Almost everyone moves homes at some point in their lives. It could be moving off to college, moving in with a spouse, or changing homes when kids arrive or move out. Everyone knows that this is a trying experience for everyone involved. It is even more challenging for pets who can’t fully understand why their world has suddenly changed. Many people wind up giving up their pets for adoption if their pets struggle to adjust to a new home. To make the moving process seamless, there are some important tips to keep in mind when moving a pet into a new environment.
Secure Your Pets in a Crate or Carrier
The first step is to make sure that pets are secured in a crate or carrier prior to moving. If pets are allowed to roam free during the moving process, they can distract the people involved and wind up getting injured. Make sure to secure the crate or carrier.
Feed the Pets a Small Meal Prior to Moving
Try to feed the pets a small meal prior to the moving process. Having a small amount of food in their stomach could help to keep them calm. For pets with a history of anxiety, pay a visit to the local pet vet clinic to see if a mild sedative is appropriate. This can have an impact on their heart rate or blood pressure, so it is best to let the veterinarian make the call as to whether medication is appropriate. Of course, if your pet tends to get motion sickness, feeding them may not be a good idea. If in doubt talk to your veterinarian.
Pack a Travel Bag
Prior to moving, pack your pets travel bag. Make certain you have their leads, shampoos, brushes, food, water and food bowls, beds, etc. all collected together for easy location and assess. If they are on medications, ask your veterinarian to refill their medications and also make certain your veterinarian knows you are moving and when. You may need to call them if you get in a situation when veterinary help is needed and it will make the process a lot less stressful if your vet is in the loop.
Update the Microchip
Don’t forget to update your pet’s microchip information prior to your move. Give the microchip company your new contact details as well as the details of a friend/family member who could be reached if your pet is lost during the move.
Designate a Safe Room
When readying the new home, designate a safe room to leave the pets in while the moving process takes place. Pets could become disoriented and could run away during the hectic moving process. Find a spot in the new location to keep them safe during the move.
Find a New Veterinarian
Once arriving at your new home, make it a priority to look for a new veterinarian just as you would find a new physician. Don’t hesitate to ask to interview your potential new family vet. Also, ask for a clinic tour to help you decide if this is the right spot for your pet. Once you select a new vet, request that your pet’s previous medical records be transferred. This will help ensure you do not have a lapse in care. Ask your new vet about local disease prevalence and prevention. Different regions of the country have different disease risk factors.
If an emergency arises and you do not have an established relationship with a local veterinarian, you may be forced to just pick one and hope they have an appointment available. You may even end up needing to use a local emergency room to address a problem which a family vet could have handled.
After the Move
Once the move is complete, keep an eye on the pet’s mood to make sure they are adjusting to their new home. They may need a little extra love and attention during the first few days. If the pet seems to have trouble with the new environment, don’t hesitate to stop by a veterinary clinic for some extra help.