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Moving with Pets - Making it Easier on Your Furry Friends

Moving with pets

Moving with Pets – Making it Easier on Your Furry Friends

You’ve found a new home! Very exciting. Take a look around and contemplate the many decisions you have to make and the things you will need to move. Look down. If there is a beloved family pet looking up at you with those cute little eyes – we’ll assume they’re also making the move!

Moving with a pet can be stressful for both owners and furry family members. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to make the pick-up-and-move process more enjoyable and possibly stress-free.

Our expert, Cathy Guinane, Director of Community Training, Nebraska Humane Society, shared these helpful tips that every relocating pet owner should consider.   

Plan Ahead for Moving Your Pet to a New Home

If you’re a parent, you intuitively know that transitioning a child to a new living space starts well before the actual move, and it’s no different when we’re talking about our four-legged kids. The key is to prevent undue anxiety.

Maintain Your Pet’s Daily Routine

One trick is to maintain your existing routines as much as possible in the days leading up to the move. It may be hard to squeeze in those morning walks or play time between packing boxes, but the consistency will give your pet reassurance, even if they sense that something is up.

Consistency is important for diet as well. Prior to or during a move wouldn’t be a good time to change your pet’s food because any fluctuations to their system, like an upset stomach, could be magnified by the stress of moving.

Pet Healthcare Plan – Choose your Vet

Veterinary care is another consideration that should be addressed before the move. At a minimum, know where you will take your pet for veterinary services if your move takes you to another city or state. If your pet is new to the practice, have vaccination and care records transferred before the move. That way, if your pet requires medical attention, the new vet is in the best possible position to understand your pet’s history and their needs.

Prepping the New House for your Pet

Lastly, think about the new residence and what you can do in preparation for your pets to make the big move. If the former homeowners had animals, for example, it’s probably a good idea to put the house through a professional cleaning to remove old odors and scents. If previous dogs or cats were prone to soiling carpets or floors, it could encourage the same behavior from even the most house-broken animal companions.    

Moving Day for your Pet

This is a time when there is a lot of keep track of and there will be a flurry of activity. It isn’t uncommon for dogs and cats, in particular, to escape through open doors as items are removed from a house, so think about their safety. Consider confining him or her to a single room, or better yet, find a friend or relative they can visit while there is high risk of fleeing. You’ll also want to make sure that your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags, just in case there is an accidental escape.

No matter how excited you are to move into your new home, it’s bound to be a stressful time for your dog or cat who thrives on routine and consistency. As a result, one of the biggest keys for a successful move is to bring as much of that “sameness” to your new home as possible.

Welcoming your Pet to your New House

Before your pet arrives, have their familiar items in place, including bowls, beds or blankets and toys. Also, remember how important the sense of smell is to your pets. To ease the adjustment to a new residence, you could spray items in your old home with an air freshener before you move. Using this same scent when you get to your new house will help your pet to feel at home.

Moving a Dog to a New Home

Where dogs are concerned, one of the biggest mistakes that pet owners make is to take their canine friend to a new residence without giving him or her a chance to get oriented to the surroundings. If your move is across town or within close proximity to your current home, let your pet visit before move-in day to get used to the new space and yard. If not, be sure to let your dog sniff around before entering the new house. Show them the doors they will use to go outside as well as where they will sleep, eat and drink. The same is true for cats, but they may prefer exploring on their own once you show them where the little box and food will be kept.

Above all, be patient. Just as it will take you some time to adjust to living in a new home, it will take your pet some time, too. If your pet has an extremely difficult time adjusting to his or her new surroundings, there is no reason to suffer needlessly. Consider contacting your veterinarian for suggestions on how to make your pet more comfortable. If necessary, there are products on the market, such as pheromone collars, that can help to reduce anxiety while your dog or cat settles in.

With some planning and thought, it is possible to enjoy a successful move with your pet, and for them to thrive in their new environment. For more tips, visit the Nebraska Humane Society’s website.

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