Moving with Pets

July 6, 2016

How will Fido tolerate a change of address? Here are some things to keep in mind to help the transition during a move a little less stressful on your furry pal (or pals).

If you have pets, your already know what a bundle of personality they encompass. Some are quiet; some are bouncing at everyone they meet. Some are easy going, while others find any slight change in routine difficult. Whether or not you feel your pet(s) may take the move in stride, it’s wise to make things a little easier on them when moving. After all, there aren’t many other changes in their lives bigger than moving to an entirely new home.
After you have purchased your new home, but before the movers are loading the moving van, take some time to visit what will soon be your new neighbourhood. Go for a few leisurely walks with your pets in what will be your new area during the weeks leading up to your move. Let your dog, cat, or whatever pets you can leash get some good sniffs in around their new front yard and street. Do this a few times in advance before your big moving day so your pets can familiarize themselves with their new neighbourhood.

On moving day it’s best to have someone your pet is familiar with look after him or her. If it is comfortable for him at Grandma’s house, for example, see if she will look after him there. This way your pet won’t be stressed by the commotion of moving furniture, unfamiliar movers, and let’s face it, what can seem to them as complete chaos! In addition to your pet being in a calm environment, this strategy significantly reduces the chance of them escaping out an open door. The doors in your home are going to be open A LOT during moving day, and it would be heartbreaking to lose a beloved member of your family during this time.

When you do finally introduce your pets to their new abode, don’t open the front door and allow them to roam free in your new home. It could be scary and cause your pets to feel insecure as they explore all by themselves. Instead, let them sniff around while still on a leash with you right by their side. Go slow, take your time, and let it all sink in slowly. Hopefully this will help your pets feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.

If you have a long distance to travel and your pet isn’t a fan of riding in the car, speak to your local pet supply store and veterinarian about options to help your pet tolerate the journey better. There are a range of options from special coats to medications available. Because tensions will already be high with the stress of moving, it might be a good idea to try one of these tools. And remember to pack lots of paper towels to clean up any unforeseen messes your pet makes in the car, and fresh water too.

Above all (although this may be easier said than done), KEEP CALM. Your pets can read your emotions, and anxiety and tension while introducing your pets to their new home will only breed anxiety and tension in them as well. Make sure you have handy any familiar pet bedding or toys so they can snuggle up with what makes them happy and secure. Don’t pack these items up in storage or load them into the moving truck ahead of time!

Pets are wonderful, sensitive creatures and their best interests need to be considered when going through a move. With these suggestions, hopefully your move will go smoothly for everyone (furry or otherwise!) in your household.

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