Moving with Fido

By: Brent Hanson

Tips for Success When Moving with Pets

Moving is a big change not only for the humans that are doing it but also the furry friends and critters that are part of the family.

Taking time to prepare before your move with pets can result in a smooth transition, particularly if your pet is prone to anxiety or insecurity.  In this case you should consider a visit with your vet who can provide you with a mild calming medication suitable to your pet and their medical history.  Your vet may also be able to make suggestions on preparing your pet if you are moving to a new area as different vaccines or care may be necessary.

Now is also the time to take precautions so your pet can find their way home if they somehow slip out the door during the move.  Check and replace collars if necessary, get your pet ID’s updated by contacting the registration company and providing up-to-date contact information, and check any licensing requirements for your new municipality.

If possible introduce your pet to their new home in the days leading up to your actual move. This can help them feel more settled when the big day finally arrives.   Take your pet to explore, become familiar with the house, yard and new smells in advance to add to their level of comfort.   Once your pet has been introduced to your home it’s time to get out and let them explore the neighborhood.   Use different doors when leaving and entering the home for these early outings and take any routes through the neighborhood that are possible so your pet becomes familiar with directions and how to find home if they somehow escape.

Additional supervision during these early days in your new home is very important.  If you have a fenced yard remain with your pet during the first explorations until you are certain they can’t climb or dig out from under the fence.

Due to their territorial nature the process of moving can be more stressful for cats. Always move your cat in a carrier and keep it in enclosed space with familiar items such as toys, bedding and litter box.   Spend time with them and help them adjust by exploring the room or space they can access; slowly introducing them to more rooms and eventually outside if appropriate.

Once you have arrived at your new home and despite the list of a million things to do to get settled it is important to establish a routine as soon as possible.   Feed your pets and take them for walks or enjoy playtime at the same time you did at your old home.

Taking a few precautions to prepare your pets for the move can make the transition smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.