Moving can be hard on everyone involved. Adults, kids, and yes, even 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. Naturally, we always want to keep our pets happy and healthy because we love them, but we also want to lessen the chances of their "acting out". 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.
TIPS: During The Packing Process
DAILY ROUTINE: 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 the 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.
TIPS: Moving Day
MOVE PETS FIRST: It is best to remove your pets from the house BEFORE you start moving your possessions. Allowing your pets to roam free in the house while the front door is propped wide open, and people are rushing in and out lugging boxes and furniture just creates a recipe for disaster. If it is not possible to remove your pets beforehand, then you should select an empty room with a door to safely house them for the day. Place their food and water dishes, toys, bedding, and litter box in the room with them. Many pets find the background noise of a radio comforting, and it helps to muffle some of the loud and unsettling noises that come from moving heavy furniture and boxes.
TAGS: 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.