As you plan your local move with pets, do what you can to make the transition as seamless as possible. It’s not unusual for cats and dogs to experience stress during a move—but there are plenty of ways to keep the issues to a minimum.
Two Months Before Moving Day
- As you declutter your own belongings to streamline the move, go through your pets’ old blankets, toys, and more. As moving day approaches, toss out what’s not needed while holding on to old favorites that comfort your pet.
- Contact your vet to catch up on vaccinations. While there, ask for tips on how to make the move as stress-free as possible. If you’ll want a veterinarian that’s closer to your new dwelling, ask for recommendations. If your pet isn’t microchipped, consider having that done in case the animal gets lost in the new neighborhood.
- Although it’s not likely that you’ll fly to your new place in a local move, if you are, find out what you’ll need, such as a pet carrier approved by the airline. If you’ll drive during your local move with pets, get a comfortable crate and put a favorite blanket inside.
- Find ways to make your pet feel comfortable with this crate, perhaps by feeding the animal in it with the crate door open. Then, as the pet gets comfortable with an open crate, start feeding the animal with the door shut. Give pet treats in their crate and cuddle with them when they come out.
- Get recommendations for pet-friendly local moving companies in Dallas and get written quotes from them. Make sure that the local movers in Dallas are experienced and appropriately licensed and insured. Book your mover of choice.
One Month Before Moving Day
- If you have dogs, start walking them in the new neighborhood if that’s practical. This will allow them to get used to the sights, sounds, and smells, giving them a sense of familiarity with their new area.
- If your pets are now comfortable with eating inside a closed crate, practice carrying them around in it or take short drives with them inside the crate. The goal is to gradually increase comfort levels.
- If you’re driving your pets to their new home (likely with a local move), consider what you’ll want in the vehicle for the drive, such as small food and water bowls. Buy what you need and store them in your trunk.
- As you pack what you don’t need in your current dwelling, pack your pets’ extra belongings. These can include an extra leash, toys you’re keeping but they won’t miss, and so forth.
- If you want help with packing, contact your local Dallas movers and ask about packing and unpacking services.
One Week Before the Move
- If you’re doing your own packing, you should be able to pack most items by this time. Let your dogs sniff the boxes you bring in to get used to the increasing number of them in your place. (When moving with pets, giving them a bit of time to adjust is usually helpful.) Cats will likely climb into the boxes, so make sure each one is cat-free before sealing them up.
- Pack up pet medications you won’t need until in your new home. This includes ones taken monthly (flea/tick and heartworm medications), for example, that they’ve already been given this month. Label the pet boxes, just like you are with other ones, in clear ways that will make it easier to unpack. Pet medications needed daily? Take those with you in the car.
- When moving with pets, keep their routines as normal as possible. This includes walks with dogs, regular meal times, and any other typical activities.
- Enlist a trusted friend to be your pet watcher on move day. More about this in the next section!
- Ask your local movers in Dallas any questions you still have and verify that you’ve completed all paperwork. If anything outstanding still exists, take care of it now.
Moving Day Has Arrived
- Feed your animals in the morning before the moving crew arrives. Just as you’ve been doing in the days leading up to the move, try to keep them as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Take dogs for a walk to burn off any excess energy.
- Then put your animals in a room with a door you can keep shut so you can easily keep track of them on moving day. Ask your pet watcher friend to stay in the room with them, keeping them safe and as calm as possible.
- Put cleaning supplies in your vehicle to clean up after animals that have a potty accident in the car or get carsick.
- When your movers arrive, verify their identity, review any documents, and sign them once you’re clear about what they say. Ask final questions now.
In Your New Location
- Unpack pet items as soon as you can. Giving them their familiar blankets and favorite toys and treats can help them to settle into their new environment. Consider keeping them in a specific area until all moving-related activity is over. This can help to keep them calm and prevent any unwanted escapes.
- Pet-proof your new place. Although the transportation part of moving with pets is over, you’ll want to hide anything a stressed-out pet might chew or eat.
- Let your pets get used to the new home, step by step, room by room. Once they’re acclimated, allow them to explore the new place and get familiar with the dwelling.
- When you take your dogs into the backyard, let them sniff around and get a sense of the new location. Then take them for walks in the neighborhood. If you went on test walks there before your move, they should quickly recognize the area.
- Give your pets extra attention, petting and playing with them.
- Update animal tags and microchip information to the new address and, if relevant, new phone number.
- If you’re choosing a veterinarian closer to your new home, make an appointment for a meet and greet and to address any health issues.
Fish, Birds, and Guinea Pigs
Tips in this post apply to cats and dogs, so here are brief tips on other pet types. Fish can stress out during a move so check with an aquarium store for advice. You may be able to transport them a small distance.
Guinea pigs struggle with change and can have heart problems when stressed out. So, choose a small, comfortable carrier and transport them with care. With birds, be extra careful to keep them securely in a cage until they’re safely in your new home.
Choosing From Local Moving Companies in Dallas
MoveDay is a full-service local moving company, skilled in moving families and their pets, safely and comfortably. Local Dallas movers can pack and unpack and load and unload. You can choose from our menu of services and we’ll never try to upsell you. Your move, your way. You may also benefit from our storage services. To get started, request your free moving quote today.