It’s often said that moving is one of the most stressful things that will happen to a person in their lifetime. The same can be said for your pet. Animals often have a hard time with the travels to a new location, and then with adjusting upon arrival. Here are some tips for moving with pets before, during, and after the move itself. This will help you and your pet stay stress-free during your move.
Get a tight new collar and an updated tag with easy-to-read name and number. If you’re moving out of the area, inform your vet so you can take records and any prescription medications with you. See if they can recommend another vet in your new neighborhood.
During the move itself, the best way to reduce stress on an animal is to keep them in the quietest area possible. If you don’t want to leave them with a friend or a kennel for the day (which is recommended), at least remove them from the action. This could mean emptying a bedroom on another floor and closing the door, or putting them in their carrier or kennel in the garage or car (take proper caution to ensure they’ll be at a safe temperature and that they have water and food if they will be there for some time). Make sure you check in on them regularly, and try to feed or walk them at the time you usually would; having some sense of a routine in the midst of all the changes will help a lot.
Find a new clinic right away so you know where to go for any emergencies.
Start your new routine (such as morning walks, meal time, etc.) right away so pet can feel comfortable in new place quickly. Before unpacking your own stuff, lay out pet essentials so that s/he has some familiar items in the strange new house.
Not all moves can be made in one day. If you must stop for the night, call ahead to hotels that claim to be pet-friendly. Don’t take a hotel chain’s word for it. Call the actual hotel and verify what their pet policies are. Many pet-friendly hotels have a limited number of rooms available for people with pets, or will only allow small dogs and cats. Keep in mind, there are opportunities for your pet to escape easily. In the hotel room, look around for any dangers, such as open windows or holes in the wall, before letting your pet out of the carrier. Remember to keep your pet on his leash when exiting the hotel.
It’s not easy to move with animals, but it’s part of the obligation you have to them. With forethought and planning, there is no reason why moving to a new home cannot be accomplished with a minimum of stress—for both you and your companions.