Moving With Multiple Indoor/Outdoor Pets? What Are Your Best Options?

If you're planning a cross-country move in the near future, you may be putting the most thought into relocating your pets -- particularly if they spend time both indoors and outdoors. Unfortunately, some indoor/outdoor pets can become traumatized or disoriented during the moving process, potentially even running away from your new home in an attempt to find their way back to their former stomping grounds. What can you do to make your moving process as stress-free as possible for your indoor/outdoor pets? Read on for some moving tips and tricks that can ensure you all settle into your new home successfully.

What should you do to prepare your indoor/outdoor pets for a cross-country move?

Before you begin packing for your move, you'll want to ensure you have all the necessary equipment to move your pet in a safe and secure manner. For cats and small dogs, this can be a small plastic tote; for larger dogs or other pets, a portable chain-link kennel can do the trick. You'll want to keep this carrier in a centrally-located part of your home for at least a few days (preferably a week or more) prior to your move, placing blankets, toys, and other comforting items inside. By getting your pet used to this carrier and more comfortable with its contents, you'll be able to avoid the odds of a meltdown while you're loading your pet into the carrier for a long ride in your vehicle or an airplane.

You'll also want to pack your belongings in such a way that you'll easily be able to make your pet a comfortable (and comforting) bed and feeding area upon your arrival to your new home. Keeping meals and bedtimes as consistent as possible throughout this transition should help ease much of the stress your pet may feel from the unexpected changes. For example, if your dog is used to eating his kibble in the kitchen while you cook dinner, packing his food dish and water bowl on top of your kitchen utensils can help you put these items into their "proper" spot nearly instantly. 

What are the best moving options to keep pets calm and contained?

When moving with pets, particularly indoor/outdoor pets that can sense impending change and hide for hours (or even days) at a time, flexibility is key. You may want to consider renting a "pod" moving container so that you can gradually pack your belongings over time, then hire movers to load and ship your pod container to your new home. This can allow your pet to enjoy your old home (and his old routine) for as long as possible before disruption is truly necessary and can give you the time you'll need to pack your items in a strategic way. When your pod container is fully loaded, you'll need only to call the shipping company so that they can quickly transport it by truck or train to your new home.

You may also want to dispose of the idea of moving your entire household by yourself (or even with the help of a few friends) if you're juggling several indoor/outdoor animals. By hiring outside movers to pack, ship, and unpack your belongings, you'll have the time and attention span you need to ensure that your pets are adjusting well and are being provided with all their necessities. For cross-country moves that can take days of driving, leaving this process in the capable hands of your movers while you and your pet fly to your new home in a matter of hours can be one of the best investments you make.

For more tips for your move, you may want to contact experienced household moving companies in your area.