Moving is stressful on homeowners, sure. But it’s even more stressful on our pets. Here are some tips to make the process a little easier for you and your little fuzzy ones.
Make sure your pet’s tag is updated – Your pet is no good lost. Double check that your pet’s identification tag includes your name, number, and the new home address. For your number, remember to use a cell phone – it’s much more convenient in an emergency.
Get your records in order – Talk to your vet before you make the move, and be sure to have copies of all your pet’s medical records. This is especially important if you will be moving into a new area, and will be therefore be switching your vet or clinic. Also, be proactive and make sure your pet is up-to-date with all vaccinations and anything else your new community might require!
Prepare for an emergency – You can prepare for an emergency by having at least one week’s worth of food and medication for your pet. You never know when something might do wrong. In addition to getting your pet checked out by a vet prior to the move, you may also want to ask for extra (emergency) medication. If your pet is on a special diet, you may want to have more than just a week’s worth of food – just in case you have a hard time finding that exact food product in your new destination.
Keep your pet calm and comfortable – Moving day will be a crazy day for your pet! If you’re not moving far (one town over, for example), consider entrusting your pet with a close neighbor, family, or friend on moving day. That will allow you to get done what you need done, without your stressed out pet commanding your attention. If you must use a crate, do so. However, keep in mind that by crating your pet, you may actually increase the stimulation and anxiety of your pet as they watch all the craziness go on around them.
Locate emergency vets and clinics early – It’s especially important that you know where all emergency hospitals and clinics are as you make your travel arrangements. If you’re driving, identify clinics on the way in the case of an emergency. Know where the closest clinic or vet is in relation to your new home.
Know your pet – if your pet is older, younger, smaller, or bigger, just be prepared to make the trip as safe and comfortable as possible.
While in the car – remember that a car can be hot, hot, hot for a pet! Keep your car well-ventilated if you’re traveling a long distance. If you can, crate your pet. They may be restless at first, but they will settle down as you get on with your road trip.
Make it feel like home – You’ve done all the hard stuff – moving! Now it’s time to assimilate your pet to it’s new surroundings. Be sure to keep handy comfort toys that your pet clings too. Keep that favorite squeaky toy handy for anytime you sense that your pet needs to relax, or let loose some pent-up stress. Keep things that familiar to your pet – food and water bowls, and bed, for example) in close proximity to each other until your pet is settled in.
If you’re flying, don’t forget to check airline restrictions! Each airline might be different about what they allow and when. Be sure to check out both the airline’s regulations, and also TSA.
Don’t forget to stop and have a little fun – Moving is a stressful time for everyone involved, and perhaps more so for your pet. Take the time to pay attention to their behavior during the big move day. If they are feeling frisky and playful, stop for a minute and appreciate that mood. Reward them with a little human interaction, which they love, and they may be better travelers!