This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of VCA Animal Hospitals. The opinions and text are all mine.
We’re officially two weeks into our time in New York and throughout the entire moving process I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how Callie is adjusting to our new city and what it’s like to move across the country with a pet. Moving is a stressful experience for everyone, pets included, and all of the change that comes with moving into a new space can be really stressful on our animals. With this being my 9th move I’ve done with Callie, including three cross-country moves in that mix, I’ve definitely picked up some tips (and made plenty of mistakes as well) and wanted to share some advice for anyone planning a move with a pet in the mix:
Watch for signs of stress during packing: Given how much time our pets spend in our homes, the change that comes with the arrival of moving boxes and the displacement of items in their space can be really jarring. Be on the lookout for signs of stress in your pet (accidents, chewing, change of appetite, etc.) and be sensitive to their needs and nerves as the changes are happening. Callie definitely needed some extra snuggles and long walks while we had a pretty empty apartment in both San Francisco and New York and I was constantly reminding myself to be empathetic, rather than annoyed at this change in her behavior.
Don’t forget to pack for your pet: It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of packing and accidentally pack up something you need for your pet. Before the boxes arrive and the packing begins, make a list of what’s essential for your pet – from their food bowls, to food and any medicine they could potentially need. Also consider dedicating a box solely to your pet’s supplies so you have easy access to everything when you arrive at your new home and help make sure things don’t get lost in the mix.
Research new local spots in advance: From dog parks to pet supply stores, do your homework as you’re preparing to move to make sure you have easy access to the things your pet needs right away. Don’t forget to find a new vet near your new home and have your pet’s medical records sent over to your new animal hospital location to establish them as a patient so you have easy access to care in case of any sickness or emergency. I was really excited to learn VCA Animal Hospitals had locations in Manhattan and just over the bridge in Brooklyn Heights (as well as over 750+ other hospitals across the country) for convenient access to care for Callie, with a wellness plan option to cover her routine care and vaccines throughout the year.
Establish a routine ASAP: Consistency will help your pet feel settled and understand that your new space is their new home. Stick to a schedule as much as possible with things like feeding times, walking routes and exercise to help them understand that the change is normal and feel comfortable in their new location.
Make it a positive experience: Consider settling in a marathon, not a sprint, when it comes to building up your pet’s tolerance to alone time in your new home. Even if your pet is used to being home alone all day during the workday, be sensitive to their natural anxiety post-move and try and avoid leaving them home alone for long stretches of time right from the beginning. Add additional exercise into their daily routine, whether it be a longer walk in the morning before you head into work or a dog walker during the day, and make their experience in your new space as positive as possible with extra treats and positive reinforcement to help settle nerves.
This post was sponsored by VCA Animal Hospitals and as always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own – authenticity is a top priority and I only partner with brands I truly love. Thank you for supporting the brands that partner with Pretty & Fun!