Are you moving short distances, relocating to a new state, or even cross-country with your pet? There are several steps you can take to help make moving day go smoothly—including contacting your vet, gathering essential pet supplies, pet proofing your new home, and more. Check out these top 11 tips for moving with pets!
Be Aware of Pet Regulations
No matter if you’re moving a short or long distance, there are several regulations that you’ll want to keep in mind. Apartments have various pet requirements or restrictions, and they can charge pet rent, a pet deposit, or pet fees depending on the weight or breed of the animal. If you’re moving to a different city or state, be aware that some areas may require cats and dogs to have a valid health certificate or current rabies vaccination upon arrival. Need a place to stay while moving? Be sure to find temporary housing or a pet-friendly hotel that accommodates your animal.
Maintain Your Routine
Because the moving process can be stressful for pets, you should avoid changing up their regular routines as much as possible. Though you might not want to take a break from packing when you’re on a roll—prioritize feeding, walking, playing with, and putting your pet to bed at the same times as usual. Keeping your pets in the same routine can help reduce their anxiety during the move—and adjust to a new home.
Contact Your Vet
If you’re moving with a pet, your veterinarian will be a fantastic resource. Contact them to ensure all of your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date prior to moving. Be sure to ask for a copy of your pet’s records and prescription medications to take with you. It’s also important to update your pet’s license and tags (or microchip information). Plus, your vet might even be able to provide recommendations of a reliable vet in your new neighborhood!
Get the Moving Boxes Out Early
Need a reason to stop putting off packing? Think about your animal! For your furry, fluffy, or scaly friend’s sake, it’s best to start the packing process as early as possible. Pets are often the first to notice change, and can become agitated if their surroundings begin to look different. Set boxes out well before your moving day to help your them get more comfortable with moving supplies. If your pet approaches or starts sniffing a box, give them a treat to reward their curiosity and calm their anxiety. Introducing your pets to boxes early on in the moving process can help make them less anxious and disruptive while you’re packing.
Prepare Your Pet for Travel
Don’t overlook transportation! Before you move, familiarize your pet with their crate and your vehicle by going on regular rides. Acclimating pets to the travel experience gradually helps avoid adding additional stress to the moving day itself. When relocating pets, place their carrier in the backseat of your car and secure it with a seatbelt. Keep small critters like birds and hamsters as well as other rodents in their normal cages—and cover these enclosures and dog kennels with blankets to decrease anxiety caused by sounds and visual movement. On moving day, keep your pet in their carrier as you transport them into your new home—your pet could get stressed and have the urge to take off in a new environment.
Pack an Overnight Kit
As moving day approaches, prepare an overnight kit with all of your pet’s essentials to keep them as comfortable as possible. This kit should include pet supplies such as food, treats, water bowls, cleaning supplies, medications, leashes, toys, grooming tools, and waste bags. Having an emergency pet kit on hand helps ensure you have everything your pet may need while other items are packed away. Just don’t forget to unpack your pet’s items first when you get to your new home—seeing familiar items can help reassure them!
Opt for Secluded Spaces
Both the home you’re moving out of and the one you’re moving into can get messy and cluttered during a move. Keeping a secluded, peaceful space for your pet can help decrease their stress levels. While you’re packing up your home, provide your pet with a space that remains untouched to offer some comfort. In your new home, prioritize finding a secure, quiet space for your pet to stay in and surround them with familiar bedding and toys. This not only protects them from being in the middle of the action, but it also helps prevent escape attempts. You might also consider having a trusted friend or family member watch your pet for the day, or letting them spend the day at their regular day care or kennel.
Keep Your Pet Busy
The key to keeping your pets calm is keeping them occupied. Plan ahead to ensure your pets have plenty of ways to stay entertained on moving day. Schedule extra time to play ball or take your furry friend on a walk so they can burn off any anxious energy. Play mentally-stimulating games for dogs—including puzzles and hide-and-seek. Schedule play dates with other animals (or humans!) they already know and get along with. And be sure to leave your pet with a variety of toys to play with while you’re busy moving into your new place!
Pet-Proof Your New Home
In addition to designing a pet-centric home—pet-proofing your home is crucial to a successful transition for your best buddy. Keep dangling wires from lamps, TVs, and other devices out of their reach to keep your items—and more importantly, your pets—safe. Pets can destroy these items by chewing through the cords or even get caught in them and become strangled. Utilize child locks or latches to keep your animals from getting into cabinets, and store medicines and other toxic substances up high. If you have a balcony or backyard, make sure your pet can’t slip through railings or jump over fencing. In addition, check your home and yard to ensure accessible areas have only pet-friendly plants.
Show Your Pet the New Neighborhood
Do you walk your pet? Whether your active buddy is furry, fluffy, or scaly, a great tip if you’re moving with a pet is to acclimate them to their new neighborhood. Introduce them to the new sights and scents of the area by taking them for regular walks around your new home. If you’re moving to a nearby area, you can even begin doing this in the weeks leading up to the move. Giving your pet treats while on these walks can help them create a more positive association with the new living area.
Give Your Pet Time to Adjust
Moving with pets can be difficult, and yours will need time to adjust to their new home. Give them space to explore the new home at their own pace, and understand that their behavior and appetite may be a little different for a few days as they get used to their environment. During this adjustment period, it’s important to stay attuned to your pet’s needs, be patient, and give them extra attention and love!
Need to store furniture or pet supplies while moving with your pet? Extra Space Storage has a variety of storage locations throughout the U.S. Find a storage unit near you!