For those of us who have pets, we have some special considerations when moving. Here are some tips that we have discovered can help you prevent problems and help the move with your animal to go more smoothly. Remember, it’s more difficult for your pet to complain if things are amiss.
First, take your pet to see the vet before you leave. Your pet’s veterinarian can help you identify any potential problems and can even prescribe a mild sedative that will help your pet relax. Moving can be very stressful for pets. In addition, vets are a wonderful source of information and resources about your upcoming move. If you have not already done so, you may want to have a micro-chip placed in your pet. This is relatively painless and can create a measure of safety if you get separated from your pet. Ask your current vet and your Realtor® to recommend a vet close to your new home in the event of an emergency.
Second, for car travel, most vets will recommend that you withhold food from your pet for about 4 hours prior to travel, especially if they are not used to car trips. It’s important to make frequent potty breaks. It might seem counterintuitive, however, do not withhold water. It’s not good to allow your pet to become dehydrated, causing them to become sick.
Third, it’s important to give your pet familiar toys, pillows, beds, etc. Our dog trainer always recommends that we give our pets one of our old t-shirts, especially if we are going to separated from our pets on a flight. If your dog is used to sleeping in a bedroom, consider setting up their space first upon arrival to your new home. This can help them to feel secure, even in the chaos of a move.
Fourth, do not change your pets diet just before, during or immediately after a move. Be sure to have plenty of their normal food to ensure you don’t run out. Also, be sure to feed at your normal time in order to keep them on their daily routine.
Lastly, dedicate some playtime for your pet. As we all know, exercise is critically important for the physical and emotional health of your pet. A move can be a stressful time, making exercise even more important. Be sure to take your dog on daily walks, set up climbing posts for your cat, and I always recommend some good snuggle time.
Using these simple steps can help the transition into a new home a lot more pleasant for all concerned.