4 Tips for Moving with Cats and Dogs

Puppy and cat playing on lawn

Pets seem to realize something is going on once we start packing. They may already be aware that change is afoot. Use these tips to keep your cat or dog calm during a long-distance move and help them adjust to their new environment.

1. Do your research and make a plan.

Does your new neighborhood have a dog park? Have you figured out where you’ll take your cat for veterinary appointments? When you keep the needs of every family member in mind before moving, you’ll have less to stress about when you get there. Make sure your new house is already pet-proof, and if you plan to let your dog out in the yard, ensure the fence is high and sturdy enough to keep your pup secure.

2. Get them used to moving.

Make sure your cat is acquainted with and comfortable with their pet carrier by starting a couple of weeks in advance. Leave it out in the open and place treats and something familiar-smelling inside (like a blanket or article of clothing), allowing them to go in and out freely with the door open. Once they’re not wary of going in and out, close the door while they’re inside and immediately offer them a treat. Practice going longer and longer in the carrier and extending the time between treats.

If your dog isn’t comfortable traveling in the car, you can put them at ease using a similar method. Offer something they enjoy every time they get inside with you, whether that’s a treat or a play session. Once they can sit comfortably in the car while it’s in park, try taking them on short rides and offering upbeat praise. Once you’ve stopped the car and can do so safely, offer them another reward.

3. Tire them out.

On moving day, engage in a long play session with your cat or dog until they’re about ready to take a nap. As long as they’re comfortable in the car, they may sleep most of the way! Make sure you’ve taken your dog for a walk to relieve themselves, and that your cat has used the litter box one last time.

4. Introduce them to their new home.

Once all potential exits are closed off and it’s safe to let your cat out of its carrier or your dog of its leash, allow them to explore at their leisure. Don’t panic if your cat becomes scarce for a day or two—they most likely haven’t escaped but have found their preferred hiding spot until they can acclimate to their new surroundings. For a puppy or kitten, you may want to confine them to one small room of the house, like the bathroom, until they get their bearings. Follow your normal routine, feeding your pets the same food at the usual times and allowing your dog their scheduled bathroom breaks. Before you know it, they’ll feel right at home.

Have more questions about how to move pets? Ask us!

9 Safe Family Fall Activities in Cleveland

If you’re concerned about keeping your family safe this fall, here are 10 low-risk, outdoor fall fun activities in Cleveland that you can enjoy while social distancing. Just be sure to adhere to safety guidelines and bring your hand sanitizer for the more hands-on activities.

1. Pumpkin Festival

Enjoy the corn maze, all-you-can-carry pumpkins, and a foot golf course at Red Wagon Farm during the Pumpkin Festival, every weekend from now until October 31.

2. Halloween Drive-Thru

Enjoy the frightful fun of a Halloween hayride from your own car at Lake Metroparks Farmpark. Enjoy the spooky fun every night from now to October 25, then from October 29 to November 1. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance!

3. Apple Picking

Looking for a safe place to go apple picking? Patterson’s Fruit Farm even has a special hour for guests with special needs or compromised immunity. Visit from now until November 11. You can also visit the Pick n’ Save Orchard to pick your own apples, get some fresh apple cider, and see farm animals.

4. Pumpkin Village

The Pumpkin Village at Mapleside Farms doesn’t just have a pumpkin patch—it has a 7-acre corn maze, a barnyard petting zoo, and themed festivals every weekend from now until November 1.

5. Extreme Corn Maze

Plan to commit some serious time to solving Derthick’s Corn Maze. Even if you can’t make it all the way through, you can enjoy a 300 foot zipline, interact with farm animals, and go home with your perfect pumpkin. Try it out Friday-Sunday from now until November 1.

6. Corn Cannons & Pumpkin Slingshots

At Honey Haven Farm you can shoot corn out of a cannon, fling a pumpkin, or just enjoy a relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride around the farm. Enjoy fall activities until October 31.

7. Farm Scene Investigation

Unravel the mysteries of the Maze Craze, from the Maze Master Game, to the Monster Mystery Game, to the Farm Scene Investigation Game. You can also enjoy cornhole and a public fire pit, Friday-Sunday from now until November 1.

8. Trick-Or-Treat Fest

No need to totally miss out on trick-or-treating this year! The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is offering a safe trick-or-treating experience with candy stations and character meet-and-greets.

9. Fall Winery

The Maize Valley Winery isn’t just for adults—there are plenty of activities for the whole family, like an animal train ride, goat and chicken areas, pedal bikes, and a gem mine.

Have fun this fall, have a Happy Halloween, and stay safe!