MOVING WITH PETS: Tips for a Smooth Transition
Most experts agree: Moving ranks among the top five most stressful events in a person’s life!
If moving is stressful for people, let’s take a moment to imagine how difficult a move can be for a furry family member who simply doesn’t understand a change of location, going for a long drive, strange rooms and a yard with brand new sights and smells.
If a move is in your future, I’d like to give you a few tips for making the process easier and safer for your pet. The first tip begins even before the actual move.
TIP NUMBER ONE: SHOWING A HOME TO POTENTIAL BUYERS CAN BE STRESSFUL FOR YOUR LITTLE FURRY BUDDY
Taking proper precautions while showing a home is imperative for the safety of your pet. Ideally you should remove your pet from the house and if possible, keep him with you in a safe and familiar place. If that’s not possible, confine your pet in a safe spot, preferably crated with a favorite toy or snacks.
It’s possible for unconfined animals to escape from their homes during showings. Please don’t leave your pet’s safety in the hands of home buyers and agents. Although agents take every precaution to keep a pet safe during showings, accidents can happen. Be sure that your pet wears a collar with identifying information at all times and if possible, microchip your furry friend.
Greet your pet warmly upon return to your home after showings and let him take some time to investigate the scent of guests in your home. With plenty of attention, treats and regular exercise, most pets handle home showings very well.
TIP NUMBER TWO: CREATE A MOVING KIT FOR YOUR PET AND KEEP IT IN A HANDY LOCATION
Create an overnight bag for your pet to ensure that the days before, during and after travel are a little easier for everyone. Include food, a leash, a harness, toys, a favorite blanket or a sweatshirt with your scent, treats, a bed, and litter (if needed) so that everything she needs is easily accessible while you’re busy packing, traveling or unpacking boxes in your new home.
TIP NUMBER THREE: KEEP YOUR PET AWAY FROM THE MAYHEM OF MOVING DAY
Commotion is impossible to avoid on moving day. The upheaval of moving, coupled with strangers in the home and a lack of routine can create anxiety for your pet. Try to keep him away from the hustle and bustle. Consider asking a friend to watch your pet on moving day or perhaps consider a favoriite kennel for the day. If that’s not possible, crate him in a quiet room to prevent possible escape during the process of packing and loading.
TIP NUMBER FOUR: TAKE IT EASY—HELP YOUR PET ACCLIMATE TO HER NEW HOME!
With your pet’s travel bag in tow, it’s best to have her in the vehicle with you enroute to a new home. Quickly changing scenery can be stressful to an animal, so crate your pet and cover the crate with a blanket if needed. Speak to your vet about appropriate precautions if air travel is involved.
Once you arrive at your destination, avoid giving your furry friend free reign of her new home right away. Keep your pet secluded in a peaceful location of the house with comfort toys and plenty of food and water. Gently easing her into the new environment will make it more comfortable for everyone. Be sure to keep your pet indoors until she has adjusted to her new neighborhood.
With a little advance planning and plenty of patience, moving can be a good experience for the whole family—including the furry ones!