10 Tips for Successfully Moving with Pets
So, you’ve decided to pick up and move to a new city or state. An exciting new chapter of your life is about to start!
What about your furry, feathered, and finned family members? Of course, you wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind. But you might not know where to start when it comes to moving them.
If you’re moving with pets, you need to ensure you’re prepared for the journey ahead of you. Discover how to make the trip less stressful for everyone involved with these 10 expert tips.
1. Get Your Pets Ready by Prepping a Kit
Moving is stressful enough when you don’t know where everything is. If you’re planning a long distance pet transport (or even a short one), you need a moving kit for your pets.
There are many steps to getting everything together for your pets, but your kit is the most important of all. It should include:
- Vet paperwork
- Dishes for food and water
- Food and treats
- Temporary litter boxes if you have cats
Your needs can vary based on what types of animals you’re moving with. As long as you stay prepared, you’ll be fine.
2. Have a Vet Exam Before Moving with Pets
Getting your pets checked out before a move is important. If they’re traveling by air, they’ll need paperwork you can present to the airport.
Certain states place restrictions on animals or require them to have a specific set of shots. Check the restrictions on where you’re moving to and see what you’ll need to ensure your pet adheres to the local guidelines.
You can move knowing they’re healthy and avoid further problems when getting a pet license.
3. Keep Pets Away from the Actual Moving Process
When moving day arrives, your pet will likely get stressed and confused. They might worry they’re getting left behind and not understand why their home is getting packed up.
If you can, consider boarding your pets while you’re having items moved from the house to a moving van. If that’s not an option, clear out a room and put them in there until everything gets loaded.
You’ll avoid them running away or getting stepped on. You’ll notice it’s a lot easier to get everything moved when you don’t have your dog or cat underfoot, too.
4. Transport Them in Your Own Car (Not a Moving Van)
When you’re traveling with your pets, make sure they have access to air. They should be in an area where you can get to them should something happen. If you’re traveling with more than one pet, make sure they have some space.
Animals can get scared and stressed out when traveling, so it’s important to stop for breaks. Make sure they get plenty of water so they aren’t dehydrated.
Transporting in a moving van often means the temperature isn’t regulated. Keep them in a car or van instead.
5. Keep Them Secluded in Your New Home
Once you’ve moved to your new home, keep your pets in a safe area of your home until your boxes get moved in. It’s important that they don’t get out, or they might try to run away from home.
Allow them to get used to your new home by checking out the rooms and smelling their surroundings. Incorporate things that have your scent as soon as you can, such as furniture, clothing, and bedding.
When you’re moving long distance with dogs and cats, this helps them to recognize the new place they’re living as home.
6. Offer Them Plenty of Water
Before, during, and after the journey to your new home, it’s easy for pets to get dehydrated. Often they’re stressed out, which causes them to get overexcited and increases their heart rate.
For cats on a long journey, a litter box is essential. Dogs also need to get out and have the chance to go potty depending on how far you’re traveling.
Offering plenty of water and potty breaks can prevent larger accidents from occurring.
7. Get Them Used to the New Area
Once you’ve moved in and had time to settle, take your pets on a short walk. Let them smell their new yard and surroundings.
Keep a close eye on your dogs and a short leash. You never know what other animals live nearby or how your dog could react to them.
Even if you let your cats out occasionally, keep them in to begin with. Put some of their used litter out near the house. This allows them to smell where home is and helps them find their way back if they get lost.
8. Check and Pet-Proof Your Yard Before Letting Pets Run Free
If your yard already has fencing, check it out and make sure that your pets can’t jump or crawl their way out. If they can, it’s time to get it repaired before allowing anyone out in the yard.
Try walking everyone on a leash when you’re first moved in. This allows you greater control over your animal and gives you the chance to see if they move toward any holes or unsecured areas.
9. Keep Information Updated
Once you move, make sure you update your pet’s microchip, license, and tags. In the event that your pet gets out, these easily bring them back home and lets the county pound know your pet has an owner.
If your pet gets lost, updated identification and documents make it easy for you to get them back.
10. Watch Your Pet in the Weeks Ahead
During the first few weeks, keep a close eye on your pet. New smells and other animals may entice them to go out and do things they wouldn’t normally do.
Once you’re confident about the environment and your yard, you can start to let your pet roam on your property. It might feel frustrating at first, but this is for their own safety.
Final Thoughts on Moving with Pets
Moving with pets is never an easy process.
But if you know what steps to take, keeping them safe and placated takes away a lot of the stress.
If you don’t have pets but plan on moving with children, check out our blog post on moving with kids. You’ll find new ways to manage your little one when the big day arrives.
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