Tips When Moving with Pets


Moving poses an additional challenge for homeowners with pets. Not only is the actual act of moving stressful for animals, but also settling down in an entirely new place with different scents, boundaries and people. Pets that can roam outdoors, such as cats and dogs, will also have to deal with the other animals who are already well-established in the neighborhood hierarchy. Of course, stressed out pets will add additional worries to their owners, so that settling down in your new place peacefully also means making sure that the relocation is as tension-free for your pet as it is for you.

You probably don’t have to worry much about moving with pets that have their own portable homes such as birds, fish and hamsters. But cats and dogs are more challenging. Here are some tips.

Before moving.
If you’re checking out your new house or apartment before moving in, bring your pet with you as often as you can if it’s possible. That way your pet also gets to familiarize itself with the new house. This also saves you the trouble of calming the excitement or anxiety your pet will have if the place is completely new to them on the day you move in.

If the house is not one that’s newly-built, find out if the previous owners had pets themselves, and whether other neighborhood pets like cats and dogs consider your new lawn their territory. Their scents might still be lingering and prevent your own pet from feeling completely at home at your new place. Already, determine a cozy corner in your new house which your pet can call his or her own.

Before moving day, you should also explore your new neighborhood with your pet in mind. What pets do your new neighbors keep? Do your neighbors like pets too or resent them? Familiarize yourself with nearby pet supplies stores and clinics. Are there pet-friendly parks and establishments nearby? And, for some villages, are there special rules for homeowners regarding keeping and walking pets?

If your new location requires flying, make sure you’re familiar not just with your airline’s pet policy, but also with the pet and animal quarantine laws of your new location. And don’t forget that visit to the vet to make sure your pet is fit to fly!

Traveling and moving in.

The day of the move will be the most stressful, so if you’re moving with your family it’s best to come up with a system that allows you to move in slowly, for example, at least two days. This way, you can supervise moving all the furniture and things during the first day, with people unpacking and organizing things as they arrive. And on the second day you can move in with the rest of your family and your pets stress-free.

Once in your new home, let your pet explore the new surroundings. When finished lead your pet to their ‘cozy corner.’ It helps if you furnish this corner with familiar trappings: the old pet bed or rug, the food and water bowls, as well as your pet’s old toys.

Settling down:
The time it takes to get settled down depends on your pet’s level of comfort and general disposition. Pets that are highly excitable will take longer to adjust and need more personal attention. But as long as you surround them with familiar people and things – even your old shoe or a tatty floor mat from your old house, or familiar-smelling furniture – soon enough they’ll get a sense that this new place is ‘home.’