5 Tips For Caring For Pets While You’re Moving

Moving can be a difficult process for everyone, pets included. While you’re probably focused on making sure glassware arrives in one piece, you have to give your pets special attention too. You might think you can put your pet in a crate and be on your way, but it’s not that simple.

Believe it or not, your pets might even be more stressed about moving than you are. Some pets deal with moving better than others, but it’s a massive change for them. They often have no idea what’s going on, and leaving a familiar place can be distressing. Some pets even get sick from the stress of a move. To make the process easier, here are five tips to help you care for your little friends while you’re moving.

1. Familiarize Them With Their Crate

Familiarizing your pet with their crate is a great way to help prepare them for moving day. That way they’ll have a safe space that can help reduce any potential anxiety they may experience. If your pet already loves their crate, then excellent — your work is done. But if your pet has negative associations with their current crate, it could be a good idea to get a new one.

This will help prepare them for the upcoming move and for life in general. Spend a few weeks creating a positive feedback loop that your pet associates with their crate. Feed them there, have them sleep there, and when they do something good, reward them with a treat in their crate. They’ll associate their crate with positive experiences, and will soon have no problem sheltering there for the move.

2. Use a Moving Assistant

Depending on the logistics of your move, you may opt to hire professionals. There aren’t just moving companies for furniture and boxes. If your move is particularly tricky, or you don’t feel comfortable moving with your pet, you could use a pet transport service. These companies are helmed by professionals that will do their utmost to make sure your critter arrives safely at your destination.

Alternatively, you could use a pet-sitting service for your moving day. This is great for short-distance moves, if you think it would be simpler to have your pet elsewhere. Try reaching out to trusted friends and family, or you can go the paid route, if need be. Once everything is moved, you can take your pet for a fun road trip and introduce them to their new home.

3. Prepare For The Journey And Schedule Breaks

If you decide to bring your pet on a long-distance journey, prepare accordingly. Again, familiarize your pet with their crate, so they’ll have a comfy mobile home for the trip. Likewise, help them adjust to the car itself, if they aren’t already. Have your pet join you in the car on your errands in the weeks leading up to your move. This will help them feel at home away from home.

For the trip itself, especially if it’s a multi-day trip, it’s important to take regular breaks. Your pet will need to stop and use the bathroom and get a drink of water, just like you. But unlike you, they won’t have an idea of how long it is until the next stop. By taking pit stops at regular intervals your pet will build an intuitive sense for when the next one will come.

4. Plan Your Route

Speaking of long-distance travel plans, make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly. Not all places are welcoming of pets. So make sure to check with your hotels, motels, and homestays to see if they’re okay with furry occupants. You don’t want to be driving for 10 hours only to find out your host won’t take you when you arrive.

Similarly, look into individual state laws regarding pets. For example, each state has different regulations regarding pet waste. You should always clean up after your pet. However, if you fail to do so in cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Houston, you could be paying hundreds. Do your research ahead of time to know exactly what you’re getting into.

5. Consider Medication

Medication is another option you might consider to help ease your pet’s travel and transition. It might be shocking to read about at first, as sedating your pet is usually something reserved for the vets. However, certain pet medications can help them relax, even during high-stress travel times — like on planes.

Just make sure that, if you go this route, you consult a veterinarian first. Have your pet’s health checked to make sure that they’re eligible to use travel meds safely. Also, this is only an option to consider if you or a trusted individual is watching over your pet. It’s not an option if your pet is traveling in the cargo hold of a plane. There won’t be anyone to watch out for them if something goes wrong.

Listen To Your Pet

After you’ve completed your preparation it’s time to pull the trigger and set sail on the open road. During travel, your pet may feel uncomfortable, and that’s normal. Listen closely to them to see if they’re experiencing acute levels of anxiety. Familiarize yourself with acute anxiety symptoms of your particular critter, as it may differ from species to species. Despite the challenge ahead, the trip will be over eventually, and they’ll be safe and happy in their new home.