No doubt about it, moving is stressful for everyone, even our furry friends. Not only do pets need time to adjust to new environments, but their routines can be disrupted when their current home is in upheaval.
Plus, trying to pack and move boxes with Spot and Fido racing around your legs is just a recipe for disaster.
So, if you have pets, you'll definitely want to plan ahead for how to make moving as smooth and safe as possible for them - and for you.
That's why today we are sharing our best tips for how to make sure your pets are safe and taken care of during your move.
1. Plan a Quiet Area:
Once you start packing and getting ready to move, you will want to establish a quiet area where the pets can rest and be safe.
Moving can mean that certain things are left out that could be dangerous for a pet to step on or eat. Plus, even the most well-behaved pets might become more energetic and destructive when a bunch of new objects are left out.
So, plan in advance where you could safely keep your pets. An easy option is to get a large exercise pen that can be used inside or outside. A large pen will have plenty of room for a bed, toys, food and water, as well a safe place to play.
Of course, you'll want to make sure they're getting plenty of time to run, play and relax outside of the pen, but it will be a great way to keep pets away from moving supplies and boxes.
2. Address Any Anxieties:
You know your pets best, so make a list of the things that cause your pets anxiety during the moving process. Common triggers can be:
Riding in the car
Changes in schedule
Being kept in new places
Once you've identified what experiences could be triggering for your pets, start to slowly increase their exposure to those things before it's time to pack and move.
For example, I know my dogs get anxiety when they have to be in their exercise pen outside instead of inside. So, if we were planning to move and they were going to be in their pen outside more than usual, we would want to slowly start increasing their time in it outside, so that it would be less triggering for them.
Or, if your pets don't enjoy being in the car, but you'll be moving hours away, that's something you can slowly work on before moving day.
By putting in this extra thought and effort beforehand, you can make the move much less stressful for your pets and thereby, much less stressful for you, too.
3. Choose a Pet Safe Home:
If possible, factor your pets in to your decision making when choosing a new home. What does this look like? It might be choosing a home with less stairs if you have aging pets. You might even want to check that windows have screens, so pets can't jump out of them.
Another thing to consider might be the yard and if it's fully fenced. If it's not, maybe that is something you will be able to put in to ensure that they have a safe, contained outdoor area, but in some cases, you may not be allowed to change the fence. This is definitely an area where having a knowledgeable realtor will be very helpful. For example, there are parts of El Dorado Hills where the fences cannot be changed. So, if there are metal fences with bars that are spaced enough for your tiny pet to get through, you will not be able to replace those.
Also, consider the neighborhood. If you have dogs that you'll want to take on a walk or cats that are used to roaming around, you'll want to pick a neighborhood where your pets will be safe and welcomed. One way to know is to check the neighborhood during the times of day when people are often home and see if others are out walking their pets.
Lastly, ensure that any needed pet services are nearby. You'll want to have a trusted veterinarian and animal hospital in close driving distance, as well as access to pet food and supply stores. Sure, you can order almost everything online now, but if you're ever in a pinch, you'll want to know where you can find what you need quickly.
Whether you decide to choose a pet-safe home or you fall in love with a home that will need some adjustments to be safe for pets, a little planning ahead should ensure a smooth transition for the whole family.
4. Pack a Pet Box:
One of our best moving tips in this post is to have boxes with immediate needs set aside so you can find them. For us, that meant keeping them in our cars and not in the moving truck.
Use this same tip when packing a pet box that has all the things you'll need in the first few days after moving. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Special pet toys
A new toy or treat to keep them engaged
Pet waste bags
Food and water bowls
Collars and leashes
Keep all of these items and anything else your pets need in a box that you can access as soon as you get to your new space.
By taking a few minutes to set up a safe area with all of your pets favorite things, you can make sure your furbabies get what they need, too.
5. Check For Hazards:
Now that you're ready to move into your pet safe home, it's time to check for hazards before letting your pets run free. Just like moving out of your old home meant lots of hazards lying around, moving in to your new place will be the same thing.
Be especially careful with doors, garages and gates that are left wide open to allow for boxes to be moved in. You'll want to make sure that your sweet Fido doesn't make a run for it - in a new neighborhood where he may not be able to find his way home - so remove hazards in advance and create a safe place for pets while you move in.
In fact, the same set-up you used when packing and moving could probably be reused in your new space, so you may want to put it in a place where you can easily find it and set it up again on the other side.
And, to give both of you a much needed break from moving, take the time to explore your new neighborhood together, get some fresh air and exercise.
We hope these tips give you lots of ideas for how to plan a smooth move with your family pets.
With a little bit of thought ahead of time, moving doesn't have to be a nightmare for your furry favorites.
If you're looking for a realtor in California - give us a call and we'd love to help you find your pet-friendly dream home: 916.524.9733.
Thanks for reading!