One of the biggest factors that can affect your moving experience is the comfort level of your pets. As any pet owner knows, transitions need to be handled with care when it comes to animals. Here are five ways to ensure a stress-free and healthy move for your four-legged friends.
Think about how your pet will travel to your new home. You can place your cat or dog in a crate or small carrier in the back of your vehicle, but take a test drive a few weeks before moving day so you can make changes if you need to.
“Prepare your pets by gradually acclimating them to their crates,” says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “First, place their food inside an open crate and eventually have them eat their meals in the crate with the door shut. Try carrying your pets around the house in the crate or taking a short drive.”
Unfamiliar surroundings and long drives are major stress triggers for cats and dogs. There is a solution, though. Talk to your vet before moving day and ask about products like calming tablets and sprays, which can reduce any anxiety your pet might have. These products contain natural ingredients and promote feelings of calmness in your cat or dog. Reducing stress is important when you move, especially if you’re traveling a long distance. Feelings of anxiety can sometimes lead to other issues like loss of appetite and upset stomach.
When you pack your belongings for your big move, fill up a small bag for your pet, too. You can use the items inside to keep your cat or dog entertained during the journey to your new home. Author Cynthia P. Gallagher suggests including some of your pet’s favorite food, as well as lots of water. You might even want to bring a disposable litter box for your cat, especially if you are traveling long distances or making an overnight stop. Gallagher also recommends you place a temporary ID tag with your brand new address and phone number on your cat or dog’s collar.
One of the best ways to make your pet feel comfortable in your new home is by unpacking familiar objects — your pet’s bed, toys, food, etc. — when you arrive at your new destination. You could even give your pet a small gift once you get to your new property to lift their spirits and help them feel at home. A brand new toy or snack might alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. Alternatively, place your pet in a secluded, quiet place in your home, such as a bathroom. “Hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door to keep anyone out,” says Rent.com in Forbes magazine.
Introducing your pets to their new home is easier with some basic planning ahead, extra care and thoughtfulness. If you follow these tips to give them a smooth moving experience, you’ll be more likely to be rewarded with your own.