Moving is stressful enough when you just have to take care of yourself, but when you factor in your other family members, it becomes utterly overwhelming. Kids and pets only add chaos to the experience. When it’s time to head to your new place, these tips for moving with pets can help take a little bit of the pressure off of the move.
Before the Move
Part of making sure moving day goes smoothly is preparing before the moving company even shows up to your house. This is especially true when it comes to pets. Since they don’t adjust to change quite as well as (most) people, getting them ready beforehand is important.
If you haven’t yet picked out your home or apartment, you may want to consider checking to make sure the homes you’re looking at are pet-friendly. Make sure they allow pets, obviously, but also check to make sure the neighborhood is a good place to walk dogs.
Next, make sure your pets are used to the packing supplies you will be using so they’re not nervous when they see them all moving around them that day. Start packing your less used items in boxes a couple weeks before the big move, and then just leave them in rooms throughout the house. This will help reduce their anxiety—along with the number of box attacks you might face (yes, that’s a thing!).
If your pet is exceptionally anxious about change, you may want to visit your vet and ask what options they have
Lastly, since pets are creatures of habit, keeping your pet’s routine normal will help them feel less frantic the day you move and in the days after you get into the new home. This means keeping their feeding times the same as normal, walking them or letting them out as close to the normal time as possible, and even lights-out (and on) at times close to their normal times. If you can keep this up the weeks before and after the move, the adjustment to the new home won’t be quite as hard on your pet.
Moving with Pets: Moving Day
Traveling and Transportation
On moving day, many considerations need to be made aside from just helping to keep your pet calm. One such consideration is figuring out how you will get your pet to your new home. If you’re just moving a few cities or hours away, you can probably plan to load them into the car and let the movers take everything else.
However, if you will be traveling by plane or on a further journey, you will need to make accommodations to ensure you have the proper transportation setup. Pets get nervous easily, so even if yours is typically great in a car, make sure you keep her leashed or in a crate at all times. This is for their safety in case of accident but also to avoid them slipping out of the door or window. If they were to get loose in an unfamiliar area, it could be impossible you will ever get them back. Don’t take the risk. Keep them secured the whole time.
Make sure to plan for potty breaks during the trip as well to avoid accidents and help get out those travel willies. It helps if you take some car rides with their setup a few weeks prior to the move so they know what to expect and will be less unsure when the real trip happens.
If you and your pet are traveling by air, make sure you’ve made the proper accommodations and have checked your specific airline’s requirements for an animal.
Safe Place to Stay
Keep in mind that doors will be open almost the entire day on moving day while people come and go, so regardless of what kind of pet you have, you’ll need to make sure they have a good place to stay. Best case scenario would be to leave them in a comfortable boarding facility (if moving nearby) or with friends or family to keep them safe.
If that isn’t possible, consider enclosing them in a crate or a quiet room away from all the noise where they can be closed in safely with their familiar blankets, beds, and toys. Make sure you pop in regularly to check on them and to take them out regularly.
Again, try to make sure you keep them on their schedule as closely as you possibly can. This way, even though they’ll be anxious about the change in home, they won’t have to be anxious about change in routine (or being hungry).
Final Points About Moving with Pets
If you are moving across state lines, make sure you know the laws about bringing new pets into the states. Some states require a full health record showing a clean bill of health and up-to-date vaccines, while others might not allow your particular pet in the state at all. Some reptiles and tropical fish are not allowed in certain states, and sometimes even the insects they eat are against the law or banned. Knowing these laws ahead of time can help you plan accordingly and make sure you’re prepared.
You’ll also want to make sure your new home is pet-proofed so your pet doesn’t get into anything they shouldn’t or encounter anything unsafe. Make sure doors are secure, the floor is vacuumed so they can’t pick anything up, and the yard is safe from poisonous plants before you let them out.
Give them time to settle in. While you know exactly what’s happening (and are still probably stressed), they have no idea why they’re no longer home. It will take them a while to get used to it. Some pets might adjust right away or within a few days, while some might take a few months to get used to things, especially if they didn’t travel or visit new homes very often prior to moving. Be patient, and give them plenty of attention, stick to their routine, and ensure you’re keeping them properly secured while they get used to their new surroundings. Give them their own space for as long as you can so they can get used to their crate space, food location, litter box, what door they go out, or anything else they may need to remember.
Me and My Truck Can Help with a Smooth Move
While pets can’t be transported via a moving truck, hiring a moving company can help you create space in your car to transport them yourself. It can also help take many of the big tasks off your plate so you can tend to your furry pal and help them feel more comfortable. We can help move big crates or aquariums as well. Me and My Truck is your go-to Ohio moving company. We’ll take all the big things off your plate so you can focus on helping your four-legged family members settle in.