Often times when people are busy preparing for a move, they forget to think about their pets and how this process may affect their pet’s mental health and wellbeing. It’s easy to tell children what’s happening (assuming they’re old enoaugh to understand), but a dog or a cat will never understand what’s going on and why their home is being packed into boxes. We have a few tips that could minimize the stress your pet takes in during the relocation process.
1. If possible, keep them at a kennel/daycare or a friend’s house. Where possible, the less noise and disruption your pet can take, the better it is for their mental state. We would highly recommend asking your friends or family to help pet-sit for a day, or leave them at a pet daycare centre so they won’t have to sit through the move.
2. Keep all their belongings in one box, with food and toys within reach. It’s not uncommon for things to be misplaced during a move. However, it is imperative that you know where your pet’s items are so you can properly feed them, and make them feel at ease. Sometimes unpacking and reorganizing can span a few days, and just like your children, your pet can’t survive a few days until you find and unpack their food.
3. Contact your Veterinarian and take all important documents with you. Especially if you’re moving to a new town or city, you’ll need to go to a new Veterinarian. The new Veterinarian will need records of your pet’s health and the history of their vaccinations and/or surgeries. Make sure you do your research to find a reputable Vet in your new area.
4. Keep your pet close to you and in your own vehicle. Any familiarity is the best thing you can do for your furry friend in instances like this. The familiar scent and voice of your family members will help them remain as calm as they can. Never leave them in a moving truck with all your boxes, it will only cause them to freak out. Further, make sure to keep them in a carrier so they won’t have the opportunity to jump or run off.
5. Quarantine. Allocate a room just for them so they can quarantine until they get used to their new environment. Keep all their toys, scratching posts, beds, food and water bowls in here so they can start to recognize that this is their new space.
6. Update your records. Things like their collar tag, microchip and address needs to be updated in case they ever run away or get lost, you will need this new info so they can be returned to you when they are found.
7. Pet-proof your new home. Just like you’ll need to baby-proof for babies, you’ll need to pet-proof for pets to make sure your pet won’t risk getting into any danger. Make sure windows and doors are closed and locked, that there are no big gaps or holes in your backyard/walls, that sharp objects and chemicals are safely stored out of reach, etc. Your pet needs to feel safe when they roam freely in their new home!
Once you have ensured you did as much as you can for your pet to call this house their new home, you can enjoy doing the old things you used to do again. Contact the HelpingYouMove Team for more info on how to safely transition your pet(s) to your new home - 647.247.6000