After you close on the home sale transaction and find a new house, it's time to move. Even without pets, packing up your life into boxes is a hassle. Between all the coordination and multiple trips from one property to the other, it can be easy to forget your four-legged friend needs to be accommodated during the ordeal. What may be one sweaty afternoon lugging boxes and furniture for you can be a stressful experience for your pet.
Here are some tips for ensuring your furry friend can be out of the way and stress free while you move:
Update collar tags
Once you know your new address - and new phone number if you're going to have a landline - take a trip to the pet supplies store to get new tags with the updated information. In the event your pet gets free in your new community, it will be easier for your neighbors to help locate it. This is particularly helpful given that it will take some time for you to become familiar enough with the area to know where to look for a loose pet.
Prepare the house
Before you start the move in - possibly the day before - go to your new home and get it ready for your pet's arrival. If Fluffy or Princess is going to be taken to the property at the beginning or middle of the move, set aside a place for your pet to stay while your moving team brings in your belongings. Try to designate an area that will be away from all the hustle and bustle, as the many unfamiliar faces and loud noises can startle an animal.
Furthermore, consider pet proofing your new house where possible. Doing so will allow you to give your pet free reign of the place once the movers are gone and fragile items are secure.
After the interior is taken care of, step outside and examine your new community. Are there other pets outside? Is there a lot of street or sidewalk traffic? These details can help you locate your pet if it does escape.
Create a calm environment
If possible, call a friend or family member to take care of your pet at his or her house while you move. This way, you don't have to worry about a cat, dog or other animal being underfoot as the movers are taking care of the heavy lifting, and you can minimize its stress.
If the previous option isn't feasible, keep your pet crated until it is time to move it to the new house. Place the crate in a quiet, locked room, as well. You don't want Sparky getting startled by a loud noise and running out the door.
Ensure a smooth ride
Whether your pet loves a car ride or isn't fond of road trips, you need to secure it during the drive to the new house. The additional stimulation could turn even the most docile pet into an anxious creature, so crate smaller dogs, cats and other animals. Keep larger dogs on a leash to prevent them from bolting out the vehicle when you arrive at your destination.
For longer trips, extend the same courtesies to your pet that you'd expect for a far drive. This includes food, fresh water and a favorite toy or two. Also, don't forget to stop for bathroom breaks along the way.