Once all the boxes are packed and the movers are scheduled, you have a moment of quiet to consider one of the most important things of the moving process: how are you going to move the pets? For most animals, moving is a stressful time. Their entire environment is turned upside down. All the furniture and items in the house that they are used to are now packed away in boxes, and who are these uniformed men with the big truck in the driveway? Even the most complacent animals can become stressed during this time, but there are ways to minimize the stress to keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy. Here are just a few things you can do to make their adjustment period shorter and less stressful:
- Board your animals. You can board your pets at your vet to keep them out of the entire moving process. Board them before the movers arrive and pick them up after all furniture and boxes have been successfully moved. This keeps your pets in one place, and since movers will keep the house doors open, having the animals out of the house during this time means you don’t have to worry about them running off.
- Sequester your animals into an empty room. You can do this in two ways: 1) you can lock them in an empty room at your old house, while the movers are packing up the house. This reduces the likelihood that your animals will escape; or 2) you can lock them in a room at the new house. Both of these can still be confusing to animals with strangers in the home and the unusual noises. Another option is sit in the room with your animals, if you can. This will reassure your pets that they are safe with you.
Actually moving the animals can be scary for your pets too. Most dogs are good with car rides, but other animals, such as cats, are a bit apprehensive about getting in a carrier and going for a ride in the car. You can ask your vet for a sedative, to help make the transition and car ride easier for everyone.
When everything finally settles in, slowly let your pets roam about the new home. They have to get accustomed to the new soundings, so be sure to open all doors to let them sniff about and get used to the new space. Make sure some of their personal items like cat condos, chew toys or scratching posts are visible, so they recognize familiar items. For smaller animals, like fish and rodents, the move is not as difficult. Simply pack up their homes in the car and move them, but for cats and dogs, the transition can be trying, so make sure you have plenty of treats on hand to win back the affection of your four-legged friends.