The Commonwealth Blog
As the weather becomes warmer in March and April and we approach National Moving Month in May, more people will transition to new homes. And many of those people will be bringing some of the most important members of their families—their pets. Moving with pets can be stressful, whether you’re just moving across town or to a different country. However, with a few good tips and some thoughtful preparation, moving with your furry friends can be easier on you and them.
Prep Before You Move
Make sure any pets you have, especially cats and dogs, have their collars and ID tags fitted with your name and current mobile phone number. If you have an address on their tag, update it to your new address. Microchipping can also help a lost pet make their way back to you, especially if your pet loses its collar.
It may help to go to the vet and get your pet some relaxing medications to help on a long car road or plane trip. Your vet may prescribe medication or offer an OTC solution to your pet’s travel anxiety. If you’re staying somewhere overnight on your move, look for pet-friendly hotels. While many hotels claim pet-friendliness, call the front desk for an exact policy and cost for your pet before checking in or booking.
Make sure you have pet toys, food, and water along with your pet carrier or in your car. Your pet has needs on a long trip, just as you do. Make sure they’re well taken care of during a long journey. New sounds, sights, and smells can be overwhelming to cats and dogs, and familiar objects can be comforting. If your pet hasn’t been in your car in a while, it may be helpful to acclimate them to the car environment a few weeks beforehand. Don’t forget to stop for fresh water and bathroom breaks—for yourself and your pet.
Your New Home
After you’ve done all your preparation and gotten your pets to your new home, getting them used to the new space can be difficult. It’s important to make sure you’re first aware and knowledgeable of the space and can protect them from any dangers, especially before your furniture has arrived. Familiar objects, such as furniture, crates, pet beds, and other objects, should be placed in similar locations for your pet to get used to the new space. Wait until your pet becomes acclimated to make any changes.
As long as you prepare your pet in advance and slowly settle them into a new home by being calm and providing them with memories of their old space, they’ll get used to the new space. If you show that this is their new home, they’ll eventually accept it. Moving is hard for everyone, pets included. It’s our job as their guardians to make the process easier for them.