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The Beginner's Guide to Moving with Pets

Moving is an exciting and stressful time not only for you but for your pets as well. You understand that you’re moving to a new home, but your pets don’t. They just see all the commotion and don’t know what’s going on.

Whether you’re moving across the street or the country, it’s important to take your pets into account and make the process as easy as possible for them. Pets such as dogs and cats can become stressed by moves.

We’ll teach you everything you need to know about properly moving with pets. They are a part of your family, so treat them as you would your children.

Moving with Pets

Get Pets Acclimated to Move

It takes months to find a new home and close on a house, so begin preparing your pets for the move early. They sense the change but don’t understand what it is about.

Begin by packing early and bringing boxes into your home. Before you start packing, put the boxes around the house and let them sit there for a few days. Pets smell and play with the boxes and provide them treats when they do.

They’ll associate the boxes with positive feelings and can calm them down. Also, when packing starts, try and do it at the same time every day. Pets like routine, so while you’re packing, don’t forget to take out regular time with your pets.

If you take your dog for a walk at 10 a.m. every day, then make sure to do that while preparing to move. This puts them at ease.

Let Them Visit the New Neighborhood

Animals need time to get used to new areas. Many times, they associate car rides with going to the veterinarian. If it’s possible, take your pets to your new neighborhood and let them walk around. Visit the new home and let them check out the local scenery.

Take them to the local dog park and have them meet some of their neighbors and then return home. This might be harder to do with cats, but at least let them see the new house. Cats can become stressed during a move and may hide in the new house for days until they’re comfortable.

Don’t force them to come out and instead just let them get used to it on their own.

Start Using Crates with Your Pets

When you’re moving, the animal should be in a pet carrier, but this may cause problems if they aren’t used to it. Pets placed in an unfamiliar carrier can try to escape, cry or whine, or go to the bathroom in it because they’re nervous.

Get the crate out early and place them in it for a few minutes. Add a little time each day until they’re used to being in it for a few hours. The more time they have to get used to the crate, the better the trip will be.

Make Health Arrangements When Moving with Pets

If you’ve had your pets for several years, then you have a relationship with a local veterinarian. You’ll need to find a new veterinarian in your new neighborhood. First, take your pets to the vet for a quick checkup.

You'll discover if there are any issues you need to take care of before you move and make sure your pets are safe for travel. Find your new veterinarian and have your pet’s files transferred to their office.

Most municipalities require you to get your pet registered for the city. Take care of that before you move and update their microchip information. Pets that are stressed out can jump out of the crates and you can lose them.

Updating their microchip information and making sure they have identification lets you find them or be contacted by people that find them.

Flying with Pets

If you’re moving across the country or a long distance, then driving may not be possible. Flying with pets can be traumatic. Before choosing a flight, check to see the company’s policies on transporting pets. They may have requirements for kennel size and health reports.

Smaller pets can be carried on, but larger ones would travel in the cargo area. The cold temperatures and loud noises from the engines easily scare pets and be dangerous. Avoid the cargo hold if possible and drive them instead.

Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

If you’re driving with a pet, plan your route and stops ahead of time. They’ll need to be walked every few hours to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom.

Keep your pet in mind when packing supplies for the trip. They need plenty of food, toys and treats, a water bowl, window shade, and other comfort items. When they’re out walking, give them plenty of time and love.

Make Your House Pet Friendly

Your new home is empty and may have hazards that your current home doesn’t. There shouldn’t be any wires hanging down and plants, both inside and outside the house, can be dangerous for them.

Before moving, visit the house and examine the steps and other areas of the house to check for areas where pets can escape or be injured. Cats are especially adept at finding small places to hide and escape from their new house.

Your new home may be perfect for you, but your pets are stressed. Give them time to get used to it and don’t expect them to be all hugs and cuddles for a few hours.

Enjoy Your Move and New Home

A new home is exciting for you and stressful for your pets. Moving with pets isn’t easy, but they’ll get used to the new home over time. Take precautions and follow these rules and it should be a smooth transition.

If you want to learn more about moving with pets or need pet crates, then please contact us today.

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