Pets, not unlike humans, are creatures of habit. Any disruption to their routine — not to mention their environment — can cause significant stress. But there are ways to make a move more comfortable for your four-legged furry companions. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, the following guide will help you minimize anxiety — for both you and your pet — before, during, and after your move.
PRIOR TO THE MOVE
- Make a transport plan. Are you moving long distance? Will you be driving? Flying? The answers to these questions will determine how to proceed when moving with your precious cargo. If you’re flying, make sure you know the airline’s requirements for traveling with pets. And keep documentation of vaccinations handy. If you’re driving — especially long distance — make sure to work some extra stops into your itinerary. And if you have to stay somewhere overnight, find a pet-friendly hotel along your route ahead of time.
- Introduce the kennel. In the weeks leading up to the big trip, it can be helpful to gradually acclimate your pet to their kennel prior to the big day. Start by moving their food dish inside the open crate. Try to get to the point where they eat their meals in the crate with the door shut. You can help them form positive associations with their crate by rewarding them with treats and praise when they spend time in the crate.
- Talk to your vet & update tags. Let your vet know that you are moving so they can make sure all vaccinations are updated. And if your pet suffers from any anxiety, the doctor can prescribe medication to help. You may also want to consider microchipping your cat or dog if they aren’t already. When animals are scared, they’ll try to escape, so make sure your pets’ tags include your current cell phone number.
- Pack a pet box. Set aside at least a couple of days’ worth of food, as well as toys, a leash, beds, extra kitty litter, and anything else you’ll want to be able to easily access on the trip, and when you first reach your new place. This allows you to pack their bulkier items with the rest of your things and without worrying about digging through boxes to feed your pet.
DURING THE MOVE
- Keep them away from the action. On moving day, you may want to consider sending your pet to stay with a friend or boarding them with a veterinarian. The flurry of activity can cause panic, and you don’t want your pet to escape amidst the chaos. At the very least, keep your pet in a closed room away from the action. Make sure they have their food, water, toys, litter box, and any other necessities to help keep them calm.
- Find your inner Zen. Animals can sense when their owners are experiencing stress, which can cause them to feel their own anxiety. As hectic as the moving process can be, try to remain as calm as possible (or at least fake it ‘til you make it), which will truly benefit you as much as it will your pet.
IN YOUR NEW HOME
- Set up a quiet spot in the new place. Once you’ve arrived in your new home, your pet will need time to decompress and get used to their new surroundings. Consider setting up a room with the familiar items from their pet box, so they can get acclimated without feeling overwhelmed. Once everything is more settled and the movers are gone, you can slowly introduce them to the rest of the space.
- Establish a routine as quickly as possible. Cats and dogs particularly thrive when they know what to expect. From walks to feedings, the sooner these activities are able to happen on a regular schedule, the more comfortable they’ll begin to feel. For tips on pet-proofing your new home, visit www.americanhumane.org.
Wherever you’re headed, trust Sorensen to move you
Whether you’re moving down the street, up the state or across the country, trust Sorensen Moving & Storage to get you there. Our seamless process makes local and long-distance moves a breeze — which is why we’ve been trusted by Central Florida for more than 60 years. So, where can we move you? Get a hassle-free quote today.