For most pet owners, pets are a part of the family so, of course, wherever the family moves, the pet moves too. And while moving might be a stressful process for you, it’s arguably even more stressful for your pet.
Pets respond well to structure and routine just like we do - and so the packing, moving, and settling into a new place can make them feel anxious and stressed out. But there are ways to make the process easier on your pet. A recent article on Realtor.com outlined the five mistakes to avoid when moving with your pets, including:
- Having your pet around on moving day. Moving day can be chaotic, which can stress your pet out. Make sure to board them or have them stay with a friend or family member while you’re managing the big move. As a pet owner, this seems like a very important suggestion. With all the doors open for the movers to come and go, carrying heavy boxes, a pet could easily escape or be hurt by a mover who isn't expecting your pet underfoot. Make sure that you have current photos of your pet, the microchip number, and vet records in case you are separated from your pet.
- Washing your pet’s things before the move. Familiar smells are comforting to pets—so while you might be tempted to wash their bed, toys, or blankets before you move, resist the urge. The familiar smells will help them acclimate to their new home and feel more comfortable.
- Not supervising them in their new home. When you move into a new home, you’re not totally familiar with the layout—and there could be areas where your pet could escape. As you’re settling in, make sure you keep an extra close eye on your pet. In addition, your pet is going to be stressed and may want to mark the new territory. Keep an eye on Fido or Fifi and provide lots of potty breaks. You might even keep your pet mostly in one room for the first day or so until they start to feel comfortable in their new environment.
- Changing their setup. Again, most pets are creatures of habit—so when you’re moving to a new place, you don’t want to change their setup too much. If they’re used to having their bed in your room, put it in the same place in your new house. If their food bowls are in the kitchen in the old house, keep them in a similar location in the new house.
- Changing their routine. Ever notice that your dog doesn't wear a watch but he knows what time his walk is or when you are supposed to be home. Your pet has a schedule. If you typically walk your pet at certain times of the day, continue with that schedule. Keeping the same setup and routine will make it easier for your pet to transition to your new home.
Bottom line? Moving can be a stressful experience for everyone—including your pets. So make sure you make the moving process as easy as possible for your four-legged family member. Remember that your pet is an individual - just as you are - and he or she may need a few days to settle in. If it doesn't seem that your pet is settling in after a few days or isn't eating, you should cal your vet. My favorite vet is Dr. Nicki Cohen at Friendship Hospital for Animals. I literally have her on speed dial for my standard poodle!
If you are thinking of a condo in Bethesda rather than a single family house elsewhere in the DC metro area, give us a call at 240-401-5577. As the self styled Bethesda condo queen, we know where the best pet friendly condos are to make you and your favorite pet happy! You can also email the Lise Howe Group at email@example.com.