Moving can be an exciting yet stressful event in one’s life. After all, there’s so much work and preparation involved in the whole process!
But did you know that moving to a new place can be stressful on your pet, too? Yep, even though your pet might APPEAR calm or geared up for the new adventure, beneath that sobering expression or that slobbery smile is a mind running rampantly with fear and anxiety.
Luckily for you, there are some steps you can take in the whole moving process to help make your pet feel more at ease with the whole process!
BEFORE THE MOVE – Imagine for a moment that you’re the pet in the situation. You’re just casually lying in your bed when all of a sudden there are boxes EVERYWHERE, and all the things that you’ve known to be in certain spots get moved for no reason.
Did you get nervous just reading that?
Instead of suddenly packing everything you own in boxes days before the move, pack over a period of time, and do your best to maintain your pet’s normal schedule. Buy a carrier for your cat or dog and allow it to get accustomed to it by leaving the door open and a comfy bed inside. If the pet becomes nervous around the boxes, try keeping it in a quiet room where it is away from noise.
As soon as you know the address and phone number of your new home, get a new pet ID tag with the new information. Place both the old and new sets of tags on your pet before and after the move so that it can be found in case it gets lost.
THE BIG DAY – During the moving day, place your pet in a safe, quiet area such as the bathroom so that it will remain calm and won’t escape. Leave food and water bowls, a bed, and a toy for your pet, including a litter box if it’s a cat. Put up a sign on the door that says, “DO NOT ENTER” so that the movers and anyone else know that the room is off-limits. Do not forget your pet before you leave your old home!
TRAVELING BY CAR – When traveling by car, it’s best to keep your pet confined in that comfy crate of theirs. Only open the carrier in a secure area and only when it’s absolutely necessary. If your pet is not fond of riding in the car, consider talking with your vet about employing behavior modifications or perhaps using medication that could reduce the stress your pet will feel.
Remember, when traveling with pets in the car, NEVER leave your pet alone in your car, especially in warm weather! The temperature can rise surprisingly fast in a vehicle, and this can cause heat stroke or in some cases death. Additionally, never put your pet in the trunk of a car, an open bed of a pickup truck, or in the storage area of a moving van. This is an easy way to injure your pet, especially if you have to make a sudden stop to avoid an accident.
TRAVELING BY AIR – If your new home is located a great distance away and you absolutely must travel by air, you will need to do a lot of advanced planning! First off, check with your vet, the airline, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture if your pet will be flying. Most airlines will allow small dogs on board for an additional fee, but be sure to call your airline in advance to make sure! Be sure to ask your airline if there are any restrictions on transporting your pet as cargo, if they have any special pet health and immunization requirements, and if they require a special type of carrier for your pet.
Additionally, if your pet must travel in the cargo hold, try to use direct flights so you can avoid mistakes and transfer delays. Try also to travel on the same flight that your pet takes, and be sure that the cargo area is temperature controlled and pressurized so your pet can stay safe and happy.
SETTLING INTO YOUR NEW HOME – Ahhhh, finally! You’ve got all of your things moved over to your new home. That must mean you’re home-free now, right?
Once you arrive at your new home, immediately scan the home and be sure that it is pet-proofed. Keep your eyes peeled for poisons, wires and cords, choking hazards, objects that are prone to fall, and any loose screens, doors, or fencing.
After you pet-proof your new home, open your pet’s carrier so that it can explore and get used to its new home. Place your pet’s water and food bowls out immediately, and set out its toys, litter box, and bed so it can feel more at home. Don’t be surprised if your pet soils somewhere in the home. After all, it’s new territory, and it’s only marking its place.
Be sure to spend time with your pet. Play with it and reassure it that all is well. Give it treats or a new toy so that it will start to associate the new home as a fun, safe dwelling. Remember to take off the old tags and keep the new ones on, and allow your pet to explore its new home so it may familiarize itself with the new sights, smells, and sounds.
It’s a good idea, also, to take your pet around the neighborhood (just remember to keep it on a leash!). It may feel more comfortable if it can get out and explore the new turf.
Above all, remember to be patient with your pet! Try not to get too frustrated if it remains nervous or makes an occasional mess in your new home. It may take some time to get itself familiarized and comfortable in its new home.
Are you moving? Call us here at the Massey Team at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298! Check out our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you!