Your move to a senior living community is a big transition for you. It’ll be a big change for your pet, too! While their world can seem small to them, it can feel overwhelmingly larger when it’s turned upside down and suddenly they’re in an entirely new environment. Surely you’re excited that your new community offers pet-friendly senior living, but understandably, you may have concerns about your pet accommodating to their new home. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make moving with pets as stress-free and safe as possible for both of you.
Inform Your Veterinarian of the Move
If you’re moving out of range of your veterinarian and you’ll have to find a new one, you should tell your vet you’re moving so they can offer advice. You’ll also want to obtain your pet’s medical records to take to the new vet.
Have Your Pet Stay Elsewhere on Moving Day
The commotion of strangers in the house moving your things, doors opening and closing all day, your likely elevated emotions, and inability to give your pet attention can make moving day stressful for both of you. Having a friend or family member pet sit for the day might be the easiest route. If you don’t have anyone to watch your pet, you could board your pet for the day. Then, once your things are all unloaded in your new senior living apartment home, bring your pet into their new home.
If You’re Moving a Long Distance, Acclimate Your Pet to Transportation
If your long-distance move requires a cross-country road trip, your pet will have to be able to withstand multiple hours in the car. If they’re not used to being in the car, you may want to go on a few car rides prior to moving day so they can get used to it. If you’re going by plane and your pet will also be flying, they’ll have to spend a lot of time in their crate, so make sure they’re used to it. While flying is more difficult to practice, you can drive around with your pet in their crate to acclimate them to the feeling of being moved while in their crate.
Make a Space for Your Pet in Their New Home Prior to Arrival
Animals are territorial, and they often like to claim their spots. They likely had their favorite places to be in your old home, and might be a bit shaken up that those have suddenly been taken from them. Create a new place for your pet to be in your new home before you welcome them into the space. If you’re moving with a dog, you could even put their dog bed in a similar place to where it was in your old home, like by the window or the bed if that’s where they liked to be. If you’re moving with a cat, you can do the same for your cat’s scratching post or litter box. You may want to introduce your pet to your new home one room at a time, so they’re not overwhelmed by it all.
Get Them a Little Something Special as a Treat for Moving
Get a new toy (or two) and some treats for your pet, and place them in their new space in your new home. Hopefully this will make your pet happy, and they’ll feel welcome in their new environment.
Start Taking Them on Daily Walks to Familiarize Them with Their New Neighborhood
Many pet-friendly senior living communities have dog parks and walking paths. Take your pet on regular walks to familiarize them with their new neighborhood, meet the neighboring pets, and keep them healthy and happy.
Moving Fish, Rodents and Birds
While these kinds of pets don’t necessarily all belong in the same category, they share at least one thing in common: They don’t like being jostled by things like a moving car. Take all the available precautions to make them comfortable, enclose them in a space they’re familiar with, and minimize the amount of shaking as much as possible to make it a stress-free move.
Sedgebrook is a pet-friendly senior living community just north of Chicago. Pets will enjoy the spacious apartment homes and extensive walking trails in our community. Explore our independent living options and learn more about the benefits of pets for seniors.