• Elizabeth Kenney

Pets On The Move

Moving with your pets? Check out the following tips from ASPCA that can help you and your furry friends achieve a smooth move:

Change-Averse Pets

Does your pet thrive on routine and regularity? Cats tend to a have particularly difficult time adjusting to new environments. Yet, depending on temperament, some dogs and other pets may struggle with change as well.

So what can you do to help make the adjustment easier?

1. Bring your moving boxes in early, so that your pet can get used to their presence.

2. If possible, keep your pet in a familiar room that you plan to pack up last.

3. As for the day of your move, either keep your pets in a secure, quiet room or at a friend’s home– This will prevent your pet from becoming spooked by the commotion and dashing directly out of the front door before you can stop your four-legged friend.

Overall as much as is possible, try to minimize disruptive changes in your pet’s routine. By planning ahead, you will be able to determine what routine elements, if any, will need to be shifted during the move.

Preparing For The Open Road

If your pet is not used to car travel (or whatever mode of transportation you plan to use) and especially if your pet is not used to sitting in a crate, plan ahead. In the weeks before your move get your pet used to the elements that will be necessary for their transportation on moving day.

Practice makes perfect– Here are a few ideas to help prepare your pet:

1) For crating practice, you can start by placing your pet’s food inside the crate and keeping the door open. This will help your pet acclimate to the crate. Eventually, your pet will feel comfortable enough to eat meals inside the crate with the door closed.

2) You could try going on a brief drive or simply walking around your home with your pet inside his/her crate.

3) Positive association to the crate is key. Use playtime and treats to make crating a positive experience for your pet, so that when moving day arrives, it is a positive experience for your pet and for you!

A Whole New World

While it might be tempting to simply allow your pet to run loose as soon as you step inside your new home, it can help to take a more careful approach.

First and before your pet arrives, be sure to pet-proof your new home. This includes securing any loose window screens, clearing away any poisonous plants or pest traps, removing any electrical cords that might be lying around, and blocking off any rooms or areas that you do not intend for your pet to roam.

Second, create a “home base” for your pet. You might limit this to just one room that contains your pet's water and food bowls, treats, toys, and if you have a cat, the litter box. This will help them adjust to a new space slowly.

Next, gradually introduce them to other rooms of the home when you feel that they are comfortable with the home base space.

Looking for more tips? Check out ASPCA to learn how to help your pet before, during, and after your move.

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