Moving to a new AV home is an exciting time. It can be hard on you to step out of your comfort zone to start this new chapter, but it can be even tougher on your pets. When moving with pets, it’s a little more difficult to properly inform them of the changes ahead, so it’s important to prepare them beforehand. As the big day approaches for both of you, here’s how you can be ready for the transition and help your cat or dog get comfortable in their new space!
Before the Move
Crate Train Your Pet
First things first: when moving day does arrive, make sure they’re riding with you. The last thing you want is added anxiety when placing your pet in a new vehicle or with strangers. Most animals don’t mind crates, but you don’t want their first experience to be on moving day. Get them acclimated to the time they’ll spend in the crate before the big day arrives.
Explore the Local Area and Laws
It’s a new area for both of you, but our communities have so much space for you and your pets to stroll and explore together. It’s also possible the local government or neighborhood association in your new area requires a new license or has different leash laws or breed restrictions. Make sure your pet has proper identification, all their information is updated and you’re following all the rules.
Start Preparing them for a New Place
In the weeks leading up to moving day, start taking your pet to new environments here and there that may be similar to the one they’ll soon call home. Maybe it’s a different neighborhood or an area with comparable noises and space. If you’re close by, take them to meet the new neighbors and their pets.
If there will be new rules for your pet in your new home, or a very different layout for them to adjust to, start getting them on the new schedule now.
During the Move
Keep them Away from the Action
Reduce the stress as much as possible by keeping your pets in the quietest area and out of sight of all the bags, boxes and movers. If you don’t want to leave them with a friend or family member for the day, designate a room for them with their usual toys and bedtime items so they feel at ease.
Gather their Belongings
Keep their favorite toys and belongings close by as you travel. Make them feel as relaxed as possible, so they’re comfortable and distracted during the trip. And don’t clean anything! The familiar scents of your old home will be reassuring to them too, and ease them into all the newness of your new home.
Don’t Let your Pet Out Until You’ve Arrived
Once they’re in the car, it’s important to keep the crate or kennel closed until you’ve arrived at your new home. Even a well-behaved pet that’s could panic or bolt in a new place. Keep them out of sight of windows on the drive, so they’re less aware of the changing surroundings. More and more cat owners are keeping their cats inside for safety reasons, so it could be a good way use the transition to your advantage.
After the Move
Keep them Secluded
Move your boxes before you move your pet. Get as much as you can set up in your new home before you introduce your pet to the new space. Confine them to a certain section of the house, so you don’t overwhelm them with too much right away, and make sure to give them lots of attention so they feel as at home as possible.
Keep their Routine as Normal as Possible.
At the same time they’re adjusting to all the new, try not to make the change too drastic on your pet. The closer you can stick to the routine your pet is used to, the more comfortable they’ll be. And don’t forget to keep their favorite treats fully stocked!
Make their New World Fun
Add some fun perks to their every day that they’ll start to associate with the new place and help them feel ok with the change. Try hiding treats in some of their new hangout places, feeding them from food-dispensing toys or surprise them with some extra play time.