Moving to a new home is stressful for the entire family. Parents might be stressed about moving everything carefully and successfully, and young children might have anxiety about making new friends. But pets are often forgotten in this equation. The entire moving process can be very stressful for your pet. Not taking necessary precautions can traumatize or injure your pet. Here are some simple ways you can make the moving transition as smooth as possible.

While Packing

While you are packing, make sure to keep certain items away from your pet. If you usually keep cleaning supplies or other chemicals in a pet proof (or child proof) area, pack those items carefully. Pets, like children, can get into everything and anything. Dogs especially can chew through simple cardboard boxes and into harmful chemicals. Wrap those items up extra carefully to avoid a frantic call to animal poison control.

On Moving Day

On the actual day, a loose pet can actually inhibit the success of your moving team. Whether your pet is a distraction to the moving team (who can resist puppy dog eyes begging to play catch?) or is knocking over moving supplies, it is best to remove your pet from the equation. Find a neighbor’s house nearby that your pet can visit while the big moving is happening. This way your pet won’t be in the way but will still be comfortable. If that is not an option, designate one small room in the house for the pet and place a ‘do not disturb’ sign. By sequestering your pet, you will know that it will not get in the way, but it will also not disappear unnoticed.

After the Big Move

Moving into a new place can be scary for anyone. But a completely new place can be terrifying for a pet. To avoid traumatizing your pet, or worse, having it run away, slowly acclimate your pet to its new surroundings. In your new home, introduce your pet to its new area (room). After a few days open up the area to more space, and slowly to the rest of the home. After your pet has a good feel for the house, let it wander in the yard (if your pet is allowed to wander in a yard. I would not try this with a gerbil. A cage is a cage to that pet). When you introduce your pet to the yard, make sure that it is closed in. An animals natural instinct is to explore, but in a new area it might not be able to find its way back home.

Other Tips

In case your pet does wander off, make sure that it is identified properly. Collars with your contact information are great, but collars can fall off. Microchips allow pets to be identified by vets or a shelter.

Prepare for your pet for the actual traveling. If you are driving a long distance, keep your pet comfortable and stop often for bathroom breaks to avoid unnecessary messes.

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