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How to Prepare Your Pets for Moving

How to Prepare Your Pets for Moving

All our pets want in life is a comfy bed, good food, and a solid routine.  But unfortunately, they're at the whim of our major life decisions, and sometimes that means moving.  A few simple steps can make the experience a little easier on them, and on yourself too.

STICK TO YOUR PET'S ROUTINE

A lot of pets get stressed when their routine is disrupted, so it helps to introduce the move gradually.  Start packing weeks in advance to get them used to seeing all the boxes.  It helps to keep their feeding and walk schedule the same time every day, especially during the packing phase, as this will also alleviate the stress.

MAKE THE MOVE LESS STRESSFUL

If you have a cat that goes or stays outdoors, you might want to keep them inside while you're packing and moving boxes around.  Some cats get nervous and won't come back inside.  If your cat's only exposure to a carrier is when they go to the vet, now's the time to leave it where they can examine it daily.  Place your cat's favorite blanket or toy in the carrier, and praise them when they go inside.  Set the carrier up well in advance, so your cat will get used to going in there and hiding out.  Leaving a few treats inside daily can help.

Similarly, if the dog is only used to car rides when it's time to go to the vet, you want to get them used to it before you move.  Start with short trips and associate something positive with the trip to help ease your dog's anxiety.

Covering the pet carrier with a sheet or light blanket for the first few hours of the trip will help, especially with cats, as they get a little freaked out when they see the world moving by.  Toss an old t-shirt in their carrier, as familiar smells help keep them calm.

Some pets handle change better than others.  If yours tends to freak out, boarding them with your vet might be a better option.  If that's not possible, keep them in a safe, enclosed area on moving day.  Keep cats and other small animals in hard-sided carriers, and dogs should be in one room or the backyard.

BE PREPARED

A big move can be tricky with pets.  There's already so much you have to plan, it's tough to fit their needs into the mix too.  With a little preparation, you can ease them into the process and make the move as stress-free as possible.

On moving day, pack all their things in one box and clearly label it.  Make sure  you keep this box in the car with easy accessibility, and load it in the vehicle that will transport your pets in.

This box should contain:

  1. Food & Water (with their bowls)
  2. Walking leash & poop bags
  3. Paper towels in case of accidents
  4. Toys & Treats
  5. Their favorite blanket or bed
  6. Any medication they are on

FAMILIARIZE YOUR PET WITH YOUR NEW HOME

Before moving, make sure your new home is pet-friendly.  Look for any possible toxic plants outside.  Common trees like Apple & Cherry trees, if your dog likes to chew, are toxic.  Some shrubs and flowers like Rhubarb, Winterberry Holly, Hydrangea & Hosta's are also toxic.  These examples are just some of the most common ones.  For more info, please check out this link https://blog.homesalive.ca/dangerous-garden-plants-for-dogs.   Better safe than sorry.

This might sound silly, but make sure there are no secret holes in any rooms or the garage that lead outside of the house.  Ease your pet into the new home by making it a little more familiar.  Put their favorite objects like bowls, litter boxes, scratching post, in the areas they're used to.  For example, if their bowls were in the kitchen in the old place, keep the bowls in the kitchen in the new place.  If their litter box was in the bathroom, keep it in the bathroom in the new place.

It's important to stick to their schedule once you move too.  This helps reduce some of their stress.  Everything looks different and they have no idea what's going on, but at least they know they're getting fed at the same time everyday.

IDENTIFY YOUR PETS

Millions of pets go missing every year, make sure your pets have a collar with proper identification or are microchipped.  Even better, place a tracking device on their collar in case they escape during the move.  Most tracking devices are tracked from your cell phone now.  If your indoor cat should escape, try placing their liltter box outside, they have a great nose and this will help them find their way back.

Finally, if you're changing phone numbers, don't forget to update your pet's ID collar or any pet registry they may be part of.  It's kind of a given, but when we're caught up in the massive to-do list that comes with moving, it's easy to overlook the obvious.

A big move can be tricky with pets.  There's already so much you have to plan, it's tough to fit their needs into the mix too.  With a little preparation, you can ease them into the process and make the move as stress-free as possible.