Moving with your Pet – The Park in Garden Heights, Red Deer, Alberta
So You’re Looking to Share Your Home?
July 21, 2017
The Park at Garden Heights blog
The Park at Garden Heights blog

Moving with your Pet

Pets are part of our family which adds a whole new dimension to the moving process. They’re precious cargo and require special consideration which means you need to plan in advance to ensure their well-being is also considered during this stressful time.

Before you move

The best way to manage your move is to make a short-term plan for moving your furry or feathered friends with as little fuss as possible, and a long-term plan about how to ease their transition to a new and unfamiliar home.

  • Ensure your new home is pet-proofed. For example, if your dog will be spending time in the backyard, ensure the yard is adequately fenced to avoid the risk of them getting out and running away. Protect other hazards in the home, like open staircases or a pool, which could pose a danger to your pet.
  • Find a reputable vet in the area who can care for your pets.
  • Schedule a grooming, so your pets are clean and happy when they enter their new home and yours.You don’t want to take a dirty dog into a new home. You may also want to give your cat a good brushing, considering cats generally shed more when they’re stressed.
  • You’ll also want to make sure your pet’s microchip is working properly and updated with your new address. It’s also a good idea for your pet to wear an ID tag if they’re not already.
  • If your move is long-distance, you’ll need to work with the individual airlines to coordinate your pet’s travel with your own. Alternatively, there are pet travel companies that can help with travel arrangements.
  • Remember to speak with your vet if you have any concerns about flying with your pet.

Moving day

When moving day arrives, the keywords for your pets are safe and stress-free.

  • If possible, board your animals, or ask a trusted friend to watch them, while you finish moving your things to your new home. Removing your pet from the situation will save them a great deal of anxiety and allow you to be more productive without worrying about their safety.
  • When you arrive at your new home and begin unpacking, be sure to keep windows and doors closed to prevent anxious pets from escaping. The best thing you can do is set up a safe place; a spare bedroom is ideal, with their bed, toys, food and water. They’ll appreciate having a quiet, safe space to themselves while you unpack and set up.
  • If you’re moving by car, make sure you invest in safe and comfortable travel equipment. For dogs, this may mean a crate or a seatbelt restraint. For cats, a proper travel box or carrier. For birds, their cage.
  • Include some of their favourite toys or familiar-smelling bedding.
  • If your pet suffers from anxiety or motion sickness, talk to your vet about medications or other alternatives but remember never to over-medicate your pet. And don’t forget: plenty of treats and words of encouragement!

After the move

Your new home will be full of new places and smells to explore and investigate. Keeping safety in mind let your pets explore to become familiar and comfortable in their new home.

  • Create a space in the house that will be your pets ‘area’
  • Make sure you adjust slowly and deliberately to keep everyone safe and happy. Experts recommend keeping cats indoors at your new location for two or three nights, so they feel safe before exploring their new neighbourhood.
  • Now’s a good time to check out the local dog parks and depending on how much you’re at home with your pet, you may also want to research local dog walkers/sitters once you settle in.
  • Give your pet a little time to get accustomed to the new surroundings. 
  • Remember that providing extra positive attention and support to your pets during a move is the best thing you can do for their well being