Downsizing usually means having to make hard decisions between what stays and what goes. If you’re about to move into smaller quarters, consider the needs of your pets as well. DGP for Pets invites you to read on for some helpful tips on downsizing with pets for a stress-free move.
Find a Pet-Friendly Home
When looking for a new place to live, make sure you and your pet will be able to enjoy life together. If you have an older dog, living on the second or third floor of an apartment building without an elevator might be a challenge if he has a hard time going up and down the stairs. Puppies need more frequent bathroom breaks, and you may have a harder time potty-training them when you have to run down a few flights of stairs each time they need to go.
Indoor cats are generally fine in smaller spaces, but make sure to keep them safe by having secure windows and doors, and have plenty of vertical space for them to climb up and feel more secure if unknown visitors show up. Also, a scratch post may prevent your cat from scratching your new doors, carpet or furniture after you move.
Consider the neighborhood you will live in, too: Are there aggressive dogs around that may threaten your pets? Is it in a walkable area so you can take your pooch for a stroll? Are there parks nearby? Take all that into consideration before deciding on a new place.
Plan Your Move
If you are downsizing, either moving into a smaller home or from a house with a yard to an apartment, make sure you keep around some of your pet’s favorites such as their bed, a fuzzy blanket or a comfy recliner, along with their favorite toys. If you’re relocating to a different city or state, call your current veterinarian to get your pet’s records including vaccinations, medications and surgeries. If your pet is microchipped, make sure to update their information online with your new address and phone number, in case they get lost during or after the move.
You’ll also want to anticipate how to make your pet feel more comfortable and adjust to their new home as soon as possible. You can start by purchasing a few items that will keep them busy, as well a playpen or bed for downtime. While customer ratings can be a great resource, reviews from veterinarians are an even better way to feel confident you’re buying products that will also keep your pet healthy and safe, so look for websites that offer unbiased product reviews.
Take time to shop around for a moving company that will take care of transporting your belongings from one location to the next by reading moving company reviews online (both good and bad) and by checking their record with the Better Business Bureau before interviewing some of them over the phone. A reputable company will come to your house to evaluate the cost of your move and will give you a written estimate.
Keep Your Pets Safe
If your dog or cat isn’t used to traveling by car, get them used to staying in a crate or tethered with a harness in your vehicle for short trips before you make the big move. That will alleviate some of the stress they might be experiencing as they travel from one location to the next.
Before the big day, make sure your pets are prepared for the trip ahead. Put together an overnight kit for your furry friend with food, treats, a few favorite toys, and any medication they may need. If you’re worried your dog or cat might escape while the movers go in and out of the house with boxes and furniture, consider leaving them with a trusted friend or even in a boarding kennel for the day, until you’re all ready to go.
When you get to your new home, keep them secluded in one room with some familiar toys or blankets while you start unpacking. Look out for signs of anxiety like sudden appetite changes, frequent scratching, and being overly submissive. Slowly let them explore their surroundings when you feel certain they won’t have an opportunity to escape.
Just like us, our four-legged friends need time to get acquainted with and adjust to their new surroundings. So plan ahead and make moving with your pet a safe and stress-free experience for the both of you by securing a mortgage, planning your move, and making them feel comfortable in their new surroundings.