• How to Successfully Move With Your Pet

    How to Successfully Move With Your Pet

By Stephanie Neftzer, Marketing Specialist at Twin Towers Senior Living Community.

Moving is a busy and often stressful time, and even if your pet isn’t sure what’s going on, they know something is out of the ordinary. In the blur of sorting, packing and emptying rooms there are ways to prepare yourself and your pet.

Whether you are searching for an apartment, patio home or condo, be certain to evaluate each house for where your pet’s food, water and bed will go.

Look at the outdoor space with your dog in mind; are there plenty of places for short and long walks? Are they easy to get to? If you own cats is there ample floor space for kitty trees and climbing blocks? 

Once you’ve found your new home, here are some tips to help you through the process.

Moving With Your Pet 

Packing and Planning for the Move 

To your pet, you will be doing things he or she isn’t used to.

  • Maintain the routine with your pet as much as possible during the packing and moving process including dog walking time and kitty play time.
  • If practical, pack your pet’s favorite room last to reduce stress and change.
  • For cats, allow time for them to get used to the cat carrier.  Leave carrier sitting out with the door open and a comfy bed or blankets inside.  Occasionally, leave a couple of cat treats in it so your cat knows the cat carrier is not punishment.  You may even start feeding your cat in the cat carrier.
  • Place moving boxes around the house a couple of weeks before you start packing, this will give your pets time to get used to them being in the house.
  • If your pet seems nervous while you are packing up the house, consider closing him or her in a quiet room.

Moving Day

This is a busy day for everyone and can be especially unsettling for your pet.  With strangers coming and going – your pet may have trouble keeping up with where you are and where he/she should be. To ease the stress, consider this:

  • Take your pet to a familiar family member’s home, or if you have a dog perhaps take them to a dog-friendly restaurant, dog park, or pet supply store while the movers work.
  • If your new home is a long driving distance, be prepared to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks, take a quick walk or just stretch.
  • If your pet is skittish, talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medication to make the moving process easier on him/her.
  • Transport your cat in a carrier designed for trips because it will keep everyone in the car safe.

Tips to Help transition your pet

  • Stay as close as possible to your previous routine.  If you typically go for a 9:00 a.m. walk, continue to do that.
  • Don’t wash the dog blankets or cat bed just yet. The familiar scent will help soothe and comfort your pet and can help him or her feel more at home in the new location.
  • When you get to your new home, before you let the cat out of the carrier, set up his/her food and water dishes along with their litter box and bed.
  • For cats, place treats in rooms to encourage exploration.  It’s not unusual for your cat to hide at first, just give him/her some time to feel comfortable to begin exploring.
  • For dogs, take longer and more frequent walks to give them plenty of time to explore their new outdoor space.
  • Make sure to update your pet tags with your new address.
  • Find a local veterinarian – recommendations from neighbors is a great way to start looking.
  • Investigate the leash laws in your new community so you know what to expect.

With a little planning and preparation, your pet will soon feel right at home!

Don’t leave the decision-making process to anyone else and harness the power of choice with your new eBook, Moving to a Senior Living Community: Make Decisions Your Way

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

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