pets use smell like humans use sight. According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, cats have about 200 million receptors in their nostrils, while humans only have 5 million. A recent study found that dogs have a positive mental reaction to familiar smells.
Settling Your Pet In
We know it will be tempting to let your dog or cat immediately explore your new home; however, this unfamiliar new place can be overwhelming to them. Set up as much of your new home as much as possible before bringing your fur baby to the new house. This can be as simple as moving some of their items into a single room. While you (and hopefully an army of movers!) bring your stuff into the house, confine your pet to that space. This will give them time to slowly adjust to the new environment. Slowly, allow your pet to explore one room at a time. According to Cynthia Gallagher, it’s best to ease your pet into the space by, “placing familiar objects in relatively the same locations as in your previous home will help ease your animal’s anxiety, and now is not the time to change routines or schedules.” If you walked your dog every evening while living in your old home, be sure to the same in your new home. It’s important that your pet feels as at home as you do.
Hopefully these tips will help make your move with pets easier. If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home, please remember, we’re always here to help and will save you thousands in real estate comissions.