Moving to a new home is stressful for the whole family, including your pets. Whether you have cats, dogs or any other type of pet, relocation requires a little extra planning to make sure everything goes smoothly. We rounded up some of the top tips out there, from pre-move planning to introducing pets to a new home, to ensure your next move is a successful one.
Smart strategies and careful planning are two key ways to make the transition as smooth as possible for your pets. Some things to consider include:
Make a vet appointment
You need up-to-date records for your new vet and healthy pets capable of handling some stress. Squeeze in a checkup before you move.
Buy a transport carrier
Safety during the move is essential. It’s a great idea to transport your pet to your new home in a carrier. Just give them a chance to get used to their carrier in the weeks before moving by leaving them where they can freely move in and out. Place favorite toys inside, or feed them inside their carriers to inspire a sense of comfort.
Take short drives
If your pets don't normally travel with you, try taking a few short drives ahead of time to get them used to the motion.
Keep pets in a quiet spot while packing
To minimize anxiety, try keeping your pets in a quiet room or at a friend's house while packing and on moving day.
Pack an overnight bag
Make sure you have a few days' worth of all your pets' essentials — food, grooming supplies, litter box, favorite toys — in an easily accessible spot. When you get to your new home, you don't want to rummage through tons of boxes to find what you need.
Maintain Normal Routines
In addition to planning ahead, it's important to keep your pets' routines as normal as possible right up until you lock your front door for the last time. Walk your dogs regularly, feed your pets their regular food, and try to take breaks from all the packing madness to give them a little attention throughout the day.
Arrange Safe Transportation
Getting your pet safely from Point A to Point B is most important. Driving with your pet safely secured in a carrier or secured with a harness is typically the least stressful way to transport them. If driving isn't possible, research airline or train policies well in advance, as these types of transportation typically involve extra fees and restrictions. Whenever possible, take your pets on board in approved carry-on carriers instead of checking them into cargo hold areas. Another option is using a specialized animal transport service.
Settle into Your New Home
Once you arrive at your new home with your pet, resist the urge to immediately set them free to explore. Unfamiliar spaces and smells could be overwhelming at first, so consider providing your pet with their own temporary home base. Place favorite toys and familiar items in one room that will serve as their main space until they feel comfortable. Slowly introduce pets to the rest of the house at a pace that seems comfortable to them. This process also gives you time to unpack and explore your new digs for hidden hazards.
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