Moving House With A Pet
You’re eager to finally move into your new home or apartment, how exciting!
However, don’t forget you’re not the only one moving. Moving with pets can add unnecessary stress or anxiety to your little companions. After all, they don’t know why they’re being taken away from the home they know. All that the pets know is that they were taken from place A (that they know and love) and are now being placed into this unknown place (that they don’t know at all).
That can be scary!
What to do with pets when moving shouldn’t be difficult. Below are useful notes and tips that can be applied when moving with ones pet.
Moving Cats To A New Home
Cats are typically quite territorial and prefer to lounge around in a familiar environments. They don’t take well to change. However, as their owner, it will be your responsibility to make the move as smooth as possible to help reduce any fear or anxiety they may develop in the transition of moving or at the new home.
- Let your cat get comfortable with the moving boxes. Cats are curious by nature, after all. Let them play around and scope them out. Some ideas may involve you hiding toys or laying them close to the moving boxes. This will get your cat comfortable with the boxes themselves and the unfamiliar smells.
- Try to maintain as close to a routine as possible before, during and after the move. Lets focus on before and during. This means keeping the same meal times, play times and any other specific times your friend is used too. With everything going on, it can be easy to forget that your feline friend has no clue what’s going on. With everything happening to quickly and changing, it can be clear why cats can freak out while planning a move.
- Cats need to get accustomed to their carriers. Following the moving box tips above, you want to get your cat to see the carrier as a fun thing, as opposed to bad. Recall past vet visits, and I’m sure you have an idea how your cat friend responds to carriers (usually not good). To mitigate this, try placing their favorite toys around or inside the carrier. Depending how much they dislike the carrier, you can even try putting their meal in there so that they have to go inside to eat. The more time in advance you do this will greatly mitigate their behavior towards disliking the carrier.
Animal Safety When Moving
- During the move:
- Firstly, feed them a smaller meal than you normally would. Due to stress and anxiety, we don’t want your pet to have a upset stomach or vomit. So it’s better to lean on the side of caution for this.
- Secondly, try and keep them contained in a certain area, like an empty room. You want to know they are safe somewhere and minimize the risk of them running out due to all the people coming in and out or doors opening. Wherever you decide to put them, make sure to have their toys and bed nearby, so they smell familiar smells.
Having A Dog And Moving To A New Home
As with our cat friends, dogs too dread the unexpected and can get stress or anxiety when their daily routine gets turned upside down. Dogs too are expects at reading our body language. So they can easily pick up the anxiety us humans may be unintentionally (or intentionally) releasing during moving day.
Points 1-3 outlined above with cats, will also apply to dogs. However, below are some additional points to consider.
- Make sure to keep them exercised a bit longer than usual. This will ensure that they get it “all out” so there isn’t built up energy during the moving process.
- Keep “their area” in tact. Whether while moving out of your old home or into your new home make sure to keep a spot that is just for your dogs. This can be as simple as a clutter free section in your home. Place all their belongings nearby so that they have a sense of comfort and normalcy.
- Feel free to use anxiety aids to help mitigate their anxiety levels. These can range from CBD treats to the Thundershirt. Moving to a new home with your dog can be stressful. Anything to help mellow them out during this time they will appreciate.
Moving Across Country With Pets
Below are additional points to consider when moving with pets. Always remember that moving is just as stressful for your pet friends. Unlike us, they don’t know what is going on (even if you think they are pros). Try to approach them with compassion and try to eliminate as much stress and anxiety as possible.
- Cats and dogs can either be shipped by air or taken along in the car
- If flying to your new destination, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment
- The animal(s) will need a health certificate from your vet
- Call the airline in advance to find out about special boxes they may have
- Plan to make a container for your pet? Make sure that the container complies with airline regulations
- It is a good idea to put a piece of clothing with your scent in the animal’s box so he/she feels more at home
- If you aren’t flying with your pet but are having it shipped by air, make sure that
- Someone is on the other end to pick your pet up at the airport and take care of him/her until you arrive
- The easiest way to care for your pet before your arrival is a kennel
When moving interstate with pets, remember that some motels and hotels don’t allow pets. Others have special facilities for handling travelers’ pets. Call in advance and check out the available literature on hotels along your route. National chains usually publish such information.
Smaller animals like hamsters, birds, mice, and such can be transported in the family car fairly easily. Make sure that the animals have enough food and water in their cages and are out of drafts or extreme temperatures. Cover cages with a cloth to keep the pets quiet and restful.
Moving Into A New Home With Pets
Hopefully this information provides helpful guidance when moving with your beloved pets. Remember that you may not be able to 100% remove the anxiety and stress of the entire event, but every small move you accomplish will surely help.
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