Guest Author: Kelli Warren
Moving is hard for everybody — but especially for people with pets. When you add a dog or cat to the mix of packing up your whole house and loading it into a truck, things get crazy fast. Before you panic, however, there’s good news: Moving (even with pets) doesn’t have to make you want to jump out a window. The key is strategy.
When moving with a pet, planning makes the process smoother. In other words, you have to think ahead about how you can reduce stress and headaches. Whether you’re moving across town or around the country, here are some key guidelines for how to make a move with your furry friends:
1. Designate a pet-care person. One person in every household should take primary responsibility for pets during a move. When so many factors are changing, having a single, consistent companion provides a dog or cat with much-needed security and stability. The designated caregiver should aim to provide as much continuity as possible — whether carving out a small pet area with toys and other belongings or religiously going for a morning walk each day, even in changing locations.
2. Get started as early as you can. The sooner a pet gets adjusted to the idea of moving, the better chance it will make it through the relocation well. As early as possible, start packing boxes a little at a time. Typically, a slower, calmer packing process will be easier on everyone.
3. Pack your pet’s stuff last. Keep your pet’s bed, toys, and dishes out all the way until the end of your packing process. Then, when you’re in your new home, bring out your pet’s stuff first. This minimizes the stressful period in which your pet feels displaced.
4. Look for pet-friendly transitional support. If you’re moving nearby, you may only need someone to be with your dog or cat for a day. If so, either one member of the household can spend the day with your pet, or you can arrange for a daycare for the single day. If, on the other hand, your move will be farther, you will need to think about possible daycare on moving days, as well as pet-friendly accommodations when you’re between homes.
5. Prepare for pet flights. If you and your pet will be flying to your new home, research airlines before booking flights. Are there fees for pets? Is your animal small enough to ride with you, or will it need to be shipped as cargo? Likewise, think about how you’ll pack travel necessities such as food, treats, food/water bowls, blankets, medications, and waste bags. Having essentials at the ready will make it easier to keep your pet calm as you move.
6. Touch base with your vet. Especially if you’ll be moving far enough to need a new veterinarian, take the time to check in with your old one before you go. Get medications filled, make sure you’re up to date on shots, and obtain any documentation you might need in the moving process.
7. Provide comfort where you can. Last, try to give your pet little comforts wherever possible in the move. Whether you’ll be traveling but plane or car, set up a space where your pet can relax and be comfortable — perhaps a carrier for your cat or a bed for your pup.
When it comes to moving with pets, the name of the game is planning. Think now about how you’ll help your furry friend weather the changes involved with relocation. From packing early to getting medical records lined up, you’ll never regret preparing for a smoother, more seamless move.
Author bio: 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.