Moving to a new home can be a stressful and disorderly experience, not just for you but also for your paw pals. Pets are creatures of habit, and a huge change in their environment can be overwhelming. However, with proper planning and consideration, you can make the transition smoother for your beloved buddies. Here are some valuable tips to ensure a stress-free move for you and your pets.

How To Prepare Your Pets: Before Moving Day

A homeowner playing with their pets using moving supplies

There are plenty of important items to check off the list for your pets before you begin to start packing up your old home. Follow these to the letter, and your pets will have a much easier time on the big day.

Plan Ahead 

Moving with pets requires careful planning on your part. Start by researching the local pet regulations and requirements for your new area, such as pet licences, leash laws, and vaccination prerequisites. If you’re moving to a different county or shire, be aware of any quarantine and documentation requirements.

Visit the Vet 

Before the move, schedule a visit to your veterinarian for a complete check-up. Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and ask for copies of all their medical records. If your pet is on any medication, stock up on a sufficient supply to last through the move and the transition.

Update Identification 

Make sure your pet has proper identification set up. If your pet is microchipped, confirm that the contact information on the chip is up to date. You should also get a fresh tag with your new address and contact details.

Pack Gradually 

Pets can become anxious when they see their surroundings being packed up. To ease their stress, pack your belongings gradually over time. Keep their favourite toys, bedding, and dishes accessible until the last minute to give them a sense of familiarity.

Get Your Pet To Play With Packing Supplies 

Make a game out of the moving supplies, convincing your pet that these are their new toys. This will acclimatise them to all the strange new materials, and keep them entertained while you’re occupied with moving. They’ll also be happy to find their ‘toys’ in the new place later on. This positive association can go a long way!

Maintain Routine 

Pets thrive on routine, and upholding their daily schedule as much as possible can help ease this turbulent time. Continue to feed them at the same times and take them for walks or playtime as usual while you pack up your home.

Prepare a Pet Travel Kit 

Create a travel kit specifically for your pet(s). Include essentials like food, water, medications, their leash, collar, and ID tag; and a first-aid kit. Having these items readily available during the journey will help you respond to their needs quickly if things take a south turn.

Secure Safe Transportation 

Whether you’re travelling by car or plane (or boat), it’s important to ensure your pet’s safety during the journey. Use an appropriate carrier or crate that allows them to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. For longer trips, consider investing in a pet seatbelt or a car safety harness (this is dependent on your pet’s temperament though).

Pet Proof the New Place 

Before you familiarise your pet with their new home, you should make sure that:

  • All the doors and windows can be secured properly
  • Your pet can’t flee through your garden
  • There are no hazardous materials or chemicals on the ground or within their reach
  • Plug up any holes or exposed nails that your pet could get stuck in or injure themselves with

How To Prepare Your Pets: On Moving Day

A pet being put in a carrier next to a bunch of moving boxes

Today is the big day! You’ve packed up your life, put your goofball in their carrier/special seat, and are en route to your new place. Here are some tips for a smoother journey:

Make Regular Stops 

If you’re driving a car to your new home, plan for regular rest stops to let your pet stretch their legs, have a bathroom break, and enjoy some fresh air. Be sure to keep them on a leash during these breaks to prevent any attempted jailbreaks.

Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodations 

If your move has an overnight stay at a hotel or temporary lodging, research and book pet-friendly accommodations in advance. Confirm the lodging allows pets and ask about any additional fees or restrictions. Believe us, sleeping in a pet-ridden car for the night is not an optimal experience.

Gradually Introduce Them To the New Home 

Once you arrive at your new home, introduce your pet to their unknown surroundings slowly. Start with a small spot (one room) and gradually grow their access areas as they become more comfortable. Be patient and give them time to adjust to the new sights, smells and sounds.

How To Help Your Pets After Moving Day

A pet owner reassuring their pet after moving into a new home

Your stuff is unpacked, the explorations are underway…but your pet is showing signs they are struggling.

Don’t freak out; it’s natural for there to be a period of adjustment. Here are some things you can do to help them feel more at home.

Stick To the Routine 

When it comes to adapting to a new home, it’s more necessary than ever to keep the routine going again. Do your best to stay on schedule, even if it means stopping a task you were busy with. 

The more you stick to your pet’s usual routine before the move, the better they will be able to adjust to all the changes.

Set Up Your Pet’s Space Right Away 

Set up a corner with your pet’s bedding, toys, and a bowl of fresh water. This corner doesn’t have to be the place you intend to keep these items forever, but even a temporary space with familiar looks and smells will go a long way toward easing any remaining stress.

Give Them Plenty of Attention 

Moving can be a draining and time-consuming problem when you’re the human in the household, but don’t forget your pet’s needs. Be generous with some TLC, and steal a few moments for quality time together in between your myriad of other tasks. Take a few minutes to toss around a favourite toy or to give out scratches for reassurance. 

Try Anti-Anxiety Meds 

If your pet is particularly prone to pressure, moving will aggravate their anxiety. Consider making arrangements for a prescription-level anxiety medication with your vet if you have cause to worry. Pay close attention to your pet’s state of mind to decide whether or not they might benefit from some anti-anxiety support. There’s no shame in getting extra help for your furry monster’s mental health.

Stay Home for the First Few Days 

It will take a little while for your pet to figure out that this place is the new gaff. Do your best to stick by their side for the first few days, even if it means turning down some plans or taking time off work. If you need to run out, see if you can take them with you to explore the neighbourhood. 

You can also ask a trusted friend or family member to hang out with them while you’re gone. The first time you’ll need to leave them for a longer time, try to tire them with a long walk or play session before you go.

Be Patient 

The best thing you can do for your pet during this stressful period is to be patient and compassionate. Accept that they’re going through something tough, and go out of your way to make it as easy for them as possible. If your pet does something unusual, like have an accident inside or bark/snarl excessively, realise that it’s a reaction to stress and anxiety, and they’re doing their best.

A Wigwam Self Storage employee laughing and chatting with a new customer

Moving with pets can be a demanding time, but with careful planning and consideration, you can minimise stress and ensure a smooth transition for your furry companions. Remember that your pets rely on your guidance and care, so focus on their well-being during this significant life change.

If you need a bit of extra help yourself during this move, Wigwam Self Storage offers plenty of useful solutions to smoothen your process, so you and your pet pals can suffer less, and play more!

Send us an email today to discuss making your move more manageable:

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