Moving with Pets – Make the Move Easier for Everyone 

When it comes to buying a new home, it’s important to remember that it’s a multi-step process and can certainly have its ups and downs. For every moment of excitement, you feel as you start to see the end in sight, it’s important to remember the potential stress that could present itself. Taking precautions that can help cut down on stress allows us to focus on other important details and helps us from feeling overwhelmed during the process.

While we tend to focus on the move impacting the humans in our homes, its important to remember that  it can also be stressful for pets. Whether you have cats or dogs, a bird, turtle, or an iguana- they can all experience quite the shock as you go through the process of moving into your new home. Giving our pets the right attention during this process might seem like quite the challenge, but thankfully, there are some things you can do to help make the transition from one home to another easier for both you and your pets. Start by talking with your vet. Some pets may be at higher risk to the negative effects of stress, and a vet can help you prepare a course of action that will help keep your pet in high spirits.

Preparing for a move with pets begins long before you start loading down boxes. The first step is to keep them in mind while searching for a new home! Recognize the needs of your pets and seek homes, properties, and neighborhoods that will be safe and welcoming environments for your small, furry friends. Some pets will need lots of outdoor space for exercise, while others will need more room inside the house. Different pets will need more space. Finding a home that meets the needs of your pets is a great first step in making the move easier for everyone.

While you’re showing your current home, you’ll want to be aware of your pet’s behavior and presence on the property. The stress of unfamiliar guests could bother your pets and cause them to act irregularly or even aggressively towards potential buyers. If necessary, leave your pet with a responsible family member or friend, or at a kennel. While this temporary change of scenery may seem like a big inconvenience for your pet, it will make the process easier for you- giving you the time and effort to focus on preparing your home for sale. The same applies as you pack your home. The chaos that ensues as a result of moving – packing of boxes, moving of furniture, unusual activity – be enough to upset some pets. Designating a room that is just for the pets and not to be disturbed until the very end of the process may be one way to minimize the disruption, but for some pets that may be more difficult than spending a little time away from you at a safe, secure environment where you don’t have to worry about them making a dash for the door.

Once your home is sold, you’ll need to consider the timeline moving forward: will you be moving into a new place immediately, or will you be staying in a hotel or rental property while you wait for a closing? Either way, you’ll want to prepare a Go Bag for your pets. While these kits are typically made for emergencies like evacuations, they can come in handy when you need to stay somewhere with your pet that isn’t home. Make sure you have food, blankets, toys, and other familiar items at the ready to keep your pet supplied for the time you’ll be spending between homes- whether you spend a few days in a hotel, or driving long distance to another town. The items in a Go Bag can help a pet feel more comfortable during a journey, and can be used as a starting place to help familiarize them with their eventual new home.

Let’s face it, nobody knows your pet quite like you do. If you have the space available, it’s best to transport your pet in your vehicle with your family, so they can get regular attention, from vocal communication to potty stops along the way. If you make use of a pet carrier, make sure it’s large enough for your pets, and remember to give them regular brakes to get out and stretch their legs.

Once you’ve made it to your new home, it’s time to introduce them to their new space. Indoor pets can be given free rein in their new home right away. If they’re acting timid or unsure, introduce them to the new home one room at a time. Set up one room where they’ll feel most comfortable, and set up their food, beds or blankets, and toys in that space. If your new home has a fenced yard, before allowing outdoor pets free reign to explore their new yard, make sure your fence is totally secure– not just from your pet escaping into the wild, but to keep other animals out.

Sometimes, a move is more complicated than just moving across town. For instance, the move may require a plane ride — flying with your pets comes with additional challenges.  This is where the assistance of professional moving companies that specialize in moving pets around the country may come in handy. Your vet would be a great resource for more advice and options.

Patience and careful consideration are key to helping make a move go smoother for you and your pets! But rest assured, once the disruption of the move is behind you and your family, your pets will settle into their new home in no time.