If you just purchased a new home or are thinking about buying one soon, you’re going through an exciting, yet stressful time of packing, moving, and settling into a new environment. You and your family will probably feel overwhelmed throughout the process, but you know that the end result will be worth the work. However, your pets will probably be confused by all the change.
Before you sign on the dotted line, prepare your furry family members for the big move with these tips:
Research the Area
Before you consider purchasing a particular house, you’ll make sure it has the appropriate number of bedrooms, maybe a multi-car garage, or even a gourmet kitchen to fit your particular needs. But when you’re looking for all the bells and whistles for yourself, don’t forget to consider your pets’ needs during this process too. After all–they are part of the family! Walk around the area to see if it’s ideal for your dog, and be on the lookout for neighborhood dogs that have the potential to be aggressive or contentious. If you have older animals, consider if an area with mostly two-story homes would be problematic for their ailing joints. It might be better to look in a primarily ranch-style, one-story neighborhood if so. A fenced-in yard is also a necessity for some animals, so make sure your new home has a sturdy structure, or that you’re prepared to have one installed. And last but not least, find the nearest animal hospital or veterinary clinic just in case an emergency arises for your furry friend.
Update Pet Identification
If you’ve ever had a pet run away, you know the heart-wrenching feeling that comes from the thought that they might never find their way home. And if your pet is scared during your move to a new environment the likelihood increases that they will act uncharacteristically from stress, so escaping from the yard or front door might be a way for them to cope. Make sure their collars have updated contact information with your new address and phone number so the odds increase of a happy reunion in the unfortunate case that they do run away. You should also consider using a microchip on your pet as a backup precaution in case their collar comes off. The Humane Society of the United States offers information on this technology that has reunited thousands of lost pets with their owners. Just make sure to update the microchip company with your new address each time you move, or else it won’t be effective.
Find Pet-Friendly Hotels for Your Journey
If your moving process will involve a long distance and an overnight stay, make sure to research pet-friendly hotels before you hit the road. Keeping your pet happy and comfortable will not only make their travel experience easier, but you can feel better knowing your furry family member is welcomed wherever you decide to camp for the night. And the good news is, the number of pet friendly hotels throughout the country is increasing.
Set out Crate/Carrier in Advance
A lot of pets associate travel crates and carriers with an unpleasant trip to the vet, so it’s understandable that they would be reluctant to willingly jump right in. How would you feel knowing that each time your human locked you in a plastic box you were probably going to get poked with shots and have a stranger examine your business? (It’s not as pleasant as you’d like your animal to believe.) If you have a pet that is afraid or frustrated from traveling in a carrier, then you might set it out in a main area of your house where they normally hang out. That could be the living room, the kitchen, or wherever you keep their food and water dishes. They’ll probably sniff it out suspiciously the first several days, but hopefully will end up not paying it any attention by the time moving day comes. You can even place treats inside of the carrier so they begin to associate it with a pleasant emotion, not just a terrifying experience. And when it comes time to place them into the carrier, talk in soothing tones.
Pack the Essentials in Easy-to-Find Place
Have you ever moved to a new house, started to unpack, and realized that the toilet paper is stuffed at the bottom of unlabeled boxes that are stacked a mile high? You probably learned your lesson after that! The same goes for packing your pets’ essentials to make sure they are comfortable as soon as you arrive. If you have a cat, that means the litter box. If you have a dog, that means their favorite chew toy so they are more comfortable. And for any type of animal, that means the food and water dish. Set out their food and a bowl of fresh water immediately when you arrive at the new home. Animals tend to pant more when they are nervous, so water is especially important as soon as possible. It’s also advisable to have paper towels handy if your pet is prone to nervous “accidents.”
Secure a Quiet Room during the Moving Process
Exterior doors are often left open during a moving process, so it is best to secure your pets into a small, quiet room (such as a bathroom) to protect them from escaping and keep them calm during the commotion. If you hire movers, there will be multiple people you’ve never met in your house who are only concerned with getting the furniture to its destination, so you need to keep your pets in mind and check on them throughout the day to make sure they are ok. It is safe to remove them from the secure room once everything has been moved from the house and you’re ready to leave. You should immediately find a similar room to put your pets in at your new house once you arrive, so the movers don’t alarm them. Don’t forget to provide water and food while they are locked away. A treat would also make it more enjoyable!
Make a Slow Introduction to the New Environment
You should slowly introduce your pets to each room in the new house after the moving chaos has calmed down. They will want to sniff out every corner, so be patient while they get familiar with their new surroundings. Walk around with your pet while they explore so you can observe their stress or excitement level, and so you can make sure they aren’t eager to make a mess that should be kept outside or in the litter box.
Moving is stressful for humans and pets, but with advanced preparation, you and your furry friends will make a smooth transition into your new home. Let the Adler Home Team know if we can help your family find the perfect pet-friendly space!