Moving with Animals
Updated: Jul 7
When it comes to moving, it can get really hectic and busy. Depending on how many people you have helping you with the move, there could be dozens of bodies going through your home, taking a piece of furniture and leaving. It can get really confusing for an animal, and may even give them the wrong signs.
Animals are very sensitive, and intelligent. They know when something is happening, like a move! Usually, it’s pretty common for an animal to get antsy while watching their owner move around in a fury, moving various items out of the house. Animals could feel a dozen of emotions all at once and be so completely lost causing them an incredible amount of stress. While they are feeling this way, animals may perform out of characteristic stunts that owners are not familiar with, such as running out of the house, hiding in a corner, or even attack someone. It would be a good idea to think about moving services or professional movers that care about pets.
What should you do when it comes to moving with animals?
First thing you should absolutely do is contact your vet. Let them know that you are planning to move. If you are moving to a new house but are still within driving distance of the vet, you should inform them of your address change. However, if you are moving to a new state, or it’s just too far to continue seeing that same vet, you should still inform them. Make sure you get any vet visits that need to be handled scheduled and out of the way prior to moving. Notifying your vet will also allow time for the vet to give you records and prescription medication information to you so you can pass that information onto your next vet.
Preferably the night before the move, you should pack an overnight bag for your pet! Your bag should include a meal for your pet, maybe a couple meals depending on the diet of your pet, a toy, food dish, grooming tools and such to ensure your pet is comfortable for the trip.
Do not forget the tags! You are moving out of your old home and into a new one, and so is your pet! That means you should take precautions and make your pet new tags. Phone number and address is alway recommended on their tags. Even though the thought is dreadful, you want to make sure, in the worst case scenario, if your pet is left behind, or runs off, someone will be able to find them and bring them home to you.
The same goes for microchips. If you had your pet microchipped, you have the ability to update your address information with the pet registry you got your microchip with.
Prior to the professional movers arrival, you should put your pets in a separate room. While they might feel uneasy being placed in a room without you, this prevents them from seeing anyone new that might cause them alarm or anxiety. This will also prevent them from going off when they hear someone approach the door or use the doorbell.
Keeping them at a friend or family member’s house would be a great option as well. Being in another location that they have visited frequently prevents them from developing anxiety since they have been transferred to another environment they are comfortable with.
When it’s time to hit the road, ensure you have your pet safely in your car. There should absolutely be no reason for your pet to be riding in the back of a pick-up truck. Not only is it illegal in some states, but it is incredibly unsafe for your pet. They could jump, fall out, and if you’re not keeping an eye on them, someone could simply take them!
You want to keep your animal safe and comfortable, keep them inside the car with you in the back seat. If they’re smaller like a cat or a guinea pig, make sure they’re kept in their traveling kennel when you are driving, but also make sure to take plenty of breaks to allow your pet a break from the car ride. Even pets need to take potty breaks on a road trip!
When you arrive, make sure to take your pet out of the car! If it is hot outside, then it is hot in the car. Same goes for when it’s cold. Get them inside and place them in a secluded area. While they are in their new home, it will take them time to get used to the area, and seeing various individuals come in and out of their new home will still cause them to have anxiety and lead to confusion. To keep the noise level down for them, they should be kept in the quietest room, and don’t forget their toys, water, and maybe a snack to keep them distracted!
Once your movers are all done with the move, let your pet, especially canines, roam your new home! They need to adjust to their new home and learn the layout. It also helps to take some time with your pet. If you spend the next couple days with your pet in your new home, or around your new neighborhood, your pet will feel more comfortable in their new environment and their stress will fade away.