Moving is one of life’s most stressful events!
It might not be in the top 10 but according to the Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale, moving scores 28 out of 43. Add in moving across the country with pets and the stress level can only go up.
Moving pets isn’t stress-free but there are things you can do so that the move is easier on you and them.
Our list of 8 tips designed for an easier move with pets should help. Read through them and see if Spot and Tabby don’t thank you once they’re settled in their new home.
1. Hire a Professional
Moving a household means planning, paperwork, physical labor, and often a long drive to a new state. For families moving to a new country, the moving process is even more daunting. Add a pet and their needs to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for stress.
Consider using a professional pet transport service.
A company that specializes in pet transport is only concerned with getting your pet safely to their new home. This means you can focus on moving your belongings, vehicles, and other family members.
You supply the pet bed, blanket, and food for the road. The pet transportation service provides the kennel and all on-the-road TLC.
You’re already feeling a bit more lighthearted, right?
Once you’ve secured pet transportation, use the rest of the tips so that your pet is ready for moving day.
2. Don’t Pack in Front of Pets
Cats are creatures of habit. They’re also uber-sensitive. You might even say they’re a bit OCD.
When it comes to their habits and daily routines, cats resist doing anything outside of their comfort zone. Moving is definitely outside of a cat’s comfort zone.
Like cats, dogs are also in-tune with what’s going on around them. Dogs sense when their owners are stressed. Imagine the vibes you give off when you’re involved in the chaos of a major move!
Moving is naturally upsetting for pets-if you don’t believe it just move the cat’s litter box or the dog’s bed. Avoid passing on stress to your pets as much as possible by not doing this:
Don’t pack all of your belongings in front of your pet. For cats, this could cause a high level of stress simply because it threatens their normal environment. Dogs may think you’re abandoning them.
For pets, packing indicates big changes. You can’t avoid changes in your pet’s life entirely, but you can take steps so that changes to their routines are minimal.
3. Keep the Same Routines
It takes effort but if you can maintain your pet’s normal routines, they’ll respond better to moving.
- Don’t disrupt their feeding times.
- If you have a certain time you normally play with your cat or walk the dog, don’t change it.
- Give them their usual amount of attention.
These things might sound like common sense but getting caught up with moving details makes forgetting about Fluffy’s need for routine easy.
Think about how stressed you feel with the chaos of moving. Your pets feel stress too. Maintaining normal feeding, exercise, and play routines help keep pets calm.
By the way, have you thought about how you’ll transport your pet?
4. Introduce the Crate
Whether you move the pets in your own car or use a transportation service they will spend time in a kennel.
If you introduced your dog to the kennel as a puppy, no problem. But if this is a new thing for your dog, don’t let moving day be the first time he’s ever seen a kennel.
Cats may not like kitty carriers but if they’ve been to the vet they’re at least familiar with riding in them. If your cat hasn’t spent time in one, start putting them in a cat carrier now for a few minutes each day. Like dogs, cats won’t appreciate being forced into a carrier for the first time on moving day.
On moving day, put a favorite blanket and toy in the kennel. Both have your pet’s scent on them. Familiar smells help keep stress levels down.
Once you’re on the road, plan rest stops. Take 10-15 minutes every few hours for exercise and bathroom breaks. You’ll feel more energetic and accidents in the kennel are less likely.
5. Take Your Pet to the Vet
Schedule a check-up for your pet before moving day. You don’t enjoy traveling when you’re not feeling well and neither do your fur kids.
The vet should make sure all vaccinations, including rabies, are up to date. The vet check ensures your pet is healthy and lets you ask any questions you have about traveling.
Request your pet’s medical records at the vet visit. Keep the records with you during the move. Also once you’re moved, you’ll need the medical records for the new vet.
Hint: You’ll need records if you plan on having a service move your pet across the country.
During the vet visit ask about the best pet identification methods. There’s nothing worse than a pet lost during a cross-country move.
6. Consider a Microchip
Identification of your pets isn’t an option. If your dog gets loose during the move, you may never find them. Cats are great escape artists and if they’re in an unfamiliar place like a rest area or hotel parking lot, they may be lost for good.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) 6.5 million stray dogs and cats are brought to animal shelters each year. About 710,000 eventually reunite with their families.
Many of those animals find their way home because of microchips.
A microchip is the easiest method of storing your pet’s ID information. The procedure, done by a vet, is painless. Your pet gets a registration number and if they pull a Houdini on you while traveling, the person who finds them can easily determine they belong to you.
Even if Pup and Fluffy have microchips, there’s another precaution you should take.
7. Don’t Forget the Collar
Collars and ID tags are an absolute must for pets during a move. Even when pet owners are careful, pets can get loose while traveling. Having two forms of ID – a microchip and a collar and tag make it more likely you’ll get your pets back if they do end up lost.
They may give you the stink-eye but make sure the dog and the cat wear their collar at all times. Include a tag with your current contact information including your new address.
You can’t imagine how many people are moving with dogs across the country. Cats too! Why not take a few extra steps so that your beloved animals make it safely to their new home?
8. Help Them Acclimate
Have you figured out yet that moving with dogs and cats — or frankly, any pet — isn’t easy? As difficult as the physical move is, the post-relocation period is also a challenge.
Make acclimating to the new place easier on your pets by:
- Put your pet(s) in a separate room with their kennel, bed, feeding dishes and other supplies.
- Wait until they’ve calmed down from traveling before letting them out of the room.
- Close doors and windows before introducing your pet to their new home.
- Re-introduce their old routine as soon as possible.
- Don’t remove their collar and tags in case they escape.
Don’t worry if the adjustment takes time. You probably won’t feel completely at home for awhile either. Be patient and don’t rush anything.
What if moving with pets could be easier?
Stress-Free Moving Across Country with Pets
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our tips for moving across the country with pets. Here at ATW, we’re dedicated animal lovers too and we know how stressful moving can be on pets and their families.
Our service takes your beloved pet from point A to point B with the least amount of stress possible. Our experienced team understands how important it is that pets get to their new home quickly and safely. It’s our mission!
Arrange a move with us today! We guarantee your pets will get the royal treatment and a lot of TLC.