-How to prepare your pets for a move-
Moving can induce high levels of stress, confusion, and anxiety in pets. Not only do pets tend to mirror the stress levels of their owners, but our animals also have no way of knowing why furniture and items within their territory are suddenly being packed up and taken away. Here are some valuable tips from Able Moving & Storage on how to prepare your pets for a move.
- Consider leaving your animal with a friend or trusted neighbor throughout the process. This will ensure they stay secure and supervised during the move. Many pets may attempt to run out of open doorways leading outside to get away from the commotion caused by moving activity.
- Increase exercise and playtime just before the packing and moving process begins. Exercise is a great way to physically and mentally calm your animals. Increase walks and runs for dogs and intensify chasing games for cats each day, starting two to three days before movers and packers arrive. If they are worn out, they will have less energy to spend on being anxious.
- Don’t unconsciously reward anxious behavior. If pets are displaying anxiety, your first instinct may be to comfort them by petting or speaking to them softly. This actually reinforces the anxious behavior, and may even increase it! Instead, try to distract and redirect your pets by providing new and stimulating toys to keep them busy. Dogs will appreciate a durable chew toy, or you can challenge them by hiding kibble or treats with a strong scent inside of specially designed canine puzzle toys. Cats will love interactive mechanical chase toys or a scented toy with catnip.
- Try to stick to your pet’s normal routine as closely as possible. Since you may be distracted while getting things in order for a move, set an alarm to remind yourself to feed and walk your pet at the same time that you usually do, to provide your pet more comfort through consistency.
- Work with packers and movers to pack away pet items that you don’t need on a daily basis, but be sure to keep a supply of pet food, a water bowl, a bed, crate, and at least two toys on hand. You may also want to keep a copy of vet records on hand if moving out of state, in case your pet needs an emergency visit at a new veterinary location for any reason. Once items are packed away, it will be difficult to retrieve them, so keeping essentials on hand is wise.
- Be sure your pet is wearing updated identification tags throughout the process. Verify that the phone number is current and address on your pet’s tags are consistent with your new address.
- Notify packers and movers if your pets are unfriendly, over-excitable, or aggressive with strangers. Our staff are trained to avoid confrontation with pets and to respect their space, however, it is always best to inform workers on your property of the typical characteristics of your pets so they know what to expect. If any of your animals tend to display aggressive properties, it is wise to contain them when movers are on your property. When pets are contained, be sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
By following these simple tips, your pets are more likely to stay safe and feel at ease during your move!