It’s hard enough for us humans to cope with the stress of moving to a new home. So you can imagine how nerve-wracking and possibly frightening it can be for pets when their owners decide to move.
But it doesn’t have to be an ordeal for dogs, cats, parrots, ferrets, and other domesticated animals. By planning ahead, and knowing how to settle a pet into its new environment, the stress levels can be kept at manageable levels for all concerned. Follow these tips for having a successful move, whether just down the block or across the nation:
- Schedule a vet appointment as soon as you possible. Tell the vet you are moving and ask if they know a trusted colleague in your new area. If your pet has a condition that could worsen after or during your move, consult your vet about the proper treatment until you can find a new vet.
- Schedule boarding for moving day. Having boxes scattered, furniture in disarray, and the family stressed also stresses your pets. With people going in and out, your pet could possibly flee because of all the activity. Consider boarding your pet two days before, and schedule the pickup for the day after you’ve moved in.
- If you don’t want to board your pet, set up a closed-off room that won’t receive any foot traffic. Warn the movers, your family, and children to stay out of the room and to not open the door. Secure your pet at all times when doors, attics, and windows are open for moving.
- Prepare an easily-accessible overnight kit. Fill it with enough dog or cat food, kitty litter, toys, and grooming tools to sustain your pet and keep it comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.
- After the move, remember to update tags or microchip information to your new address and phone number.
- Moving with fish? They respond strongly to stress and a move can be traumatic or even fatal. It’s less than ideal, but you can transport them short distances in bags filled with their old tank water. If you’re traveling a long distance, it’s probably best to ask a friend to give them a new home, drain the tank, and buy new fish after you settle in at your new home.
- Guinea pigs also can suffer from change or being jostled around. Their hearts are especially susceptible, so take care to move them in a warm, comfortable, small carrier.
- Birds, like most pets, are very jittery about change. Even if the smartest parrot balks at being put in a cage, do it on moving day.
- If you want to keep track of your dog or cat’s whereabouts “just in case,” a number of pet trackers can help you locate them via GPS. After the initial investment of a tracking collar, you’ll need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to be able to see where they are via Google or other map on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Here’s hoping your next move isn’t too “ruff” on your beloved pet!
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