If your pet is not used to a carrier or crate, begin introducing these items slowly, well in advance of your move. Here are some great ways to get them accustomed to these spaces: Leave the crate or carrier door open and allow the pet to explore at their pace. Make the carrier inviting by including soft blankets, special treats and familiar toys. Next, have pets stay in the carrier or crate for brief periods of time. It’s also good to take the pet on car rides in the carrier or crate to get them used to traveling.
While it can be tempting to keep pets confined while packing, keeping them away from the activity can actually increase their anxiety. Instead of closing pets into a room or their new carrier or crate, let cats and dogs be part of the packing process by allowing them to roam freely, sniffing and investigating the boxes and bags.
Just as humans like to view a new home before moving, dogs like to get a good whiff of their new digs. Taking dogs for a visit to the new home or a walk around the new neighborhood can help canines adjust to the switch in living situations. If a pre-move visit to the new area is not possible, try to get an item from the new home for the dog to smell. Familiarity with these different scents can help a dog feel more comfortable in a new setting.
An important part of prepping pets for a move is ensuring their shots are up-to-date and that they are wearing the required tags before you travel. Pet tags should be updated to include your new address and other contact information. Also be sure to keep copies of your furry friends’ veterinary records at hand for easy access when checking into a motel or boarding a plane. It’s also a good idea to find a new veterinarian before moving, in case of emergency.
Whether you’re taking a short ride or a long trip to your new home, make sure you bring plenty of pet food, water, treats, toys, and blankets to make your pet’s journey as comfortable as possible. A well-fed, content animal makes a much better traveling companion.