Moving to a new home is a big deal — there’s the excitement starting fresh in a nice, clean, new home, but also the stresses that go with packing and planning. Basically, your day-to-day routine is disrupted, which can cause great stress and anxiety for your whole family, including your pets. Penske Truck Rental, one of our awesome rewards partners, has seen it all when it comes to moving, and offers some practical advice to help your pet enjoy the move as much as you do.
Before You Move
Your veterinarian knows what’s best for the health of your pet. So before saying good-bye to the old ‘hood, ask your current vet to recommend a vet in your new neighborhood.
- Update your pet’s tags. With all the chaos, it’s not unheard of for the most loyal pet to get frightened and run off. Whoever may find your pet will be able to contact you sooner rather than later.
- Microchip your pet. This allows vets and other animal care professionals to look up your contact information in minutes, so that both you and your pet can be reunited as quickly as possible.
- If you don’t like the idea of a microchip, try a GPS collar, so you can promptly locate your lost furry friend via your computer.
- Carry a copy of your pet’s medical records and vaccination records, as well as your pet’s medications. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the pet hospitals near your new home.
On Moving Day
With some careful planning, you can reduce your pet’s stress by creating a comfortable and calm environment while traveling to your new home. Dogs and cats should be restrained during travel, to prevent them from getting into the front seat and distracting the driver. Smaller dogs and cats do well in pet crates or pet carriers, while medium and large dogs seem to prefer a harness with seat belt.
- If you plan to use a car harness and seat belt, place the harness on your pet every day for walking or playing around the house, so they get comfortable with it. Before the big move, take your pet on short car rides while being restrained.
- Be sure that your pet stays in a safe area that limits exposure to heavy traffic while you load and unload.
- Stock up on food, water, medication, and some toys to keep them occupied during the trip. Make regular stops to give your pets some water and take frequent breaks on the drive to reduce your pet’s stress — and your own.
- Set-up a pet headquarters in your new home that provides a comfortable environment, with their toys, bedding, and other favourite items.
- Once the movers have come and gone, introduce your furry friend to their new environment, one room at a time, ending with their pet HQ. This allows them to feel comfortable in their new home while establishing a new sleeping place.
And Finally, Explore the New Stomping Ground
Once you’re settled in, walk around the neighborhood without your pet to determine if the area is safe. When you feel comfortable, take your pet on a tour of the neighborhood, exploring nearby parks, hiking trails, or other pet-friendly areas. And breathe a sigh of relief — you and your “best friend” now have all the time in the world to enjoy and explore.