Success! You have listed and sold your home -- or are making the final preparations to move to the Santa Barbara area. By now, the kids are either grumbling or eager, friends and relatives are waiting by their phone or computer screens to catch the first snapshots of the new neighborhood…everyone is clued in, on the same wavelength, ready to go!
Uh-oh -- we may have left somebody out. In fact, all those ‘somebodies’ who happen to have four paws. When all is said and done, it’s a sure bet that they will be happy in their new home (after all, they’re always happy as long as you are paying attention to them). But in the interim, what steps can you take to simplify their move to the new home?
The first order of business should be a simple safety measure. Create tags with your new address details (and a phone number that won’t change). It’s not likely, but possible, that a recently-uprooted pet may try to find the old house – especially the first few times he or she is left unattended. You need to be doubly sure pets are properly identified so they can be returned promptly. Even housecats who are usually collarless should be given some identification during the beginning weeks in a new home. Those first few days and weeks are the most likely time for doors and windows to be accidentally left open… and it’s much better to be safe than tearful!
Depending on time and distance factors, a sanity-conserving idea is to find a safe and quiet place for pets to stay during the actual move. Whether you ask friends or relatives or use a kennel or cattery, it will minimize the sense of disruption your small friends experience. Put yourself in their paws: big, burly strangers moving sofas and beds in and out of giant trucks? Better the kennel!
Last tip: give them extra attention. Distraction is one carnival trick that never fails. Your pets may miss their previous environment, but when you shower them with special attention before, during, and after the move, they’ll be convinced that your love made the move, too.