How to Prepare for Moving with Pets

Moving is a pretty complicated process by itself, especially if you’re looking to move long-distance or overseas. Things become even more complicated when it comes to moving with pets, which of course you have to not only factor in their safety and stress levels, but also just getting them to your new home efficiently and securely.

Worrying about how to get your pet to adjust to your moving process and your new home will serve you in the long run, however, your care in their travel will ensure that they’ll be well taken care of and paid attention to throughout the entire process. Your care will make all of the difference in getting your pet through this transition with minimal stress, so try to channel it constructively.

So how do you prepare a pet for a move, and what’s the best way to move with pets? Whether moving locally, long-distance, or internationally, getting them adjusted to your moving process and your move is key to keeping them comfortable. In this guide, we’ll give you the tips you need to get them through this process as well as they can.

What to Consider When Moving with Pets

Before you tackle your actual move, you should always take into account where you’re headed, and how a transition like this will impact your pet – especially when going over long distances. Make sure that the area or home you’re moving to is pet-friendly, and that they’ll be comfortable there. After all, they’re members of the family too, and their happiness should be taken into account when choosing a new place to move to.

How to Find the Right Place for You and Your Pet

Moving with your pet in mind should be a top priority for you before you even start planning your move. While looking at new homes or apartments, make sure the place would be safe and a good environment for your pet. Even if you love the place, it still might not be right for your pet, so try to keep their best interests in mind.

Once you’ve decided where you’re headed, always plan out your route and how you’ll prepare your pet to move. When moving internationally or over long distances, you might have to make special travel preparations, like buying your pet a seat on a plane or making arrangements for chartered flights that will take you and your pet overseas without them having to stay under the plane.

Research Pet Rules

If you’re headed to a new state or overseas, always research the rules and regulations pertaining to pet ownership and the various new licenses, vaccines, or certificates your pet will need to enter and reside in your new area. This mostly applies to moving overseas, but it’s important for moving to new states, too. Before heading to a new place or country, take care of any paperwork, vaccines, or certifications for your pet well in advance to avoid any delays in your move. Prepare for any possible quarantines your pet might be required to undergo upon entry to your new country.

If you’re moving to an apartment complex or into a rental, one of your first questions for your landlord should be about the pet policy, and if they allow pets, what costs or regulations you’ll be subject to living in this place.

For moves of all types, try to ease your pet into your packing process as gradually as you can so that they don’t get too stressed out by a last-minute packing rush. Having a cohesive and gradual packing process with a schedule in place can help out with this prospect a lot, and will help out with your stress levels as well.

A week or two before your moving day, you’ll probably have a good amount of your nonessential items packed away and ready to go for moving day. By this time, your pet will have noticed the changes going on in your home, since it’s seen you packing up the things it finds familiar and moving everything around. This can understandably make your pet pretty stressed out or anxious, even if they’re normally pretty easygoing.

Unfortunately for pet owners, there’s no way for us to truly explain to our pets that we’re not leaving them behind and that you’re all just headed to a new home where they’ll still be just as happy and cared for as they are in your current one. They can probably sense the stress and chaos a lot of people feel while in the middle of the moving process so that probably doesn’t help the situation.

So how do pets react to moving, and what steps can you take to try and make them feel a little better about it all? As we all know, dogs, cats, and other pets alike are highly sensitive and territorial, and can easily sense their owner’s moods or stress levels. To be fully comfortable, they need to be comfortable with you, their environment, and their routine – so if they sense that their owners are under stress or anxious, they’ll pick up on that. Coupled with everything in their home moving around or disappearing, they’re almost guaranteed to become stressed, confused, or anxious as well.

How to Prepare Pets for Moving

Though your pets are found to be stressed or confused by the moving and transitional process you’re in the midst of, they’re very smart and together you both can provide support and comfort to one another as your items are moved. So what can you do to ease their minds during this process?

  • Keep a Routine
  • A good way to keep your pet calm and less stressed by the moving process is by sticking to their routine as much as possible in the weeks and days leading up to your moving day. Even if you’re trying to work, pack, and prepare for your move all at once, carve out time to keep your pet in their routine and secure in their everyday life. This will make a big difference! Remember that your pet doesn’t know what’s going on, and needs something consistent to keep them comfortable. Continue to feed and walk them (if they require that) at their usual times, and don’t stop your usual relaxing or bonding time with them. In fact, try to make a little extra time just to give them a little extra love and attention.

  • Get Them Used to Moving Supplies
  • Your pet can get pretty confused or stressed just by suddenly having a ton of moving or packing supplies crowding or cluttering up your space, especially if you’re moving at the last minute and are in a rush to pack everything up. Trying to get them used to having packing supplies around, and easing into the packing process by doing so gradually will be a huge help.

    Dogs in particular can get freaked out by the various sounds that come with packing, from loud packing tape to cardboard boxes getting moved around, so having these supplies around will keep them comfortable.

    If your pet already associates your suitcases or bags with you leaving them or going on trips, leave these items out in the open without actually putting anything into them to keep your pet comfortable and not immediately think that you’re immediately leaving them.

  • Keep Them Entertained & Exercised
  • A good way to ease your animal’s stress and distract them from everything going on around them is by keeping them entertained and well-exercised in the days and weeks leading up to your move. Keeping your pet active will also help to manage their potential stress and anxiety as well, and will help to keep them calm. Your continued attention will also make them a lot happier, and ease their worries that you might be going somewhere without them.

  • Plan for Moving Day
  • Before your moving day, make sure you have a plan in place for your pet and a place to keep them while your things are being moved out of your house if possible. Ideally, leaving them with a trusted friend or family member for the day would keep them distracted and happy, but if that’s not possible, try to set aside a room already clear of items to keep them in so that they’re out of the way. Try to have their bed, food, water, and some toys in the room to ease their stress a bit, and check up on them frequently as your movers work.

    If you need additional anti-anxiety solutions for your pet on moving day, talk to your vet and see if they recommend any natural anxiety-reducing strategies for your pet. Research CBD treats or supplements, calming collars, and Thundershirts, or ask your vet about any prescription medications you can safely give your pet to keep them calm.

No matter where you and your pet are headed, having the right movers on your side to make your transition as smooth as possible will make a huge difference in your stress levels and organization. Looking for the best movers for your relocation? See what Arpin Van Lines can do for you today!