9 Tips for Moving with Pets

Wings NW Real Estate April 10, 2024

Moving can be a daunting experience for pets, just as it is for humans. Whether your relocation spans across cities or just around the corner, proactive measures are necessary to ensure your furry friends adjust smoothly to their new surroundings. This guide delves into practical tips and strategies for moving with pets, covering everything from preparing them for the transition to aiding their adjustment to the new environment. By adhering to these suggestions, you can alleviate stress for both yourself and your pets, fostering a positive moving experience for the entire family.

1. Plan Ahead

Start preparations well in advance of your move to minimize stress for your pets. Creating a comprehensive moving timeline can help you stay organized and ensure that you address all necessary tasks before the big day. Begin by scheduling a visit to the veterinarian to update your pets' vaccinations and obtain copies of their medical records. This ensures that they are healthy and up-to-date on all required vaccinations before the move. Additionally, research pet-friendly accommodations at your destination and make reservations well in advance to secure lodging that welcomes your furry companions.

2. Visit the Vet

Prior to your move, it's crucial to schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure that your pets are in optimal health and adequately prepared for the transition. During this visit, your veterinarian can administer any necessary vaccinations and update your pets' medical records, ensuring compliance with local regulations and safeguarding their well-being during the move. 

Additionally, take this opportunity to discuss any specific concerns or anxieties you have about the move with your veterinarian. They can offer valuable advice and recommendations tailored to your pets' individual needs, such as strategies for reducing stress and anxiety during travel or adjusting to a new environment. Inquire about potential anxiety-relief options, such as pheromone sprays, calming supplements, or prescription medications, that may help alleviate your pets' discomfort and promote a smoother transition. 

3. Maintain Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your pets comfortable and calm during the upheaval of a move. Before, during, and after the move, strive to maintain their daily routines as closely as possible. Stick to regular feeding times, ensuring that meals are served at the same times each day to provide a sense of stability and predictability for your pets. Similarly, continue to schedule regular walks and exercise sessions to keep them physically active and mentally stimulated. 

Make time for play sessions and cuddle time with your pets to reinforce your bond and reassure them of your presence and affection. By prioritizing consistency and continuity in their daily routines, you can help minimize the impact of the move on your pets and promote a smoother transition to their new home.

4. Prepare a Pet Travel Kit

Before embarking on your journey, it's essential to assemble a comprehensive travel kit for your pets. This kit should contain all the essentials they'll need to stay comfortable and content during the journey and upon arrival at your new home. Start by packing an ample supply of their regular food and treats, as well as a portable water bowl and plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated throughout the trip. Remember to include any necessary medications your pets may require, along with copies of their prescriptions and dosage instructions. 

Pack their favorite toys, blankets, or bedding to provide familiar comforts and reduce stress during travel. Grooming supplies such as brushes, nail clippers, and pet wipes can also be handy for keeping pets clean and fresh on the road. 

5. Secure Transportation

Safety is paramount when it comes to moving with pets. Invest in appropriate carriers or crates that provide your pets a secure and comfortable environment during travel. For long-distance moves, it's especially important to acclimate your pets to their carriers beforehand to reduce anxiety and discomfort during the journey. Start by introducing your pets to their carriers gradually, allowing them to explore and become accustomed to the space at their own pace. Encourage positive associations by placing treats, toys, or familiar bedding inside the carriers to make them more inviting. 

Consider covering the carriers with a blanket or towel to create a cozy and enclosed environment that promotes feelings of safety and security. Throughout the journey, monitor your pets closely and ensure that their carriers are securely fastened and properly ventilated. By taking these precautions and providing familiar comforts, such as blankets or toys, you can help alleviate stress and ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience for your pets as you make your way to your new home.

6. Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodations

If your move requires an overnight stay, it's essential to plan ahead and secure pet-friendly accommodations in advance. Research hotels or rental properties along your route that welcome pets, and be sure to inquire about their pet policies and any associated fees or restrictions. Look for accommodations that offer amenities specifically designed for pets, such as designated pet-friendly rooms, outdoor areas for exercise, or pet-sitting services. When making reservations, inform the staff that you'll be traveling with pets to ensure that they can accommodate your needs accordingly. 

Keep in mind that pet-friendly accommodations may have limited availability, especially during peak travel seasons, so it's best to book early to guarantee availability. By choosing pet-friendly accommodations and planning ahead, you can ensure a comfortable and stress-free stay for both you and your furry companions during your move.

7. Update Identification

Before the move, it's crucial to update your pets' identification tags with your new contact information. This ensures that if your pets were to become separated from you during the transition, they can be easily reunited. Double-check that the information on their tags is accurate, including your current address and phone number. 

Additionally, consider microchipping your pets as an added precaution. A microchip is a tiny device implanted under your pet's skin that contains a unique identification number. If your pet becomes lost and is taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, they can scan the microchip to retrieve your contact information and reunite you with your pet. Microchipping provides an extra layer of protection and increases the likelihood of a happy reunion in the event that your pets go missing during the move.

8. Introduce Them to the New Home Gradually

Transitioning to a new home can be overwhelming for pets, so it's essential to create a calm and comforting environment for them upon arrival. Designate a quiet area of your new home where your pets can acclimate gradually to their new surroundings. This area should be free from noise, foot traffic, and other stressors, allowing your pets to adjust at their own pace.

Set up their familiar belongings, such as beds, blankets, and toys, in this designated area to provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. Surrounding them with familiar scents and objects can help ease their anxiety and provide a sense of security during the transition. Consider placing items that have your scent, such as a recently worn shirt or blanket, in their designated area to reassure them of your presence further.

9. Explore the Neighborhood Together

Take your pets on leashed walks around the neighborhood to familiarize them with their new surroundings. Allow them to sniff and explore at their own pace, gradually expanding their territory as they become more comfortable.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition for Your Pets

Moving can be a challenging time for both you and your pets, but with careful planning and consideration, you can help minimize stress and ensure a smooth transition to your new home. By following the tips outlined in this guide, including planning ahead, maintaining routines, and providing familiar comforts, you can create a positive experience for your furry companions. Remember to be patient and attentive to your pets' needs throughout the moving process, offering plenty of reassurance and support as they adjust to their new environment. With patience, love, and understanding, you can help your pets feel at home in their new surroundings and strengthen the bond you share.

Ready to embark on your next move with your beloved pets by your side? Look no further than Wings NW Real Estate. Their team understands the unique challenges of moving with pets and is dedicated to helping you find the perfect home where both you and your furry companions can thrive.

Photo Credit:  River The Real Estate Ridgeback

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