It’s moving season in America, and we’re launching a series of posts devoted to moving with your furry friend. Millions of individuals and families relocate during moving season, which is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Moving itself is stressful for anyone, but it’s a bit more stressful for the 68% of Americans who have pets as part of their family. Every possible measure should be taken to ensure the safety and comfort of your pets, who can feel the stress of moving just as acutely as you do. With the proper preparation, you can ensure this year’s move will go smoothly for both you and your furry friend.
Before the Move—Dogs are often easier to travel with than cats, so spend some time getting Fluffy accustomed to her carrier. Put her favorite blanket or toy into the container and leave it in an open, accessible space for her to explore. If Fido hasn’t experienced much travel, work on building positive associations with travel—taking rides to the park, &c.
During the Move—On the day of the move, place your cats and dogs in their carriers or confine the animals to one room. Only after everything is out of the house should you retrieve your animals and place them in the car or moving truck. Cats should always be confined to a hard-sided carrier, as they are often the safest. Remember to allow for proper ventilation and cover the carrier with a sheet for the first few hours of the trip. Dogs should also be restrained with a safety harness or seat belt. Ensure he can stand and/or sit comfortably with the use of safety gates. Additionally, don’t forget to pack a separate bag for your animal. Bring his favorite food, a gallon of water, and a disposable litterbox for overnight stops. Keep a health certificate handy if you are moving out of state.
Not all moves can be made in one day, and sometimes trips take longer than anticipated. If you have to stop for the night, call ahead to pet-friendly hotels and ask about their policies. When you get to the hotel, look for dangers like open windows or holes in the wall.
Reaching the New Home—When you reach your final destination, immediately remove your animals from the car and put them in a room. Fully inspect the house or apartment before you let the animals out; there may be hidden dangers throughout the house that your pet finds before you do. Check for open windows, mousetraps, and drapery cords. Before letting them out, arrange their stuff in a familiar way. If the cat’s litterbox was in the bathroom in your previous residence, put it in the bathroom in your new place. This will allow the pets to become more comfortable in a shorter period of time.