Your pets are part of your family, and a move is as stressful for them as it is you. These 10 steps will help you survive a move with pets while making sure they’re well taken care of too.
Moving with pets
I’m an animal lover, so I empathize with families when they’re moving and worrying about their pets too. Let’s face it, buying or selling a home is already stressful, even without pets!
Our fur babies (see mine below 🙂 ) sense change is underway, and a move can easily spook an animal. The last thing you want is a dog or cat running away during a move.
After closing, homeowners are excited to move in and make their new space feel like home! You might get quite the opposite reaction from an animal. Cats may run and hide. They’re typically more scared than dogs and take longer to adjust according to the Humane Society.
That’s not to say a move is simple for every dog. Some struggle with a new surrounding, depending on the pet’s demeanor. To ease the transition, bring your pet’s favorite things from your old home to your new home, and set them up as soon as possible, so your pet feels comfortable in his new home.
Just like every other part of the move, moving with pets takes preparation before, during, and after the move.
Ten steps to survive a move with pets
Update your pet’s tags
Knowing that your pet may be confused by his new surrounding, update your pet’s tags in preparation for moving. Make sure he has a collar and identification tag with your phone number, in case he runs off.
Stick to a normal schedule
When you’re packing up your old house, your pet picks up on it. He realizes something is off. The Humane Society points out that dogs pick up on our emotions and energy, but they don’t know what’s going on other than something is off. That’s why it’s important to stick to your pet’s routine, so there’s some sense of normalcy while you’re packing up.
Give your pet an escape on moving day
On moving day, keep your pet in a safe location that’s away from the action. It throws a pet off to see movers coming in and out of the house, moving your furnishings that your pet’s snuggled on.
To prevent your pet from escaping, keep him confined in a crate in a back room. Or, send him to a doggy daycare or friend’s house.
Get your pet comfortable with his new surroundings
Take your dog or cat for a tour of the new space and neighborhood. Get him familiar with his surroundings.
Set out his favorite toys, bedding, and food. Make him feel comfortable in his new home.
Then get back on schedule as soon as possible!
Give your pet a “home base”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests giving your pet a home base. Have them adjust to one room at a time. The home base should have their crate, favorite toys, treats, water, food, and litter box.
Once they’re comfortable, introduce them to other rooms in the home.
Your pet’s favorite toys, food, medication, and bedding are some of the last things you want to pack. Put them in your car, rather than the moving van. That way you can unload them when you get the keys to your new home.
Get your animal familiar with the crate
Get your pet accustomed to the crate, weeks before you move. Have the pet sleep, take naps, or eat in the crate in the days before your move.
The more familiar your pet is with his surroundings, the easier it will be for him to acclimate.
Pet-proof your new home
While most homes are empty when you purchase them, some sellers leave behind little odds and ends. Whether it’s tools, cleaning supplies, or just junk.
Walk around your house and make sure it’s free of poisonous or dangerous items for pets.
Also, secure window screens. If there’s a fence, make sure it’s safe in all spots.
If you’re making a long distance move, pack extra medicine in case of emergency. Your new vet won’t be able to prescribe medicine without seeing your animal first. So, it’s better to pack an extra dose just in case you don’t get to the vet right away. After all, you have other things to worry about when you’re settling into a new home.
Get veterinary records & find a new vet
If you’re moving out of town, get your animal’s veterinary records before you leave. Ask for a copy of his vaccinations and medical history.
You also want to find a new vet before you leave your old home. Ask your Realtor for recommendations. If they’re an animal lover, like I am, they’ll have plenty of suggestions. I know lots of Kansas City veterinarians, and am always willing to help my animal loving clients! After all, our pets are part of the family too!