Moving is stressful for every member of the family, including your pets! I can find lots of tips to help eliminate some of the stress for the human members of the family, but as a pet owner, I also want to ensure the health and safety of my pets during a move. Here are some tips to make your move easier on the furry members of your family.
Make your move day pet-free
It’s best for your pets to be out of the house on move day for their own safety. If your pets are spending the day at a kennel or a friend’s house, there is no chance of them getting underfoot or accidentally being let out the front door. If you are unable to remove your pets from your home on move day, make sure they are safely confined in an area where they are away from walkways to the moving truck.
Talk to your vet
Your vet may have a recommendation for a vet in your new location, and you can ask to have all your pets’ necessary prescriptions filled before the move so they will be on hand when you get to your new home.
Acclimate your pets to their crates
Some pets see their crates as a sanctuary and happily spend time in them, but many others, like my dog, don’t spend time in a crate regularly. In the weeks leading up to your move, gradually acclimate them to their crates to lessen their anxiety. Start by putting their food in an open crate, then gradually have them eat their meals in the closed crate. For smaller pets, try carrying them in the crate around the house or taking them for a short ride in the car.
Update ID tags and microchip information
Get new ID tags with your new address and phone number and replace the old tags while on the road. Make sure you update your address and phone number with a pet microchip service provider.
Car travel with pets
- Keep paper towels and other cleaning supplies on hand, just in case.
- Keep pets in separate crates if traveling with more than one pet.
- If you will be traveling for more than one day, make sure your hotel is pet-friendly. At the hotel, ask if there is a way to designate to staff that there is a pet in your room. A scared or confused pet may try to escape if given the opportunity.
- When you stop to eat, allow your pets to eat with you. Leaving your pets in the car while you go into a restaurant to eat could be dangerous for them. Instead, get take-out and let them eat with you.
Stick with your routines
Pets are creatures of habit, so try to keep to their regular routines as best you can. Feeding, exercising, and playing with your pets at their usual times will help them settle into their new location.
These are just some simple ideas and suggestions that could help anxious pets during your move. If you have other specific questions or concerns, reach out to your current vet for advice.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on September 29, 2011, and has been updated for accuracy.