While moving to a new home is an exciting chapter in you and your pet’s life, there are some steps you should take and things you should know before embarking on this journey. We’ve compiled a list of the top things you should know before, during, and after your moving day to ensure the transition is as stress-free as possible.
Before the move
Moving day is quickly approaching, and you want to ensure your furry friend is ready to go. Where do you begin?
- Update your pet’s ID tags in advance. Doing this sooner rather than later will give you peace of mind that your best friend is going to be safe in your new home. Bonus tip: If your pet is microchipped, add a second tag with the contact information of the microchip company and your pet’s chip number – this way anyone that finds your lost pet will know they have a microchip to get them home to you.
- Map it all out. If you’re moving long-distance and driving, book your pet-friendly hotels early. Most hotel websites have a pet-friendly search filter. For long drives, plan out stops so your pet can stretch its legs. If you have to fly, know that air travel with a pet can be difficult and risky, so read through the Humane Society’s tips on traveling with pets before takeoff.
- Kennel adjustments. Some pets LOVE their crate or kennel… others not so much. If your pet is not used to their kennel, get some practice trips under your belt before moving day (if you have a long way to travel). This way, when the big day comes, your pet knows what to expect.
- Make sure you know local pet laws and regulations. These can vary from city to county to state. Want some help brushing up on what you need to know? Check out the Apartment List guide.
The big day has finally arrived. Make your trip seamless and comfortable by not forgetting:
- Pack your pet’s travel essentials! While a crate and food may be obvious, there are a few things you may forget. Pack pee pads, poop bags and litter boxes, and, of course, your toys and treats. Grab all of your pet’s favorite things to make the move as stress-free as possible, and make sure they are easily accessible so you don’t have to dig through boxes to get them out!
- If possible, travel with a companion. If you’re already moving with your roommate or significant other, awesome! If not, getting some help from a family member or a close friend could go a long way. Split up the driving duties and have the passenger spend time comforting your pet in the backseat.
- Too overwhelmed? Call in the experts. Pet moving companies are here to help. While these services can get pricey (usually ranges between $300-$1000, depending on distance), if you just need one less thing to worry about, they’ll make sure your pet moves in comfort. Need a recommendation? Check out Pet Relocation and UShip for more help.
The hardest part is over. Now what?
- Keep the same home setup. Don’t bother buying a new dog bed, a new cat tree, or new food dishes. New things might seem like a special treat for your pet, but keeping the old accessories will actually help them settle in and feel more at home in their new surroundings.
- Consider keeping your pet supervised. It may take your pet a bit of time to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Separation anxiety can affect even the most confident pups. To avoid unnecessary stress and destruction, you might want to consider hiring a professional pet sitter to keep your fur-baby supervised at all times. Check out NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) for the resources and tips on finding a professional certified pet sitter.
- Have patience. It may seem like the last thing you need while moving is for Fido to pee on your new rug or Fluffy to scratch your brand new couch, but remember – moving is stressful for pets. Just remember you are all starting an exciting new chapter, and while the rug is replaceable, your love for your best friend is not.
Hopefully, these tips help and contribute to a successful transition. Once you get into your routine and introduce your pets to the local parks, their new vet, and their new walk route… they will feel at home in no time!