Have you ever seen that movie where the cat and the two dogs get left behind by their family, so they travel across the country and have all sorts of wacky adventures before they finally make it home all by themselves? Cute. For a movie. If you’re preparing for a move, however, you need to make sure you have a survival plan for your pets. Moving to a new home is stressful enough for people, let alone animals, who weren’t even consulted on the whole idea. If you want to avoid a lot of anxiety for you and your four-legged friends, here are a few helpful hints to make your moving day a bit easier to take.
Don’t Bury Your Pet’s Stuff in a Box
Unless you’re the super-organized type, your first impulse might be to just throw everything you own into the nearest box, but if you do, what are you going to do when your dog is looking for her favorite chew toy? Pack all your pet’s most essential things into their own box and label it — or prepare a special overnight bag. This ensures food, bowls, toys, leashes, and the like will be ready to go the moment you set foot in your new place.
Keep Pets Out of the Way
Your dog or cat is used to having the run of the place, but moving day is not the time for the zoomies. Nuzzling your legs may be cute when you’re making dinner, but it’s an invitation to a twisted ankle or worse when you’re trying to move. All that activity is bound to freak out pets. This is why it’s best to keep them in a quiet room by themselves or have them stay with friends if possible.
Respect the Routine
For creatures who spend most of their time snoozing on your couch, pets are real sticklers about routines. They don’t care if you’re trying to sleep in on a Sunday or in the bathroom, so why would they care that you’re busy loading all your furniture onto a truck? That’s why you need to make sure you keep to their schedules as much as possible, including walks, feedings, and even playtime, if that’s something they’ll expect.
You’re all moved in, and you know where the local coffee shop is, so your adjustment period is well on its way! Unfortunately, getting settled is a little more complicated for your pets. When you arrive at your new place, get your pets’ sleeping/litter box/food bowl areas set up right away. Try to make it as familiar as possible, keeping the same basic arrangement of beds, toys, and other items. Keep them confined to a room or two at first, then gradually let them explore the new house. If you have to let them outside, make sure they’re on a leash or behind a fence; leave that cinematic tale of the incredible journey to the theater!
Let’s be honest — your pets have no idea what’s going on when you move to a new house. If you really want that “Best Pet Parent” coffee mug to mean something, you need to do everything in your power to make moving day as stress-free for your furry loved ones as you can. Fortunately, following these tips should make the experience at least a little easier for them. It’s not going to make that bookcase any easier to get through your front door, but every little bit helps.
About the Author
Kelli Warren is a co-owner of Moving Proz, a moving company in Kansas City and Denver. She has over five years of experience within the moving and transportation industry and loves to help provide a great moving experience for clients no matter what their moving situation may be.