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A Homeowner’s Guide to Moving with Pets

If you’re like most devoted pet owners, your pet is a member of the family. Keeping your pet safe is a priority, and a job you take seriously. If you’re moving this summer or fall, it’s a good idea to consider what practical steps you can take to keep your pet safe before, during and after moving day.

For 30 years, the team at All Jersey Moving & Storage has been helping pet owners execute successful moves safely, efficiently and with peace of mind. We understand that one of the most stressful parts of a move is ensuring the wellbeing and safety of your pet. In this article, our movers share tips for ensuring a smooth move and your pet’s safety.  

The Stress of Moving

A move can bring extraordinary stress into your home, disrupting your pet’s routines and sense of security. Your pet notices is aware of these changes and is likely affected by them as much as you are, if not more. They may have a difficult time navigating your living space as rooms fill with boxes and familiar items are packed away.

Of course, your pet is in dark as to why his or her home is being emptied and belongings are being taken away. It can be an overwhelming and confusing period of time for your pet. It’s easy for your pet to become stressed by in this type of situation. This can affect their mood and behavior.

All Jersey Moving & Storage has helped numerous pet owners prepare for their residential move, alleviating some of that stress that can affect the family, pets included. As you prepare to move your belongings to a new home, there are some steps you can take as a pet owner before, during, and after the move, to ensure the wellbeing of your pet. This comprehensive list of action items can ensure a positive and successful move for you and your pet.

Why Adhering to a Routine with Your Pet is So Important During a Move

Throughout the entire moving process, one of the most important pieces of advice is to keep to a routine. Pets appreciate predictability and familiarity. A consistent routine will add stability to your pet’s everyday life, helping to reduce the stress they may be feeling throughout the moving process.

Adhering to a routine may include going on a daily walk at your local park or dog park, spending quiet time together in the home free from packing or computer research, and sticking to a consistent diet and feeding schedule.

Although you will be busy packing, researching your new neighborhood, and saying goodbye to friends and neighbors, your pet should have some sort of a routine to keep them comfortable and at ease. Needless to say, a lot will be changing for you and your pet! A steady routine can be the one consistent thing your pet can count on while adjusting to your new home.

Keeping Your Pet Safe Before the Move

Here are some important things you need to do to prepare for the move. From scheduling a check-up at the vet to preparing a “moving day bag” for your pet, it’s important to carefully read and take care of the items on this pet-related moving prep list.

  • Bring your pet to the vet for a check-up. This is an opportunity to become aware of any health changes your pet may be facing. If you’re moving far from your current neighborhood, let your vet know about the upcoming move and ask about moving your veterinarian records to a new veterinary practice. You may be able to bring paper copies of veterinarian records with you to your new home or they may have to be sent directly to your pet’s new vet.
  • Have an ID chip implanted. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to make sure your pet has a microchip. This makes identification easy in case of any lost pets. This may also be required for air transportation if you plan on flying with your pet to your new city or state.
  • Take identifying photos of your pet. Despite best efforts, pets sometimes go missing. Before your move, take updated, easily identifiable photos of your pet. This will give you peace of mind that your pet will make it back home if anything happens. Be sure to note any identifying physical traits your pet has, such as scars, spots or birth marks.
  • Update your pet’s tags. Be sure to update your pet’s tags with your new address and current contact information, preferably before moving day.
  • Pack a pet bag. Pack a moving bag specifically for your pet with their favorite toys, bedding, and the food they will need during the move. This should not go in the moving van; rather, it should stay with you and your family during the move. Any pet medications should also come with you.
  • Give yourself a longer period of time to pack. Packing slowly will avoid the sudden complete change of your pet’s home and enable them to continue with their routine in an environment that is more familiar to them.
  • Prepare food and water for a long distance move. Making sure your pet is properly fed and hydrated is important even if you’re moving a few blocks away! However, if you’re moving a greater distance and have a long trip ahead of you, be sure to set aside food and water for your pet that is easily accessible while you’re on the road.
  • Try to lower your pet’s stress levels while packing. Changing your pet’s home environment may have a dramatic effect on their stress. Comforting them and giving them attention will help them believe they will be safe and cared for throughout the moving process.
  • Research stress symptoms for your pet’s breed. Your pet may have never experienced moving-related stress. Know in advance what to look out for so you’re not caught off guard and can respond appropriately. For example, certain breeds experience digestive issues when they feel stressed.
  • Familiarize yourself with local pet rules and regulations in your new area. Your pet may need additional vaccinations or identifying records. Your neighborhood HOA may even have its own rules as to what breeds are allowed. Be sure to research these rules in advance so you can take care any actionable items before you move.
  • Choose a “pet friendly” area to live. Does your pet love long walking paths or enjoying swimming? Is the neighborhood you’re moving to pet friendly? Are there neighborhood animals (such as cayotes) or busy roads that could jeopardize your pet’s safety?
  • Plan for a long trip. If possible, exercise your pet before driving cross country or flying in an airplane. For a dog, this could mean a long hike, a few hours at the dog park, or playing fetch in the backyard.
  • Hire professional movers to help alleviate moving-related stress. One of the best things you can do to lower the stress and anxiety levels in your house (for the benefit of your family and your pet) is to hire professional movers. Moving companies, like All Jersey Moving & Storage can pack, unpack, and carefully transport your possessions, even items such as fine art and antiques.

Keeping Your Pet Safe on Moving Day

Moving day will be here before you know it, and it will be time to pack up the van and drive or board a plane and fly to your new home. This is one of the most crucial parts of the move. It also tends to be the most chaotic and disruptive day of the moving process. Here are our moving day tips to help keep your pets as happy and safe as possible.

  • Board your pet or have friends “pet sit” on moving day. The chaos of movers coming in and out and emptying your home may be extremely stressful for your beloved dog, cat, bird, or other pet. Consider boarding your pet or having a friend watch your pet for the day. You can pick up your pet when the moving van is all packed and you’re ready to go. Make sure to arrange any boarding or pet sitting before moving day comes, so you aren’t scrambling for a solution the night before.
  • Keep your pet with you during transport. This could mean in your car across the country or in the plane.
  • Give your pet plenty of attention. Understandably, you’ll be busy and preoccupied on moving day, but make sure to give attention to your pet. This will help decrease his or her anxiety.
  • Make sure your pet can rest comfortably in transpot. If your pet prefers being crated, make room for his or her crate in the car for the move (complete with comfortable bedding!). This is especially important if you’re travelling long distance.It’s a long drive for you and your pet.
  • Stop frequently for quick walks, food and water. You’ll be snacking in the car along the way, but be sure to stop to give your pet something to eat and drink. If your pet is too stressed to eat, stopping for a quick walk at gas stations and rest stops along the way may help your pet feel more relaxed.

Keeping Your Pet Safe after Moving

Once your belongings arrive at your new home, it’s time to get settled. Here are some tips after moving day to help you and your pet adjust.

  • Introduce your pet to his/her new home. Give your pet time and space to investigate their new home. Try your best to make their first visit a positive experience by speaking in a positive tone, playing calming music and of course giving your pet his or her favorite treats.
  • Unpack your pet’s items first and pick the area that they’ll sleep in. Make sure your pet has a place where he or she can rest peacefully during the chaotic unpacking process.
  • Pet proof your new home! Look out for poisonous houseplants, chords that are peeking out, poisonous traps, and other dangerous items.
  • Register your pet in your new town. Check with your state and/or city to see what registrations your pet needs.
  • Find a new, trusted vet and transfer your pet’s medical records. This is important to complete quickly so you have a place to go for your pet in case of an emergency.
  • Get to know your area. Explore your new home to find the best dog parks, pet groomers and walking paths. Walking your pet will also give you ample opportunity to get to know your neighborhood!

This “moving with pets” checklist may seem overwhelming but taking care of these items will help ensure a safer, smoother moving experience.

If you are overwhelmed by your upcoming move, there are steps you can take to outsource some of the many moving responsibilities on your To Do list. All Jersey Moving & Storage is proud to  be one of New Jersey’s most trusted and preferred professional moving companies.

We offer partial and complete packing and unpacking services. We also have the professionals, equipment, and experience to safely transport all of your possessions. The only thing you’ll have to take care of is your family and your pets!

A move is a fresh start, even for your pet. We aim to make moving a positive experience for the whole family, including your pet!

Call us today for a complimentary moving quote

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