Moving is stressful enough for most people. Add a dog or cat into the mix and most pet owners can find themselves completely overwhelmed. If you’re planning to move in the near future, we’ve put together this handy guide to help your family (including your dog or cat) make the transition just a little easier.

Plan Ahead

It can be hard to keep track of everything you’ll need to do when it comes to moving. Add these pet related tasks to your moving checklist and you should feel confident that you haven’t missed a thing.

  • Research Local Pet Laws

We’ve all heard enough about how Johnny Depp ran into issues with the law bringing his pets into Australia. If you’re moving cities, states, or internationally, you should make an attempt to brush up on local laws regarding pet ownership. Common things to look out for are leashed areas, breed restrictions, and strata bylaws.

  • Find a New Vet

If you’re moving a long distance, start searching for a local vet. Don’t wait until your pet is sick or injured before researching the best options. Better yet, use the opportunity for an annual pet checkup and you’ll ensure their health in the process.

  • ID your Pet

Whether it’s getting your dog microchipped or updating its collar tag, you’ll want to make sure that if your pet gets lost in the new neighborhood, it can easily be identified and returned to you.

Train Your Pet

A lot of things will be happening on moving day, so the more familiar you can make your dog or cat with the new situation, the better accustomed your pet will be. Here are a few things you can do help train your dog or cat for the big move.

  • Crate Train your Pet

We’ve been advocates for crate training before because it’s an effective method for behavioural control in puppies and adults. By creating safe spaces for your animals, you can reinforce calm behaviour while you pack, clean, or move.

  • Introduce your Pet to the New Home

The sooner you can bring your pet to the new home, the less anxiety they’ll have when the move becomes permanent. If the new home is just around the corner, consider taking your pets for a walk to the new property, introducing them to the future neighbors or new dog parks along the way.

The Big Moving Day

  • Hire a Petsitter

Plenty of excitement will be happening on moving day, so the easiest thing to do might be to hire a petsitter. Yes, crating can be a great method for shorter periods of time, but if moving will take the majority of the day, a petsitter will reduce the anxiety in your pet with so much happening on the property.

  • Create a Daypack

With everything packed, it may be very difficult to find that “something” for your pet on moving day. The best way to handle this is to create a daypack. You’ll want to prepare food and water, any medication, your pet’s favourite toy, a leash, waste bags, and anything else you might need to distract them while switching properties.

  • Hire Professional Services

We know that pets can sometimes leave big messes behind. From the pet dander in the carpet to the hidden food pile under the couch, sometimes you’ll just want to leave it to the professionals. Sydney based This is Neat Cleaning had this to say, “Tenants don’t often expect properties with pets to be any different from the norm. From stains to smells, pets often bring new cleaning problems to the table that can affect bond refunds.”

Get Acquainted with your New Home

Now that you’re all moved, it’s time to help your pet get acquainted with your new home.

  • Create a Familiar Space

By creating a space that your pet is familiar with, it’ll reduce the time it takes for your dog or cat to feel comfortable in its new surroundings. Fight the urge to redecorate and bring all of your pet’s favourite items from the previous home. The similar arrangement of beds, crates, toys, and feeding dishes, as well as the scents from the previous property will make the transition easier for your pet.

  • Be Consistent with Routine

While your property might have changed, following the same consistent routine will give your pet the structure it needs to thrive in the new environment. Following the same schedule for waking up, feeding, and outdoor play will let your pet know that

  • Shower Your Pets with Love

Lastly, with so much change happening in your pet’s life, the best thing that you can do is to let them know that you’ll always be there regardless. Shower your pet with love, treats, and hugs, and they might not even notice the big changes happening in their lives.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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