Moving With Your Pets
Packing up all your stuff, jamming it into a moving truck and hitting the road to head to your new home is an exciting process — but it can also be stressful. It can also take a toll on your pets. Your pets are a part of your family, so put some extra effort in and take these tips into consideration for keeping them calm and comfortable while you take the next step in your busy life.
Preparing Your Pet for a Big Move
The key to keeping your pet calm during a move is making sure every part of the moving process feels as normal as possible for them. Check out these tips for getting them comfortable for the move long before the first box is packed into the moving truck.
Re-acquaint them with their carrier. If your pet will be in a carrier while you’re making the trip from your old place to your new home, re-acquaint them with it by placing it out in the open for at least a couple weeks prior. That way, they won’t be shocked when they ride in it for a few hours during the move. Even giving them a treat after they’ve checked it out or stepped inside can give them a positive connection to the carrier.
Make sure to check the laws for carrying pets in your vehicle for any states you’ll be travelling through. While they may differ from state to state, put a plan in place so your companion is travelling safely and legally throughout the entire trip.
Take a trip to the vet. Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations. Ask your veterinarian for your pet’s most recent health records so your new vet in your new locale will be able to provide proper care. In addition, some authorities may ask for your pet’s heath documentation while travelling, so keep it handy in your vehicle while you’re making the move.
Update all forms of your pet’s identification. There are few worse scenarios for your animal than getting lost in unfamiliar territory during or after the move, so take the proper preventative steps and make sure their identification tags are updated with your current contact information. Consider getting your pet microchipped too, as it will make it easy for them to be identified should they be lost and found by a stranger and taken to a vet or shelter.
Have an overnight bag ready. If your pet will be in your vehicle for an extended period of time, keep an overnight bag with any medication, food, treats, waste bags and other necessities. They’ll likely be pretty stressed during their transit, so keeping things as normal and convenient as possible in the event of any delays or other unexpected issues can do wonders to keep them comfortable.
Taking Care of Your Pet During the Move
Now that you’ve taken the time to prepare your companion for the big move, actually getting them to your new home should be much easier and less stressful. Keep these best practices in mind and make your pet’s trek to your new home just another trip.
Don’t bring them until everything has been moved and put away. Having your dog, cat, bird or other animal roam around while you’re moving furniture and boxes is a recipe for disaster. Plus, with doors constantly opening and closing, there’s way too high of a chance that they’ll get outside. And in an area they’re unfamiliar with, the chance that they’ll get lost is even higher. Have them stay with a trusted family member, friend or pet care facility until you’re totally ready to have them roam your home.
Keep them in the carrier until you’ve arrived. Adding more variables than necessary to your pet’s move is a bad idea. Exposing your animal to a yard they don’t know, unfamiliar streets or the bustling feet of movers can l really stress them out and might even lead them to escape, so don’t let them out until they’re safely in your new home or in a hotel room for the night.
Double-check with hotels about their pet policies. If you’ll be splitting your trip into two days or more and are staying at a hotel, make sure they allow pets and have appropriate accommodations. Once you’re there, make sure to identify and close any open windows or spaces where your pet might try to hide.
Introducing Your Pet to Their New Home
Once you’ve made it to your final destination, it’s time to let your companion explore their new premises safely. Use these tips to make your pet’s introduction to their new home a safe and positive experience.
Start slow and keep it familiar. Let your pet out of their carrier in a room with closed doors, complete with food, water, familiar toys and other items they might associate with comfort, such as a blanket or an item of your clothing. Exposing your animal to an entirely open home all at once can be overwhelming, so take it slow and steady — it’ll pay off in the form of your pet’s quick transition to comfort.
Be patient with your pet. If you’re stressed out about your pet stressing over your new home, they’ll sense it. Stay calm and be patient with their process. As long as you have your regular routine back in order (feeding, walking, play time), they’ll get back to normal in no time.
Dole out some extra love. Paying more attention than normal to your pet can be crucial in acclimating them to their new home. Your pet will sense that even though their surroundings have changed, their relationship with their family hasn’t. Some extra cuddling, games of fetch or a few more treats mean much more to your pet than you think!
After you’ve made your move, it’s time to relax. And to get some extra peace of mind, make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected and talk to your American Family Insurance agent today about how your pets could impact your homeowners insurance and umbrella liability insurance needs.