Moving is a hassle and can prove to be a nightmare. The experience can also be unnerving to pets. There are ways to keep the day from becoming totally unsettling for your friend and make the changes a little more comfortable.
Alleviate the Confusion of Packing
Some pets may grow alarmed when the environment turns upside down, as household goods slowly disappear during the packing process. Stay calm and reassuring throughout the process. Animals commonly sense the pleasant or unpleasant moods that owner’s exude. Ensure that your pet has favorite items to keep them preoccupied to help alleviate the stress that accompanies change.
Depending on the distance of the move, update your pet’s tags before the big day. Make sure that the new tags include the pet’s name and your contact information. Obtain a copy of your pet’s health records. Additionally, if a pet requires daily medications, fill the prescriptions to have the formulations on hand throughout the moving and acclimation processes. In case of an emergency, have a first-aid kit on hand complete with a vet’s phone number, gauze to treat wounds or to wrap the muzzle of a stressed pet, along with bandages, tape, hydrogen peroxide and perhaps towels.
Consider the Mode of Transportation
While many dogs are accustomed to traveling in a vehicle, others are not. Likewise, house cats may rarely step outside of the home. Whether making the journey by vehicle or plane, keep this in mind and consider making the move using a pet crate. Introduce the enclosure well in advance of the big day. Discuss your moving plans with your veterinarian and find methods of minimizing your pet’s anxiety levels. If planning on flying, contact the airlines and determine what requirements or restrictions will come into play in order to adequately prepare your pet.
Security of Small Spaces
For a variety of pets, smaller, enclosed spaces often bring comfort and warmth. This is an advantage of having crate-trained a pet. As pets are familiar with the space, being inside offers a sense of security during the actual move. Add a favorite toy and some treats. Load the crate last and ensure that the enclosure is the first item in the new home. The cat or dog may then have a place to settle while the hustle and bustle of the day unfolds around them. If planning on acquiring a crate just for the move, introduce the environment to the pet well in advance to familiarize the pet with the strange place.
The Comfort of Familiarity
Resist the urge to pack up all of your pet’s belongings until the last moment. When arriving at the new location, unpack these items immediately to provide the pet with a relaxing sense of familiarity and ownership. Add a couple of new toys or a special treat as a reward and a diversion to a stressful day. Take an adequate supply of your friend’s routine or favorite food.
Secluded from Chaos
The excitement of the move, and perhaps encounters with strange people, may also create alarm and make pets vulnerable. Once arriving at the new location, consider keeping pets in a spacious, ventilated room with familiar items to encourage a sense of calm. Put a sign on the door to alert guests to “do not disturb” the area. Pets might also stay with a known family friend or family member until completing the move.