Pets significantly contribute to our emotional health and wellbeing, so as responsible owners, it’s important to plan and research about how we can keep them safe, happy, and anxiety-free during a move! There’s a lot of planning involved when you’re moving with pets, and our team at Sorensen has a few things for you to consider before packing up and moving with your (fluffy, feathered, scaled?) friend.
*No matter the animal, pack separate boxes for them that you can unpack immediately to make them more comfortable on arrival.*
*If your animal is indoor/outdoor, leashing them with a harness for short walks or setting up an enclosed area will let them safely adjust to the new neighborhood sights, sounds, and smells.*
*Do your research on water treatment or well composition in your new location to see if you need to be cautious about supplying water to your pets. (Do you need to adjust a chemical or mineral imbalance before supplying it to Mr. Gill the fish?) *
Moving with Fido:
During the commotion of the entire moving process, your dog will more likely be interested in you and the activity going on, over any of his objects. It’s ok to pack up most of your pup’s stuff, with the exception of bowls, food, and a toy or two that you need to keep available for actual moving day(s). Dogs generally are the most perceptive of an owner’s feelings, and they may feel the need to follow you closely. If you separate yourself and place them in another room where they cannot see you, their anxious behavior could escalate through pacing, barking, clawing, or chewing things that they shouldn’t. If you need to keep your buddy out of the way, we recommend crating, placing a gate, or securing a tie-down area, and providing them a bone or chew toy. This way your dog can safely observe activity and keep an eye on you for support, and has the option to mouth anxiety away in an appropriate way. Don’t forget to frequently reward good behavior with treats, hugs, and play breaks – you need those too!
Moving with Mittens & Cottontail:
Traditionally more skittish and aloof than dogs, cats and rabbits can experience much more anxiety around moving time. Frequent loud and different noises, object removal, and being confined to a carrier more than usual might disorient your pet. When packing up your house, it’s a good idea to place your fluffy friend in a quiet spare room. With cage/cat tree out of the way, you’ll have piece of mind they can’t escape out the door, and they’ll feel a little safer in a space with less traffic. When you arrive at your new place, unpack a few favorite toys and make food available to encourage your animal to observe, explore, and feel comfortable. If your cat is used to having a hide-away box or tent available, make sure that’s unpacked too. Place your rabbit’s cage in the room you’re in the most, like the bedroom or living room. Having familiar objects to interact with, as well as recognizable actions and sounds to observe, will help speed up their adjustment period.
Moving with the Unconventional Pet:
When moving with a non-standard pet, (birds, fish, small rodents, turtles, snakes, lizards, etc.) make sure you research possible solutions on how to keep your specific animal comfortable during transport- like how to help maintain comfortable temperatures, or how small a carrier you can use while still providing adequate space and security. If you’ve established a successful aquarium, carefully consider the pros and cons of moving with fish vs. without fish. As many fish need aerator systems, relying on a battery to keep your fish alive is just too big a risk for some. If your only pet is a Beta in a bowl, or you have a very small aquarium, then logistics might not be a problem for you. Lizards, snakes, and other animals may require a portable heat lamp, or your bird might need to travel in darkness to help them remain calm. Please do species-specific research to learn about any physical needs you’ll have to accommodate for your pets during their transport, as well as any psychological effects major changes might have on those animals.
Pets are a major responsibility and it’s important to read up on what you can do to lessen your animal’s anxiety during moving time. Though our team has some ideas when it comes to moving with pets, we’re not animal experts by any means. However we are experts when it comes to moving efficiently! Sorensen wants to help keep your pets safe and happy- whatever the species your best friend happens to be! Contact our team here, with any questions or concerns you may have when moving with pets.
Wishing you easy travels and a safe journey!
Your friends at Sorensen.