You’re ready to relocate to a new place. Exciting times! Boxes are being packed — so, since pets are typically tuned in to our moods, they know something is up. They’re likely already stressed with all the unfamiliar activity in their home. How can you make it easier on them – and you? Plan their move along with yours, so they’re prepared for new adventures — just like you are!
It’s likely your fur babies have been confined more often than usual to one room or spent more time at their daycare if your home is being shown. Once you’re ready to move, those fur-babies are on high alert! To help ease the transition of moving, these tips may be helpful:
- To keep pets calmer while packing up the house, let them stay in a quiet room, with friends/family, or at their favorite boarding place. That will save them and you the stress of trying to keep up with where your pets are and the risk of them getting out of the house. Even pets that never try to go out may be tempted just to get away from the unfamiliar turmoil.
- To get pets prepared to travel, introduce the appropriate-sized crate early. Perhaps leave it in their regular space with the door open so they can go in and out at will. Go for short rides to lessen the stress of traveling, especially if they only associate cars with going to the vet.
- If you have cats, you probably already know the challenges of getting them in their crate. To avoid additional scars from past attempts, try wrapping your kitties in a soft towel and put it in hind-in first so they can’t get their paws braced on the sides of the crate. This is usually a two-person exercise. Patience is required – don’t expect much cooperation from kitties (based on personal experiences). Plan for a rest spell once you’ve actually gotten your by now furious fur-babies in their crate. They’ll stop hissing and plotting revenge eventually!
- Just as you take your medical records for yourself and the rest of the family to a new hometown, do the same for your pets. Notify your vet of the move so they can get the paperwork ready; ask about recommendations in case they have colleagues in your new location. Don’t forget to update microchip data as well.
- Once you arrive at your new home, let your pets acclimate slowly. Have a “sleepover bag” for each pet with toys, food, their bowls, and blanket, so there’s familiarity in the new place.
- Have pets stay in one room for a day or so and gradually expand their space. Then, check out the new home to ensure that there are no crevices your cat or dog can squeeze into. And, even if the yard is fenced, tour the space with your dog leashed to ensure there are no openings big enough for them to get through.
Let your fur-babies settle in at their own pace, and they’ll soon enjoy laying claim to the new location with you, just like always. Home is where you (and your fur-babies) are!