Do you have pets? How to make moving easier on furry friends

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Moving can be hard on everyone involved: adults, kids, and yes—your pets. While your pet may not understand exactly what is going on, they can sense the stress (good or bad) that the whole family is experiencing. Add to that the fact that animals are creatures of habit and do not like changes to their usual routine, and you can understand why they become so confused. They also become quite anxious when all of a sudden, they see their human family busily throwing everything around them into boxes.

Animals, just like people, can behave rather badly when under stress, and so we need to do all we can to help them feel secure throughout the moving process. What we really need to know is: when faced with an upcoming move, how do we reduce the amount of stress that our pets are going to experience, and what can we do about the unavoidable disruption to their daily routine? We posed this very question to industry experts, took their invaluable input, and created the following list of tips.

  • Try to keep your pet’s daily routine as close to normal as possible. Adhering to his usual feeding, exercise, and bedtime schedule is important.
  • When packing, leave your pet’s belongings to last. If possible, allow your pet continued access to his same food dishes, litter box, pet bed, and toys right up until moving day.
  • Lessen the chances of there being any “mistakes” by keeping your cat’s litter box in the usual spot, right up until you load him into the car – or until you confine him to a “transition room”.
  • Leave a couple of empty packing boxes open on the floor for your pet to explore. Allowing your pet to familiarize himself with these new, strange objects will prevent him from being afraid of them.
  • It is best to remove your pets from the house BEFORE you start moving your possessions.
  • Be sure to put collars with identification tags on your dogs and cats, as many pets do escape during the confusion of moving day. To avoid possible injury to your cat, always use a breakaway collar. Although many pets today are microchipped, having your pet wear a collar remains a good idea, as only pet care industry workers have access to the tool that reads the chip, while anyone can read your name and phone number on a tag.
  • Bring your pet’s dishes, food, leash, toys, bedding, litter box, and any medications in the car with you and your pet. Providing consistency for your pet is important, so when you arrive at your new home, set up your pet’s things in those spots where you intend on keeping them.
  • Before releasing your pet into his new backyard, take a quick safety check. Is the fence in good shape – no spaces for your pet to wiggle through, or under? Can your pet reach the neighbor’s pet through the fence, and if so, is he/she friendly? Are there any sharp objects that could pose a hazard to your pet? What about plants – are there any that could be harmful to your pet if she decided to devour them? Is there any garbage lying around for your pet to get into? Is there shade available for your pet?

By the way, today is National Pet Day, so give your furry friends a hug!

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