Moving tends to be stressful for most humans, and that same stress extends to your pets.
They may not know precisely what is going on, but they can sense that change is in the air. Whether you’re moving north to Hamilton or south to the states, it can be stressful for your pets, weather aside. You’ll likely see some signs of stress in your pet, and there are things you can do to make the transition as smoothly as possible.
Get Vet Records
Unless you’re moving down the stress or across town, it’s important to get copies of your pet’s health records from the veterinarian. This will help their next veterinarian establish the best standard of care based on your pet’s past and current health. It’s wise to get a checkup a couple of weeks before the big move to make sure they are well enough to travel. If you’re traveling by plane, check with the airline to see if you need to provide a certificate of health before your animal can board.
Prep for the Trip
Preparing for a trip for your pet is similar to preparing to go on a trip yourself. You want to make sure your pet is comfortable on the journey. You will want to bring enough food to last the entire trip plus a few extra days in case you’ll be living in a hotel for a bit or anticipate not making it to the pet store as soon as you arrive at your new home. Here are some other items to consider bringing:
- Containers or bowls for food and water
- Clean drinking water
- Carriers/kennels if needed
- Leash and harness
- Dog/cat bed
- Dog/cat toys
- Puppy pads for dogs
- Litter and travel litter box for cats
- Treats to give in between meal times and calm pets
- Any pet medications
One tip to keep pets comfortable emotionally is to put a shirt, towel, or another item in your pet’s bed, carrier, or kennel. Your scent will make your pet feel more comfortable and safe.
Practice Makes Perfect
If your pet is not used to being in a carrier or kennel, it’s best to help your pet become more comfortable with it. Forcing your animal to spend any time an enclosed space will add to their stress, and there are plenty of tips to help them become familiar and feel safe in that space. Most of the tips you see for dogs are effective for cats.
Create a Safe Space for Moving Days
Moving days are the most stressful days for your pet during the moving process. There’s lots of commotion in the home, new people coming in and out, and items being moved. To make sure your pet doesn’t run away because a door was left open, create a safe space for them in the home where they can be away from everything going on.
Pick a room that you can clear out and dedicate to your pet. Place their favorite toys, a comfy bed, food, and water in the room for them. Some animals may be ok with just a litter box or puppy pad, but you may need to plan times to let them out to relieve themselves you don’t have a mess to clean up after everything is loaded up. You can do the same thing when you arrive in your new home.
Stick to your Routine
While traveling and establishing your family in the new home, try to keep your pet on the same routine. Feed them and let them go to the bathroom at the same time each day. This might mean you need to make more pit stops on a drive than usual. For dogs, this means if you should continue daily walks if that is part of the routine.
When traveling by plane, take your animal into the bathroom occasionally to see if they need to relieve themselves. If you need a layover, try to pick an airport that has animal relief areas. Otherwise, use a family restroom to let