You’re Moving — Your Pets May Not Want To

Pets in CarMoving with pets is difficult. Your pet doesn’t understand what a move is. Making your pets comfortable during a move is important to help keep their stress levels down.

Moving with pets can be difficult. A lot of animals can be stressed out easily. When we rescued our dog from the local animal rescue and brought him home, he had such a hard time adjusting to the change of space that when it came time for bed, he was up all night trying to find a comfortable spot to lay down. Pets don’t understand moves – all they know is that the space has changed and they’re unfamiliar and uncomfortable with it. The idea is to try to ease your pet into the transition of a new space.

Consult with your vet

The first thing you’ll want to do to help your pet is to consult with your vet. Your vet may make additional suggestions for vaccinations. For example, moving cross country may mean that your pet may be exposed to certain diseases and afflictions that is not prevalent in another area. Your vet can also suggest certain ways of transporting and easing your pet into its new environment based on the size and breed of your pet. Depending on certain circumstances, your vet may also suggest the use of sedatives for particularly anxious pets.

Figure out your layout

Make sure your new home is pretty set before you move your pet in. Pets can be stressed by big changes like the layout of large furniture, so it’s important to make sure your pet can get comfortable around the basic layout of your home without you moving items all over the place. This doesn’t mean you have to unpack everything straight away – just make sure you get the major items where they should be so your pet can figure out where their “spot” may be. If your pet is crate trained, your pet may find comfort in the crate, so make sure that is one of the first items you put in your home. Your pet may seek out the familiar comfort of his or her cage rather than the couch or a chair like they normally would. Don’t worry if they do this – they are just confused and overwhelmed with their new surroundings.

Be aware of where you’re putting things

When unpacking boxes, make sure any items your pet may like to eat are out of reach, even if they’re still packed away in boxes. Make sure all chemicals and food are away from the reach of the pet – you don’t want Fido tearing through your boxes because he smells potato chips inside one of them.

Let your friend get comfortable — Inside and outside

It may be a good idea to let your animal – dogs especially – sniff around the perimeter of the home. If your dog is wont to mark, this is a great way he can start to claim the property as his own. If you can, walk your dog around the outside of the home and in the yard so he can become familiar with the space. He will have plenty of time to explore the inside, but the new smells on the outside can help familiarize him with the area. A short walk around the neighborhood will help as well to keep your pet’s stress level down, as well as familiarize him with the area.

Keep visitors to a minimum

As exciting as it is inviting people to your new home is, this can place additional stress on your pets. If your pet doesn’t know where his or her hiding spot is just yet, it might be worthwhile holding off inviting people over your new home. If your pet is unfamiliar with the people as well, it might be better to introduce the pet in the new space to the strangers one at a time, so they don’t feel overloaded.

Update your microchip

An important bit of information to remember is to update your pets’ tags and microchip information. If your pet is lost somewhere during the move, or slips out, you want to make sure people are contacting the new address and phone number if they find him or her. Remember, if a pet gets loose in a new area, he or she will not be familiar with it, and may have trouble returning home. If you don’t have your pet tagged or microchipped, look into these services. They can be very cheap and can help you find your beloved pet easier.

Check with your community

If you’re moving to a community with an association, make sure you check into the rules when it comes to pets. Some places may not allow certain breeds of animals, and there may be other stipulations to owning a pet inside of homeowner’s association or condominium association, so make sure you check into these before you commit to your move.

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