If you’re getting ready to move, you know how crazy the real estate market is, especially in Metro Atlanta. Having lived in four countries in 15 years and moved multiple times with children and dogs and cats, I’m well familiar with moving stress… for humans and animals! This list for moving with pets came to my wife recently in an email sent to her by Maggie Goldman of Buy and Sell Differently, and I’ve added some thoughts of my own.
1. Prepare a Moving Kit
Create an overnight bag for your pets; include food, toys, a bed or crate, leashes, and litter so that everything they need is easily accessible when you’re unpacking. Make sure your pet sitter or dog walker knows where to find the items.
2. Keep Your Pet Away from the Hustle
Never underestimate moving day commotion! All that activity, noise, and people-stress makes animals anxious. Try to keep them away from the hustle, preferably in a quiet room. Your dog walker will be happy to take your pup for extended walks, and some of pet sitters take furbabies into their own homes, all day if necessary — this is sometimes known as “Pet Sitting by the Hour.”
3. Don’t let Them Out Unattended or Unleashed, Yet
Be careful when transporting your animals to your new neighborhood because if they get out they can easily get lost. Once they’re in the car, don’t open the kennel or carrier until your pet is inside your new home. Give them a few days to adjust. For your cat’s safety, a move is a good chance for kitty to get used to being inside rather than out. Use this transition to your advantage.
4. Ease Your Pet into Your New Home and Neighborhood
If possible, set up as much as you can before bringing in your pet. If not, keep them secluded in a calm area of the house with familiar things, like toys or a bed. Your dog walker can also play a key role in helping your pooch feel comfortable with all the new neighborhood sights, sounds, and smells.
5. After You Move, Make Sure You Update Important Info
Collar tags and microchips need your new address and phone number… and so do your pet-service providers! Please remember to give your pet sitting service copies of your new keys and information pertinent to your new home. Also, ask your pet sitter or dog walker to meet you there to learn the new ropes.
If you live in the Buckhead Paws service area (Brookhaven, Buckhead, Chamblee, Decatur, Dunwoody, Intown or Midtown Atlanta, Sandy Springs, or Smyrna), our team would love to help keep your pets stress-free during your move. And if you live elsewhere, find the best pet sitter or dog walker near you (visit Pet Sitters International) and rely on them to help you and your animals keep calm and carry on.
Mark Shaver has owned Buckhead Paws since 2012, and is an active member of Pet Sitters International. Previously, he was a senior executive with three multinational corporations.