How to Keep Your Pets Calm During a Move

There are few things as stressful as moving, especially if you live in a city as huge as New York. Most NYC movers are often overworked since even a simple move can be demanding with a million little things one has to think about. The same goes for homeowners, especially those who have pets. If the stress is getting to you, imagine what it might do to your dog, your cat, your parakeet, or your iguana. 

In this article, we will cover several different methods you can employ to keep your pet calm during a move. Doing so is important since it will maintain your little friend’s health and wellbeing. What’s more, it will make the move easier on you, as you will have more time to focus on the difficult task of packing, scheduling, and the moving itself. 

Plan Ahead

As is the case with every major change, the important thing is to plan everything out ahead. During the months ahead of the move, you will have an incredibly hectic and stressful schedule. You will have to make dozens of phone calls, scout locations, gather documents, pack literal hundreds of thousands of items, etc. So, unless you have a plan laid out, you might become too busy to consider your pet.

As such, make sure to incorporate your buddy into your plans. For instance, set some time aside each day for walking your dog or playing with your cat. Make sure that their feeding time is always honored. Furthermore, have all of the pet items at the ready so that you can either feed them or change their bowls when necessary. 

But that’s not all that planning encompasses. While you’re handling the move particularities, make sure to keep in touch with your vet. In addition, consider finding the closest vet to your new home and contact them so you can transfer all of the relevant documents about your buddy over to them. That will make the transition easier even before you’re fully settled in your new home. Plus, you will have a new vet at the ready in case something unexpected happens to your pet within the first week of life in your new home. 

Get a Pet Bag Ready

Humans have essential boxes, or moving kits, at the ready whenever they plan a move. Each kit contains the bare essentials you would require while in the vehicle going to your new home, such as food, meds, etc. You can apply the same method and pack a small emergency kit for your pet.

Generally speaking, an emergency kit for your little pal will contain the following:

  • A pack of food
  • Bottled water and a bowl
  • Medication (both prescribed and otherwise)
  • The pet’s favorite toy
  • Poop bags
  • Vet records
  • A first-aid kit
  • Bedding
  • Collar and leash (if you own a dog)
  • Catnip (if you own a cat)
  • Brushes 
  • A medical solution for relaxation (more on that later)

Of course, cats and dogs are not the only pets people tend to own in New York. After all, some people might own a fish, or an iguana, or a ferret. If you happen to own an exotic pet, make sure to discuss the moving particularities with your vet and other fellow pet owners. 

Give Them Attention

Pets need attention. They tend to have a routine when it comes to these things, and if something disrupts that routine, they might feel depressed, sad, or irate. That’s why it’s incredibly important to always set some time aside and reassure them that you’re there for them. You should designate game time and feeding time in your planning stage, and schedule walks, in case you own a dog. 

Of course, it’s not just the routine that your pet will miss. When you focus on your move, you might neglect them and they can consider that an act of indifference. So, you need to reassure them that they are your special little buddy, even during such a disorienting time as the move. And it can indeed be disorienting. Your pet knows your home inside out, but it might end up confused with all of the boxes and scattered items about. And that leads us perfectly into our next point. 

Designate a Pet-Only Area

Some pets are curious and mischievous by nature. A cat might like to jump on new things around the house or sharpen its claws against them. A dog might want to sniff around and bump into things, or even chew on them. So, to prevent them from making a mess or getting hurt, you will need to give your pets their own space.

Movers tend to designate a pet-only room to prevent this stuff from happening. Usually, it’s a room which you can easily pack, so you leave it as the last one in your schedule. That way, while they’re in this room, the pets will steer clear of your boxes and your stuff. More importantly, they will have the freedom to move around and explore in that particular room without getting into trouble. 

In order to make sure that they stay calm, you can even set up a small pet station there. Place the pet’s food and drink bowls, poop tray, and toys in the room so that they have all the stimulation they need. Also, if you have people helping you with packing and moving, let them know which room your pets are in. 

Get Stress Relief in a Bottle

Yes, there are actually several different products that provide genuine stress relief for your pets while you’re on the road. For cats, a good option would be the Feliway diffuser by Ceva. Similar diffusers exist for dogs, with ADAPTIL being the most popular and effective product right now.   

Let Them Travel With You

If you can, travel in the same vehicle as your pet. Moving across several miles of unknown territory can provide a lot of confusing stimuli for any cat or dog. As such, they can start acting out, causing further confusion. But if they travel with you, they have the reassurance of their owner that everything will be fine. More importantly, you will be right there with them in case something unexpected happens. 

Final Thoughts

Most of the suggestions in this article handled moving with cats or dogs. However, as we stated earlier, people can have a wide variety of different pets. With that in mind, it’s highly important to speak to your vet and other experts before you start planning for the move. Some pets, like spiders and scorpions, are incredibly easy to move, but others will demand a bit more attention from you. Learning how to handle pets prior to the move will make the whole process infinitely easier. 

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