There’s not a lot about moving that’s easy. The whole process, from finding a new apartment to packing your stuff to getting everything from Point A to Point B, can be a huge hassle. One thing that can make this endeavor even more complicated? Having pets.
Our furry friends can become just as stressed about a move as we are – as soon as you begin packing, they can start feeling unsettled. Plus, moving and getting acclimated to a new place can cause a lot of anxiety and tension.
So, if you’re planning a move, just make sure you spend some time considering how you’re going to make the process a little less taxing for Fido and Felix. Here are seven practical tips for moving with pets:
1. Update Their Tags and Chips
Before you even pick up the first box, you should make sure your pets’ collar tags are updated with your current cell number. Why? There are plenty of times during the move when your little guys may be able to make an escape – and if they’re scared, as they may be if you’re moving large items around or making a lot of noise, they’re a lot more likely to.
Updated tags will ensure that if they run off, someone will know who to call. You should also consider microchipping – if you adopted your animals from a shelter, they likely already have these chips, but if not, microchips are another good security measure. Any vet and many other pet professionals can scan a microchip to find the information about an animal’s owner.
2. Set Out a Carrier or Crate Beforehand
If you’re moving with cats or small dogs, they’ll need to be in a carrier or crate as you move them from one apartment to another. This can pose a problem if your pets don’t have any experience with these enclosures.
To ease their fear, set out carriers or crates well before the move to give Fido and Felix time to sniff them out and make sure they feel safe and secure. You can even fill them with favored toys, a treat or two, and one of your T-shirts (your animals will find comfort in your scent).
3. Make a Transport Plan
Movers aren’t going to be able to transport your pets, so you need another way to get them to the new place. If you don’t have a car, you may want to see if you can borrow one from a friend. If not, you’ll likely need to bring them in a taxi.
Either way, your pets may develop some motion sickness. See if your vet can prescribe you any meds to give them just in case, and try not to feed them too much on the morning of the move.
4. Or, Consider Other Moving-Day Options
Alternatively, you may want to make other plans for Fido and Felix so they aren’t a part of the craziness of moving day at all. See if they can stay with a friend or neighbor from the night before the move until all of your boxes and furniture have been relocated into the new place.
This is a great idea for a number of reasons. For one thing, it’s a less stressful option for the animals. And for another, there’s a much smaller likelihood of one of them escaping as your movers are carrying your couch out the front door. Removing them from the picture completely can keep everyone more sane.
5. Pack a Pet Box
Just as you need to keep some of your own important belongings on hand – medications, essential toiletries, your coffee maker, etc. – you should make sure you have some important pet stuff in an easily accessible box.
Keep at least a couple of days’ worth of food in there, as well as toys, beds, extra kitty litter, and anything else your pets will need right away when you make it to the new place.
6. Keep Everyone Confined
If your pets are staying with you on moving day, make sure to keep them confined to a single room, both in the old apartment and the new one. Mark it with a sign so that your movers (or the friends helping you move) don’t open the door.
If your pets aren’t confined, they could easily escape or get underfoot, which won’t be safe for anyone involved.
This room will become your pets’ haven in the new apartment – fill it with food, water, and anything else they love, and introduce them to the rest of the apartment slowly over the next couple of days.
7. Stick to a Routine
Finally, as much as possible, it’s important to stick to your pets’ typical day-to-day routine. Of course, moving day is hectic, so this may not be possible. But if you can keep daily feedings and walks on a schedule your pets are already accustomed to, it will make the whole transition a great deal easier for them.