Whether it’s down the street or across the country, moving is one of the most stressful scenarios a family can face. Americans consider it even more stressful, in fact, than becoming a new parent or getting a divorce.
Since animals are creatures of habit, relocating is hard on pets, too. In addition to the move itself, the stress that pet parents experience can affect their furry family members. Dogs are especially vulnerable to human emotions and often “share” them with us.
With that in mind, there are ways you can make the move easier. Here are a few practical tips for handling every stage of the move from the pet care specialists at ESP Pet Specialists.
Packing Up: Keep Your Pets Comfortable and Their Essentials Accessible
Designate a pet-free zone: If you have the space in your home, set aside a quiet room for your pets to relax in while you pack. This will help keep them calm and out of harm’s way. If you don’t have a comfy place to contain them, consider using a pet sitter on the busiest packing days.
Keep essentials handy: While you pack, keep your pets’ essentials handy. If you’ll be on the road for more than a day, you’ll need these items en route. And even if you can make the move in a single day, your pets’ essentials will be some of the first things you unpack at your new home. Items to leave accessible include crates, food bowls, leashes, medications, and a favorite toy or blanket.
Prepare a travel kit: Unless you’re merely moving across town, pack a separate bag with food, water, treats, waste bags, and any necessary medications for the journey.
Update pet identifications: Before the move, ensure your pets have updated ID tags and microchip information in case they get lost during the transition.
Traveling: Ensure a Safe and Comfortable Journey for Everyone
Choose the right carrier: For pets that will be contained en route, invest in sturdy, well-ventilated crates or carriers that are large enough for each animal to stand, turn around, and lie down in comfortably.
Acclimate your pets to their carriers: Prior to the move, let your pets spend time in their carriers to become familiar with them. If you have large dogs that won’t be crated en route, make sure they’re used to being restrained in veterinary-approved harnesses and are comfortable being transported while separated from the driver by a safe and secure barrier.
Plan rest stops: Schedule regular breaks for your pets to stretch, hydrate, and relieve themselves.
Unpacking: Set up a Safe Space in Your New Home for Your Pets
Set up a safe space: Before letting your pets explore, designate a quiet, pet-friendly room with their essentials, like food, water, and a comfortable bed.
Unpack pet items first: Prioritize unpacking your pets’ belongings to help them feel more at ease in their new environment.
Introduce pets to new spaces gradually: Allow your pets to explore their new home room by room, under your supervision, to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed.
Watch for signs of stress: Monitor your pets closely for any signs of anxiety or discomfort, such as excessive panting, hiding, or loss of appetite. If they seem stressed amid the chaos of unpacking, don’t hesitate to call in a personal pet care expert or take advantage of dog walking services while you get organized.
Acclimating: Help Your Pets Adjust to Their New Environment
Maintain routines: Stick to your pets’ usual feeding, walking, and playtime routines to provide a sense of familiarity and stability.
Give extra attention and affection: Show your pets extra love during the transition to help them feel more secure and comforted.
Explore the neighborhood together: Take your pets on regular walks to familiarize them with the new area and build their confidence.
Introduce new friends slowly: If your new neighbors have pets, allow your furry companions to meet them gradually and under controlled circumstances.
Moving to Northern New Jersey? Turn to ESP Pet Specialists for Personal Touch Pet Care
Moving with pets can be challenging, but with proper planning, you can ensure your furry family members feel safe and comfortable throughout the process. By following these expert tips and utilizing pet care services like pet sitters, dog walking, and dog boarding, you can ensure a happy, healthy transition. If you’re moving to or from Northern New Jersey, turn to ESP Pet Specialists for personal touch pet care. Call (973) 577-1110 to discuss your needs today.