How to Have a Stress-Free Move with Your Pet: Part Two

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It’s finally arrived: moving day.  By now your dog or cat will likely have picked up that something’s happening and might be acting a little anxious.  So it’s important you act calm and pay a lot of attention to your furball.  We know it will be hard, but try to stick to their routine as much as possible.  In part one of this series, we provided tips to help you prepare for your move.  In part two, we have suggestions to help you get through move day – and keep your pets safe once you arrive at your new home.

Move Day

  • If you have professional movers coming in it will be noisy and stressful for your pet.  Put him in an empty room – far away from all the action – with his favorite toys and pet bed and keep the door closed.  Alert the movers so they know not to open the door and let your pet escape.  Check on your pet often and fit time into your schedule to walk your dog.
  • If you’re traveling by car with your pet to your new home, you can find tips for what to do when you’re on the road here.  Because cats can freak out when they’re in cars and exposed to lots of new, strange sounds and activities, cover most of their crate with an old towel or sheet.  This will limit what they can see and let them hide in the dark.
  • If your pet is flying as cargo on your plane, attach a “Live Animal” sticker to their crate.  Put a piece of paper with your name, cell phone number, flight number, destination and your pet’s name in a plastic sleeve, together with a photo of your dog or cat.  Attach it securely to the crate.  When you get to the airport, ask if you can watch your pet being loaded into the cargo hold and unloaded at your destination.  When you board the plane, inform the captain and/or crew that your pet is traveling in the cargo hold.  Ask them to keep a check on the temperature and pressure.

New Home

  • When you reach your new home, confine your pet in one room with familiar items such as toys, bedding, food and water – and a litter box for cats – while you unpack.  Then let your furry friend gradually adjust to their new territory.  It may take a while for more timid cats to feel safe and start exploring. Check out these tips for getting your cat to use a new
  • Pet proof your home and yard.  American Humane has a tip-sheet that walks through what to do, room by room.
  • Some dogs become stressed from moving and urinate to mark their territory, or chew furniture or carpets.  Use a deterrent such as Simple Solution Indoor/Outdoor Repellent to break this habit.  Also, provide your dog with lots of things that it can chew, such as Buffalo Range All Natural Rawhide Treats, to keep him occupied and entertained.
  • If your cat starts acting up and urinating outside the litter box, it’s because kitties are creatures of habit and don’t like change.  At your old home they will have rubbed their body scent all over various household objects to give them a sense of security.  Try a calming product for cats, such as Feliway or Rescue Remedy  while they’re adjusting. If you need more tips on getting your cat to go in their litter box, check out our tips here.
  • Your pet may try to return to their original home after you move.  If you have a dog, keep her on lead until she’s familiar with your new neighborhood.  If you have an outdoor cat, keep her indoors for at least 3 weeks until she’s used to her new surroundings and tabs on her once you let her outside.

Don’t Forget:

  • Replace your pet’s ID tag with a new one containing your name, address and home or cell phone number.  Some experts recommend you do not include your pet’s name for safety reasons.  Also update your pet’s contact info with your microchip registry.
  • Research vets in your area and stop by to check them out.  When you find one you feel comfortable with, register your pet with them and provide copies of your dog or cat’s medical records.

Most pets will soon be happy and content in their new home.  However, some do get depressed after a move; you can read more here and here.  If, after a few weeks, your usually energetic dog or playful kitty shows any symptoms of depression, you’ll already have a new vet lined up for them to visit.

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