Moving can be incredibly stressful for pets, especially if it’s all the way across the country. They will be exposed to a whole new environment when they arrive, and it can take a lot of time for them to get used to it. But even before you get to your new home, the process of moving your pet from Point A to B can be a challenge.
Here’s how you can make the move easier on both yourself and your furry friend:
1. Visit the vet
First things first, you must be sure that your pet is up for the move, health-wise. Schedule a check-up to ensure that they don’t have any underlying health issues that can make the move unsafe for them. Make sure that your pet is also up-to-date for their vaccinations. After you’re done, ask the vet for an interstate health certificate to transport your pet across state lines.
2. Find a good transport service
If it is not possible or feasible to have your pet with you during the move, start looking for reliable animal transport services that can deliver them to your next home in the least stressful way possible. Choose a company that will allow your pet to take frequent breaks, especially if they tend to get antsy when cooped up in a vehicle for too long. And if your pet is the type to get easily nervous, find a transport service that specializes in transporting anxious pets.
3. Make the packing process as stress-free as possible
Not only is packing stressful for humans, but it can also be stressful for pets as well. When their home begins to change (i.e. things start disappearing and unknown objects start showing up), their anxiety tends to increase, and it can continue to do so until the day of the move. As such, making the packing process as stress-free as possible can keep your dog calm when it’s time to finally move.
To do so, start packing early to avoid making drastic changes to your home. Pack items in the areas of the house that your pet doesn’t spend a lot of time in first, such as the attic, garage, or home office. As you go along, keep the boxes out of the way so that your pet doesn’t become stressed by the presence of a new object. Pack your pet’s items last to keep them calm during moving day.
4. Consider anti-anxiety treatment
Talk to the vet about anti-anxiety treatment for your pet. Anti-anxiety medication can help keep your pet calm throughout the trip, which is especially important if you are moving cross-country. The last thing you want is to spend days on the highway with a highly anxious companion, and it’s not the best thing for their health as well.
5. Provide comfort items
Just like children, pets stay calmer when they are given comfort items, such as a favorite toy, a blanket, or a calming vest. Give your pet a comfort item to keep them grounded throughout the move, especially if they tend to get anxious during car rides. Just make sure that the comfort item requires no supervision so that you don’t have to check up on them every five minutes.
6. Take plenty of breaks
Frequent breaks will do both you and your pet some good during a cross-country move. Plan for plenty of breaks throughout the drive to allow them to expend some energy and do their business.
It is recommended to stop at least once every six hours (for dogs) or ten hours (for cats), but if you can stop more frequently, it will be better for both you and your pet. Moreover, give them a treat when they get back in the car to motivate them to return to the road.
7. Update tags
Always make sure that your pet is on a sturdy leash whenever you stop for breaks. Aside from that, update their ID tags and get them microchipped so that you can find them right away in case they wander off. Remember that your pet is going to be in an unfamiliar place; they can easily get lost in case they get away from you.
8. Make physical contact
Offering frequent strokes and pats can make your pet feel less anxious during the move. So when you have the chance, reach back and give your pet a scratch behind the ear. The small physical contact will mean a lot to them.
Moving cross-country can be an ordeal for your beloved pet. Hence, it is crucial that you make the necessary preparations to make the trip as stress-free as it can be–and you can start by making note of the tips mentioned above.