Your pet is a beloved member of the family. No matter what kind of animal companion you have, it’s important to you that they are with you as you move to your next location.
And let’s face it: moving house isn’t exactly an easy endeavor. It can be loud, stressful, confusing, and chaotic. If you find it taxing as a human, imagine how anxiety-inducing it must be for your pet! They’re watching their humans tear apart the only home they’ve ever known, and they don’t understand what’s going on. It can be nerve-wracking for an animal.
Before You Move
Think about the kind of home that you’re moving into. Will it be a good fit for you and your current and/or future pets? Look at the neighborhood and the pets that live there. If you have dogs, does your home have a backyard? Or is there a dog park nearby? If you have an elderly pet, will they be able to navigate stairs and other obstacles? Consider all factors before making your decision.
Make sure your new home is pet-friendly. Be on the lookout for pest control traps, and hidden nooks and crannies where an adventurous pet could get stuck. Windows without screens and exposed electrical wiring also pose a hazard.
Locate the Crate
If your furry friend isn’t prepared for the trip, you may find yourself moving with a pet that’s yowling, whimpering, yapping, cowering, or making a mess out of fear. That’s not a particularly auspicious start to your time in a new home!
If they’re not used to spending time in their crate, you’ll want to help them slowly acclimatize to it, so they don’t get unnecessarily stressed out during the move.
You can do this by having them eat their meals inside the crate. Try it first with the door open, and then shut the door as they get used to being inside. Once they’re used to being in the crate, you can carry it around the house with you if the pet is small, or take them for drives around the neighborhood.
After they’ve spent some time in the crate, let them out and reward them with treats or playtime. You will want to cultivate a positive association with the crate, but this may take some time. Don’t leave it until the last moment!
Talk to Your Veterinarian
If you’re making a significant move that takes you far away from your current home, you’ll need to find a new veterinarian in the area you’re moving to. Consult your current veterinarian and let them know that you’re moving. They’ll be able to transfer any medication and your pet’s health records to the new vet’s office. If you haven’t chosen a new veterinarian yet, your current vet may have a recommendation.
If your pet has extreme anxiety, talk to your vet about medication for the move. Be sure they have all their shots up to date and that they are wearing a collar with your phone number. You might also want to consider microchipping if you’re nervous about them running away.
The house is sure to be chaotic on the big day, and all the hustle and bustle can rile your pet up, or frighten them into hiding. Consider keeping your pet away from the action. You can do this by boarding them in a kennel overnight, sending them to a friend’s house to wait it out, or crating them in a quiet room upstairs.
If you’re crating, encourage them by putting some treats and food in the crate. Items that smell familiar will also help to keep them calm. Try blankets, their bed, or their favorite toy.
Don’t forget to check on them regularly, feed them, praise them enthusiastically, and take them for walks at their usual time. Keeping a sense of routine will help them feel more at ease, even with all the commotion.
When you have the house all packed up, and you’re ready to go, it’s time to move your pet.
Move your dog or cat in your own vehicle. The trip is already pretty stressful, so being in the car with you will help alleviate some of your furry friend’s nerves. If your pet is particularly skittish, it might help to cover their crate with a blanket, so they don’t have to see the changing scenery.
Transport fish short distances inside a plastic bag filled with old tank water; fish don’t do well on long trips. Moving with pets other than cats and dogs, like rodents and birds, make sure to keep them comfortable and safe inside their carriers. Try not to jostle them too much, as it can make them unduly stressed.
Once you’ve arrived at the new house, don’t let your pet out until everything is unpacked from the trucks. When you bring them into the house, it’s vital to help them feel comfortable. It’s their new home just as much as it’s yours. Try keeping them in an enclosed area, like a bedroom or a basement with a door that you can close. Make sure they have all their necessities: food, water, toys, blankets, litter boxes, and so on. As they get used to things, you can introduce them into the rest of the home.
Let your fur baby warm up to the new neighborhood slowly. Being in a new place for the first time can be overwhelming for some pets, so take it one day at a time. If you’re moving with cats, keep them in the house for at least two weeks before letting them roam. For dogs, keep them on a leash and within sight at all times.
Your New Address
Don’t forget to update your pet’s tags with your new address and contact information. This is especially important in an unfamiliar neighborhood where your pet is not yet known.
If you’re thinking about moving but still haven’t found the perfect spot for Spot, REX can help. REX isn’t your average real estate agency. We’re a team of highly-trained salaried real estate professionals, here to guide you through the sale or purchase of your home. We’re pet lovers too, and we’d love to help you find a home that’s perfect for you and your pets. Connect with us today, and let us know how we can help.