A long distance out of state move can be an exciting prospect, but it is important to remember how it will affect all of the members of your family, and that includes the furry, four-legged kind. Yes, our pets are going with us, and with that in mind, we must take all the proper steps necessary to keep them comfortable and safe throughout the duration of the move. Here are some suggestions for making that trip with your fur babies an enjoyable one.
Get Them Used to The Moving Environment.
Many pets, dogs in particular, will love the sight of all those boxes and packing supplies, and will often waste no time setting out to destroy all of it. This is especially true if you have puppies around a year or two old. You should get your pets used to the idea of these supplies being around, and properly train them with stern “no’s” to leave those supplies alone. You might lose a box or two at first, but they will get the idea and subsequently lose interest pretty quickly.
Try To Maintain Some Routine, For Their Sake.
Animals are used to things happening a given way on any given day. They know when to wake up, when they will be fed, walked, time for play and interaction, etc. It will not be easy with everything else going on but try to maintain the routine to the best of your ability in order to avoid them becoming too stressed out. Keep feeding times the same if at all possible. Make sure to take them out for their walks or playtime. And of course, go out of your way to provide a little extra love, patience, and cuddling. They are cognizant and aware that things are changing. So, show them that you understand!
Let Them Keep Their Space as Long as Possible.
Most animals have their places that they like to go and hang out, rest, sleep, even play. Do your best to maintain that for them. Moving projects can often alter the landscape of a home to a great degree, so if you can take steps to protect their space, their spot of familiarity among the chaos, that can often go a long way towards maintaining their peace of mind and happiness. Cats are especially prone to becoming skittish as circumstances around them become more hectic. They need that safe space to retreat from everything that is stressing them out.
Check Out New Pet Laws in The City You Are Moving To.
Laws concerning pets vary from city to city, and the last thing you need is to run afoul of those laws upon your arrival. Do some research beforehand to know what is expected of you and your pets in and around your new community and make any preparations ahead of the moving day. This is especially true when moving to an apartment. Some allow pets, while others do not, and those that do may require an additional fee prior to moving in. Update your pet’s tags and shots before leaving, and if they are chipped, have the chip info updated to reflect your new address.
Pet Friendly Lodging.
A long-distance move means long distance travel, which may require lodging for a night or two. You should make sure in advance that the accommodations you choose are pet friendly. Because you do not want to find yourself driving late at night looking for a hotel or motel that will take your four-legged friends.
Secure Your Pet and Keep Them Close to You.
Pack a separate moving bag for your pet, including water bowls, their favorite toys, food, bedding, treats, along with some paper towels and plastic bags to clean up after them as needed. At both your previous location and final destination, there will be a lot of activity, with a lot of open doors. This means any number of opportunities for them to get out and possibly lost in a new and unfamiliar neighborhood. Place them in a kennel or a cage in a quiet room in the house with food and a few toys. Just in case you do lose track of them, however, have a recent photo as well as their microchip information on hand.
Prepare Your Vehicle to Travel with Your Pet.
Have their travel carrier or cage belted securely in the back seat, and make sure that they are familiar with and comfortable with that carrying device. You might want to take them on a few test drives in the days leading up to the move so that the experience is not a new (and potentially stressful) one for them. Keep a blanket handy to place over the cage if it does appear that they are becoming stressed, as this has a way of easing the tension for them. And of course, plan to stop every so often to allow them to do their business and stretch their legs. If you get tired of being in a car over a long distance, rest assured they do as well.
And that “one half” tip we mentioned?
Be Sure TO Pet Proof Your New Home…BEFORE Your Pet’s Arrival. Secure the doors, windows, and gates to prevent them from escaping. Make sure they cannot jump over or through balcony openings. Look for any holes or other openings in fencing. Cover all vent openings and keep toilet lids closed so nobody drinks anything they are not supposed to. In addition, look for any poison or pest control traps that may have been left by the previous tenants, and keep dangerous chewable items (such as electrical cord) away from pets such as dogs who love to chew on things whenever they are anxious or stressed.
Walk your dog through your new home and allow them to get used to new smells and locations. Your cats may disappear for a day or two (or three, or four), but they are around, and they will acclimate. Give them a week or two and rest assured they will eventually feel right at home in your new space.