If you’re anything like me, your pet just might be the most important member of your family. We give them food and attention, and in return we get the best, most unconditional love. There’s nothing better for me than snuggling up with my dog on the couch at the end of a long day.
Great companions though they are, pets will add a few steps to the moving process. A big move is stressful to humans–think of how confusing it must be for your pet. Luckily, there are a few ways to ease the transition and make the change as seamless as possible for your furry (or feathered!) friends:
Get all your pets’ “gear” together, early. Any pet owner knows that animals have a tendency to collect stuff almost as quickly as humans. My dog has toys, treats, medication, food, walking gear, and that’s just the first things I can think of from my desk. Decide what your pet will need in the urrounding the move and put it all together in a bag or a box that won’t get lost in the shuffle. (Don’t forget to pack doggy bags for walks on the long drive!)
Decide if you need a new vet. If you’re just moving across town, you might decide to stay with your vet. However, if you’re moving out of state or even just a few towns over, you’ll need to find a new vet. Take distance, reviews, and insurance/wellness plans into account when choosing a new veterinarian.
Obtain Vaccination and Medication Records. Having up to date records will not only give you some peace of mind, but it will also be helpful if anything happens to your pet along the way. This is especially important if you have a long drive ahead of you. Having those records will allow an emergency vet to treat your animal immediately rather than have to wait for your old vet to get them sent over, or having to guess if the office is closed. It’s a good idea to get an extra refill of any medication too, as you may not be able to get one until your pet has an exam from the new vet.
Update Your Pet’s Tags. It’s a good idea to make sure your pet has tags with your current information on it. If he’s microchipped, make sure to update that information as well. In a stressful situation like a move, even the most well behaved of animals have a tendency to get out and run off.
On Moving Day, Keep Your Pets Leashed or Crated at All Times. Again, animals will be more skittish, so keep an eye on them. A crate or pet carrier can be a very calming place for a dog or cat since it is small and safe-feeling.
Keep Your Pet Entertained. While it’s not a great idea to give your pet a big meal right before the move (as the stress may upset their stomach and make them sick), make sure they have something to eat and give them plenty of access to fresh water along the way. If possible, giving them a toy to as a distraction is a great way to keep them calm. On a long drive, make sure to schedule stops to give them a break from the moving vehicle and a chance to stretch their legs. Keep them leashed during break times!
Get Your Pet Gear Unpacked First. That box of stuff you packed with all your pet’s essentials should be one of the first things in your new place. The faster your new house has some recognizable smells and comforts, the faster your pet will feel at home.
With just a little bit of extra preparation, moving with a pet can be a smooth transition, and before you know it, you and your little buddy will be enjoying everything your new home has to offer!
Do you have any other tips for moving with your pet? Share them in the comments!