There’s also the not-so-small matter of pets, who have their own anxieties and challenges when it comes to your family’s cross-country relocation. While children and other family members can tell you when they’re hungry or need to go to the bathroom, pets have a much harder time communicating their basic needs.
The good news is that people move with their pets all the time and that there are plenty of tips and tricks for making a successful move with animal friends at your side. Here are our top tips for an easier move with your pet.
1. Contact your vet
Let your veterinarian know when you’re moving out of the area. That way, you’re able to take your pet’s medical records and prescription medications with you. They may also have recommendations for another vet in your new location.
2. Pack a bag for your pet(s)
Prepare an overnight bag for your pet that includes enough food, litter, toys, and grooming tools. If you’re using a pet carrier, make sure that it includes a favorite blanket, toy, or another item to help them better cope with anxiety.
3. Keep things as normal as possible
A good way to keep your pet’s stress level down is by packing over a long period, rather than overnight. Keep your pet’s food and water bowls and other important supplies off the moving truck and in the family vehicle instead.
4. Give your pet time to adjust
Once you’ve arrived at your new home, give your pet time to adapt to its new surroundings. Let them roam outside (on a leash) and share with them the excitement of a new home.
5. Keep your pet secluded during the move-in process
You’ll reduce your pet’s fears and anxieties if you keep them away from the unpacking process at your new home. Even if that means just setting up one room first – it will give them time to adjust to their surroundings slowly.
6. Know the rules before you move
It’s important to understand a landlord’s or homeowners’ association’s rules and regulations about pets before you move. Your pet may need additional medications, certificates, or vaccinations depending on where you are moving. The local animal control facility should be able to answer your questions. Moreover, if you’re moving your pet by air, know all the rules and regulations well ahead of the day you leave.
7. Remain calm
Last, but not least, it’s important to keep your changing environment – and yourself – as calm as possible during the process. That’s sometimes easier said than done, but animals can sense your stress and will feed off of it.