A move is stressful time for everyone, including—and perhaps especially—your pets. Good preparation, some patience, a bit of pampering, and close attention to their health and safety will help them make a successful transition to your new home.
Here are some tips to keep the costs and the tension down:
Before You Move
- Make an appointment with your vet a few weeks before your move to ensure your pet is in good health and to obtain medical records and any prescription medications. If you are taking your pet to another state or country, you may need special certifications. Ask if they can recommend a veterinarian close to your new home.
- Create a travel bag for each of your pets. Include enough food, waste bags/kitty litter/wood shavings, etc., as well as toys and grooming tools for the move itself and for the first few days at your new home. Be sure to include your pets’ regular bedding and feeding bowls in their travel bags on moving day.
During Your Move
- Keep your pet as quiet as possible when moving day arrives. If you are relocating locally, leave them with someone they trust, or consider kenneling them for a day or so. In any case, keep them away from the action—put them in their carrier, or in an empty, contained room.
- Wherever you leave them, make sure they have access to food and water, and give them opportunities to walk and play, preferably at their normal times.
- Take your pets to their new home in your own vehicle. Restrain them in their usual safe-transport carriers. Some animals may be less anxious if a blanket is placed over their carriers to reduce their sense of motion.
- If you are traveling a long distance, be sure your pets’ transport carriers are securely shut before you open your car or hotel doors. Keep them leashed when they exercise en route.
- Keep their carriers closed when you arrive at your new home. Don’t allow your pets—including your perching birds—to explore until you’ve ensured that all exits are secure (including windows). Even a well-behaved animal may bolt if it is anxious.
- When you arrive at your new house, set up familiar belongings in one room, and then release your pets into this space to give them a measure of security while you continue to unpack.
- Make sure you give them their toys and blankets as soon as they arrive—even while they are still in their carriers, if you can.
After Your Move
- Give your pets a few days to adjust to their new surroundings. Resume normal feeding, walking and play routines. When they are outdoors, keep them leashed because they still may be very nervous and prone to bolt.
- Give your pets extra attention. They will become more secure and comfortable in your new home if they associate it with loving care.
- Update your pets’ tags and/or microchip information to reflect your new address and phone numbers. Inquire about local rules regarding licensing and restrictions.
If You Have Fish
- Fish are highly susceptible to stress and may not survive a move. Unless you are relocating locally, try to find them a new home and obtain new fish after your move is complete.
- If you do decide to transport your fish to your new home, be sure to transfer them quickly to minimize the absence of filtration, aeration and temperature systems. Use sturdy containers containing water from their original tank.
Cliff Anderson, Owner – Mighty Movers, LLC
Cliff possesses over 20 years of moving and relocation experience and started Mighty Movers with the primary mission of helping local homeowners and businesses have a hassle free moving experience. When he is not working Cliff is likely shuttling his four kids to activities and spending time with his wife Hannah.
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