No matter how much we convince ourselves otherwise, moving to a new place is always stressful. And moving with pets is a double stress, when two are nervous at once-both you and your pet. How to prepare for this difficult event together with your four-legged friend, we will tell you below. Your life will be easier if you address part of your moving to professionals. Check moving company reviews, use a moving cost estimator to be prepared and save your money and, of course, download and print a moving checklist.
“The animals don’t really understand what’s going on, and it’s up to us how comfortable they will feel when they move,” says Ann Hansen, a veterinarian and professor of veterinary medicine at Argosy University. Therefore, you need to think carefully and plan everything in advance.
Prepare your pet for change
Of course, it’s easier said than done, but the best way to help animals stay calm is to be calm yourself. “Try not to let your pet feel that you are nervous,” advises veterinarian and owner of an animal moving company, Walter Wolfe. He recommends talking to the animal, thereby calming it down. Of course, your Maltese lapdog will not understand the meaning of the words, but a positive intonation will inspire her with calm and confidence – if the owner is near and smiling, then there is nothing to worry about.
Here are some more tips on how to prepare:
- If you have a long journey ahead of you, reduce the food portion by about a third a few days before the trip, so that the animal does not shake in the plane or car with a full stomach.
- Be sure to hang a sign with your nickname, your name and phone number on the collar. Be prepared for the fact that anything can happen, and the animal, for example, will get lost in a panic.
- If you are moving abroad, find out in advance what certificates and vaccinations are needed in order for your pet to enter the country without hindrance. There are countries where, for example, at least six months must pass between the receipt of the certificate and the actual border crossing.
- Start packing your things in boxes as early as possible. After getting used to them, the animal will no longer worry.
- If the animal is going to survive the move while in the carrier, allow him to get acquainted with it in advance. Put your pet’s favorite blanket in it and leave it open in the room. Let the animal go in and out as freely as it wants.
- Get a copy of the animal’s medical history with all appointments from your veterinarian.
How to behave on the day of moving
On the day of moving, the animal will experience stress in any case, at least from the fact that strangers come to his home and take something out of there. So, if possible, ask someone close to you or a friend that your pet trusts to pick him up for that day. If this is not possible, close the animal in a room where the noise is not heard or is heard minimally.
Put the pet in the carrier just before the moment of departure, and in no case leave it for a long time in the car. Cover the carrier with a towel so that the dog or cat can’t see what’s going on around them. After a couple of hours, when she feels calmer, the towel can be removed.
Introducing your pet to a new home
Before you allow the animal to explore a new home, examine it yourself. Make sure that the apartment does not have any cracks and gaps, for example, under the bathroom or the sofa left from the previous owners, where the pet can climb and from where it will be difficult to get it later. Then open the carrier and put it on the floor. Do not pull the animal out of the carrier by yourself! The pet will come out on its own when curiosity overcomes fear. Dogs usually immediately start running around the house and sniffing everything. Cats are more cautious and may first cower in a dark corner.
When the movers arrive at your new home, lock the animal in the room again. If possible, arrange the furniture as in the previous apartment, so that the animal is used to seeing objects as they looked before. And do not get out of the feeding schedule and put old bowls with the usual smell. For cats, the same goes for the toilet. In general, don’t try to set new rules from the start. For example, if the animal is used to sleeping with you, it would be wrong to forbid it from the first day in the new house. You will still have time for re-education.