The moving process is a stressful one at best, and an absolute nightmare at worst.
Even in cases of moving just down the street, keeping track of your human belongings and how to pack them can be a logistical mess. Throwing your pets and their own needs and insecurities into the mix can only pile on the stress. Luckily, here are some tips for keeping things safe and sane while moving yourself and your furry friends to a new home.
Long Distance With Furry Friends
For long-distance moves, you’re going to want to start with some precautions in terms of licensing for your cat, dog, or other pets. Each state has different licensing and vaccination requirements for pets, so if you’re crossing state lines, take the time to research the requirements for your pet’s lawful new residence.
Get all these vaccinations and a new rabies tag before you leave. While you’re doing this, it’s a good opportunity to get your pets medical records together and pick out a new vet near your new home. With this already sorted before you even arrive, any unexpected unfortunate events will be overall less intense. Make sure your pets are all properly ID tagged before they go anywhere, and invest in microchipping them. Doubling up on backup plans makes it a lot easier to track down your cat or dog if they get spooked and bolt.
Adjusting to New Surroundings
Now you need to know how your pet is going to travel. If it’s just up the street or only across town, time the move according when your pet’s presence in the new place will be the least disruptive to unpacking and organizing. If you can swing it, plan to introduce your pet to their new surroundings a little while before they become permanent.
This way your dog or cat isn’t in immediate panic when they start expecting you to leave, and you wind up staying. Bring all your pet’s essentials: bed, bowl, toys, and set them up in a spot near you to maximize familiarity. If your animal is a little antsier or more skittish than most, consider having them stay with a trusted friend until your move is finalized.
Going For a (Long) Ride
Cross-country travel with your pet is going to require much more maintenance than the ordinary road trip. While you can invest in a professional pet shipper, most owners prefer to take theirs with them on the road. Keep treats and toys present in the vehicle with you, and make frequent stops to exercise or allow your animal to relieve themselves. More timid animals will likely need more attention, so travel with a passenger that can soothe them. Try to keep them out of a carrier, but use it if necessary, particularly in pets that find it a safe, calming environment. Keep them on a leash always, otherwise you might be dealing with a lost pet in a completely foreign location.
Lastly, never leave your pet unattended in a car.
Hopefully your move is going somewhere that both you and your pet can love. It won’t feel quite like home at first, but cooperation and a stress-free transition with your animal can make it work. Before long your dog or cat will be snoring soundly in a new nook without a care in the world.