Blog written by Laura S. Rossinow, Broker/agent/ Keller Williams Realty
Moving to a new home be it around the corner or across the country can be stressful for people so I can only imagine how pets must feel. They will know something is up with all the boxes accumulating and when their play toys get put in a box too, watch out. Pet anxiety will mount, more so in some animals than others, so take the appropriate time to plan so your pet has an easy transition. Here are some tips that may make your moving process smoother and easier while allowing your pet to be less anxious and have a positive experience in their new surroundings.
- For extremely high energy and jittery animals, consider placing your pet with a loved one or in-home boarding for the duration of your move so they can have a stable environment and you can get on with the details of the move.
- During these hectic times of moving people in and out of the house, pets can get loose. In addition, once you have moved, if your animal becomes loose and gets lost, they will not know their way back to their new home yet. This is the time, if you have not already, to make sure your pet is micro-chipped with current information.
- Keep pets out of the way when the actual transfer of your belongings to the moving van happens. It makes the moving professionals job easier and it’s safer for your pet. Smaller animals can get injured if they are in the way.
- Check to make sure you have all your pets’ necessary papers in check before moving. Important items to be aware of are immunization records, major illnesses and treatment records, any medications (keep cool if required) and veterinary prescribed medications for the ride for very high-energy animals that do not travel well.
- Transportation is something to give consideration to particularly if the distance requires being in a vehicle more than one hour to arrive at your new home.
- When considering how you are packing your vehicle for the move, keep in mind how much space will be needed and available to accommodate your pet. Will they be in your arms or in a crate? On the back seat or a metal flatbed? Make every attempt to create a comfortable, spacious space for your pet during travel so they feel safe and relaxed. Bring their favorite toy and a blanket to curl up in if that is a typical behavior for them.
- Have your pets leash readily on hand so when the rest stop appears, you can jump out and find a pet friendly area for them or place some kind of absorbent material for other creatures while in a contained space or crate. There are special absorbent pads that can be purchased at a pet shop, placed in a crate and disposed of after soiled. Hospital chucks work great as well since water proof on one side with absorbent fill on the other.
- Pets can get motion sickness just like people. I have a giant Bouvier des Flandres and she has a rather delicate stomach! I have learned the hard way so being prepared is the best way to travel with a pet. Feed your pet at least 1-2 hours before traveling if possible and keep snacks at bay during travel. Arm yourself with the necessary tools such as a cleaner and paper towels. I travel with wet paper towels in one plastic bag and a spare roll of paper towels on the side. Very handy and I can take action immediately when the situation arises!
- Make sure to have fresh water for your pet. If you’re thirsty, chances are so are your pets.
- For longer distances where the driver needs to use a rest stop, make every attempt not to leave your pet alone in the car. If it is hot out, don’t leave your pet in the car whether traveling longer distances or not. Once the vehicle is turned off without air-conditioning, the temperatures in the vehicle will escalate rapidly and your animal will be become lethargic, dehydrated and faces possible death. If you find you have to stop and you are traveling alone, park your vehicle where it can be seen and is in close proximity for quick and easy access…and be fast!
- If your move requires an over night stay, check pet friendly facilities that will accept your pet. Do not leave your animal in the vehicle while you are cozied up in the hotel bedroom sleeping. There are many hotels/motels in the United States that accommodate animals that are not therapy or service animals. AAA can act as a guide in addition to searching on line or calling preferred chains to find their policies on pets.
- Make your move more of a fun trip if time allows with stop offs and a little sight seeing. Include your pet on long walks along the beach or even to a quiet playground on off hours…keep baggies with you for pickup!Moving can be a fun adventure albeit stressful when planning has not been done. If you are having a fun time, so will your pet so keep positive and embrace your pet’s needs and the transition should be a smooth one for everyone involved.