Guest Post by: by Jessica Brody
Moving can be stressful for your pet. Think about how disruptive it is for you, and then imagine how it is for your pet, who probably has no idea what is going on. One minute they are enjoying their favorite comfort spots, happy in their routine, and suddenly everything changes. From the packing to the moving itself to the settling into a new space, everything about a move may be upsetting for your pet, especially if they are sensitive and like their routine. But with good planning, you can make a big difference in your pet’s overall comfort, throughout the relocation process.
How to prepare for the relocation process.
Before you even begin your move and are still in the house-hunting phase, try to find a home that is pet-friendly. What this means depends largely on the kind of pet you have, what their needs are, and what their personality is like. If you have a large dog, try to find a home with a good-sized yard. If you have a cat who loves to play outside, search for a house that isn’t right on a busy street. If you’re apartment hunting in and around Atlanta, Rent.com has over 1,500 apartments available for lease, and you can filter for dog- and cat-friendly apartments.
Even with a pet-friendly home, however, there may be some changes you need to make for safety before you and your pet can settle in. Do you need to put a fence around the front or back yard? Be sure any high windows or balconies are easily secured so an adventurous pet won’t be in danger of a bad fall. Also, check both indoor and outdoor areas for any toxic substances or plants an animal might try to ingest.
As you plan your move, you should research the area and find pet care services, as well as a well-regarded veterinarian. Also, be aware of any neighborhood ordinances that are relevant for pet owners. You may want to try some of the helpful apps for pet owners that can help connect you with pet-care professionals, find good dog walkers, and track your pet’s health and feeding.
When moving day arrives.
While you are packing up and moving out, it’s important to keep your pet calm and out of harm’s way. This is especially crucial if you and your movers are in and out constantly. You may want to hire a reliable pet sitter like 2 Paws Up to care for your pup during this time, especially if your pet tends to be anxious when you’re gone..
Once you and your pet have arrived at your new home, they may be nervous or anxious from the move or from being in a strange place. Instead of letting them explore the whole residence right away, give them a chance to get comfortable in one room or area set up just for them. Try to set it up to be as familiar as possible. Ideally, you will have some of your pet’s preferred toys and bedding already set up, or packed and labeled to be easily accessible as soon as you arrive. This designated area should be safe and secure so your pet can’t get hurt or slip out and get lost.
During this whole process, it will help if you can maintain some familiar routines. Some disruption in routine is inevitable but try to keep it to a minimum. If you can keep your pet’s feeding and exercise schedule unaltered, this will be better for them both physically and mentally. If you have no choice but to switch up their schedule due to a lengthy period of travel, re-introduce familiar routines as soon as you arrive at your new home.
Your pet’s well-being is important for you. You know what is likely to upset them, and what will make them happy and content. This knowledge, as well as careful planning, will help you make smart choices for your pet’s well-being throughout every stage of your move.