Moving is tough, and pets often wind up getting loaded into the car last-minute as families are busy with final preparations. If you think moving is stressful for you, just imagine how it feels for your cat or dog. Pets are highly emotional and pick up on stress from their owners. Their home is being changed before their eyes, and they can easily be upset by being uprooted to a new environment.
Have Proper Travel Equipment
Cats should be secured in travel crates during the trip, while large and small dogs can be secured either in a cage, behind a wire barrier in a back hatch or with a pet seatbelt. So long as your pet is safe and secure, you’ll be able to focus on the trip without any distractions and remove the risk of any potential accidents.
Be sure to have water, bowls, and plenty of toys easily accessible for your pet along the way. Travel can be stressful and having familiar aspects along the way will help lessen that stress level.
Pack the Essentials in an Overnight Bag
You’ll want pet food, favorite toys, treats, kitty litter and any medication easily accessible the first few days in your new place. A simple overnight bag along with your primary luggage will make feedings and playtime easy and stress-free. You can also use toys and treats as a way to positively introduce your pet to their new home.
Try to start and stick to a regular feeding and potty schedule as soon as possible. The sooner they learn your routine, the sooner they’ll start to enjoy theirs.
Introduce Your New Home Slowly
Keep your pet in a confined space when you first arrive. Excited and anxious pets are prone to accidents, so it’s best to slowly introduce them to their new home in a safe space with easy-to-clean floors. Use their favorite toys, treats and blankets with familiar scents to make them feel more comfortable. Over the next several days, you can expand their access to the home as they become more acquainted with the new environment.
If you want to keep your pet away from certain rooms, be clear about the areas you want your pet to have access to and which areas are off limits. Be firm but loving and your pet will soon learn the rules of the household.
Find Local Vets
Let your current veterinarian know you’re moving so they can provide you with a copy of your records and prescriptions. You can also ask your vet if they have any recommendations for clinics in your new neighborhood.
Look for emergency vet clinics in your new neighborhood before you move. Look into what treatment they’re capable of. Find out what kind of veterinary anesthesia systems, monitoring devices, and surgical equipment they keep on hand for procedures. You should also find out what kinds of animals they specialize in and can treat. If you have several different kinds of pets, make sure they can treat all of them.
If you’re moving with pets across the country, you should look up 24/7 veterinary hospitals for each leg of your trip to ensure help is always available should you need it.
Make sure you include your pets as part of your moving preparations. If you have a good-natured dog or laid-back cat, it’s easy to forget they need time to adjust, too. Use your time wisely to prepare the new space and ensure that your pets will have the most comfortable, seamless transition into their new home.