Making Your Pets’ Move to a New Home as Stress-Free as Possible

One thing we can agree on.  Moving can be one of the most stressful events for families.  It is apparent from the moment we begin organizing, purging, and packing that our beloved family pets are sensing that “something is going on.”

My own pet would lie down near where I was working and simply stare at me, as if to say, “I don’t know what’s going on, but whatever it is, don’t forget about me!”

If you are moving with a pet, be sure to follow these guidelines to ensure that your fur-babies (whether dogs or cats), birds and other pets experience a (mostly) stress-free and safe move to your new home.

Prepare a Pet Box but keep it handy.
Don’t pack everything for your pet while preparing for your move.  Keep your pets’ favorite things handy.  It is comforting for pets to have their familiar beds, crates, toys, blankets, food bowls and pillows around and in use.

Keep important medical information on-hand, including your pets’ shot record and contact info for your veterinarian.

Stick to the schedule.
Try as much as possible to maintain daily regimens including feeding times, their usual food, and walks.  Be sure to keep a list of when your pets are due for a well-visit to the veterinarian and when they are scheduled for heartworm meds or flea and tick treatments.  It is also a good idea to do some research before your move to see what veterinarians are located nearby your new home and call for information on their practices.  Having a new vet “in the wings” will be priceless if you need an urgent appointment once you have moved in. Sticking to a familiar schedule once you are in your new home is a great way to make your pets feel at home.

Keep things calm the day of the move.
If your pets are easily excitable, it may be best to have a pet sitter the day of the move.  Having a familiar face to comfort and care for your pets on that most hectic day will help to ensure that your stress level is kept down as well.  If your dog or cat is home with you, be aware that doors will be left open, making it easy for pets to wander and/or get in the way of the moving crew.  Also, the home temperature will be difficult to maintain with open doors, so the comfort level may not be optimal for pets.  Don’t forget to keep plenty of water available as well.

Is medication in order?
If you have a high-strung pet and if a long car ride or flight on an airplane is part of the move, you may need to see your vet about a mild sedative for your pet.

Consider microchipping your pet.
Before the move you may want to talk to your veterinarian about having your dog or cat microchipped.  A new location may be confusing and if your pet wanders off and gets lost, a microchip increases the chance of a reunion with the family.  It is painless for the pet to have a microchip inserted, takes just minutes, and is invaluable peace-of-mind for you.
Your veterinarian may have additional tips for you in dealing with pets and a move.  Be sure to take the time and effort to do everything you can to make this transition an easier one for all.