You just received the phone call: the one from your realtor saying that your offer was accepted and you get to move into your new home. You feel elated and overjoyed at the news-so much so that your cat or dog peers into the room to see what caused the commotion. You look at your furry friend with pure excitement on your face.
However, your enthusiasm soon turns to stress. Not only do you have to prepare yourself, your home, and your belongings for the move, but you also have to get your pet ready for this transition.
Not sure how to manage moving with a pet? To alleviate some of your concern, we’ve provided you with six effective tips below so you can move with your pet in mind.
1. Take Your Pet for a Drive
If you don’t usually take trips with your cat or dog, then your pet might not adjust well to driving around in a car. To make your drive on moving day smoother, take a few preliminary trips with your pal. These short journeys introduce your pet to a car and let them get used to the sensations associated with driving around.
Remember to start slowly and only drive for a short distance. Over the next several days or weeks, gradually increase your speed and distance so your pet feels comfortable traveling in a vehicle.
If you have a cat or small dog, you should always place him or her inside a pet carrier before you drive. This carrier keeps your pet safe and reduces his or her risk for injury. If you have a larger dog, secure him or her with a seatbelt.
2. Call Your Current Vet and Find a New One
To keep your dog or cat healthy while you move, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. During this visit, make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations. Ask your vet to perform a routine checkup as well.
Since you’ll need a vet to care for your beloved animal after your move, ask your current vet if he or she knows of a reputable professional close to your new home. Or, talk with your soon-to-be neighbors or colleagues about dependable veterinarians in the area.
3. Pack a Pet-Friendly Overnight Bag
When you finally move into your new home, your animal pal needs a few comfort items-just like you do. As you pack up your pet’s toys, bed, food, and other belongings, set a few things aside in an overnight bag. Include items such as:
- A blanket
- Food and treats
Make sure to put these belongings in a duffle bag or small storage container, and pack it in your car or moving van last. Once you get to your new home, bring your pet’s overnight bag inside immediately and put it in his or her new sleeping area for convenient access.
4. Update Your Pet’s ID Tags
As you prepare to move, you know you need to update your mailing address. But did you know that you have to update your pet’s information as well? If your animal’s ID tags list your old home address or phone number, change them. You’ll want to use the most current information just in case your pet gets lost in your new neighborhood.
You can also talk to your vet about microchipping your cat or dog. Microchips contain an ID number and all of your contact information, and they are embedded under your pet’s skin. If your cherished animal accidentally gets outside and ends up at an animal shelter, this permanent ID system lets shelter coordinators easily get in touch with you.
5. Groom Your Pet Before the Move
You don’t want to leave your current home filled with cat or dog hair, and you definitely don’t want your pet’s fur to overrun your car and new abode. To reduce shedding, schedule an appointment with your preferred pet groomer. You can request various services, including:
- Fur and nail trimming
- Teeth brushing
- Odor removal
Some groomers also offer additional bathing services and aromatherapy to calm your cat or dog. Be sure to ask these professionals which services they offer.
6. Separate Your Pet from Noise
Pets are incredibly sensitive to loud noises, high levels of commotion, and strangers. Before the movers start to pack up your moving truck, separate your cat or dog from the chaos. Call neighbors, friends, or family members and see if they can watch your pet for the day.
If you can’t find anyone to pet sit, put your cat or dog in a gated-off room or in your backyard. This separation reduces your pet’s anxiety, as well as his or her chances for getting out of the house.
As you and your pet prepare for your next move, keep these tips in mind. When moving day finally arrives, you won’t have to worry so much about your dog or cat adjusting to this big change.