Moving can be an exciting yet stressful time—not only for you, but for your pets as well. By nature, house pets are creatures of habit. When they're moved into a new home with unfamiliar sights, smells, and sounds, it can be difﬁcult to adjust. Fortunately, there are some simple steps all pet owners can make to minimize stress throughout the moving process while ensuring safety.
Wait to Pack Up Their Belongings
Pets can become very attached to their favorite possessions, such as bedding and toys. With that in mind, try to wait as long as possible before you begin packing up your pets' belongings. If possible, wait until the day of the move before you load up a big box dedicated to your pets' stuff.
Talk to Their Veterinarian
Some pets are more prone to anxiety than others. If your pet has had anxiety issues in the past (such as separation anxiety), the move will likely be difﬁcult on him or her. You might consider speaking with a veterinarian about putting your pet on an anti-anxiety medication or something similar to calm them during the move. This is often especially recommended for pets undergoing a long-distance move.
Board Them During the Move
The physical process of moving all your belongings can not only be stressful for your pet, but dangerous as well. An unsuspecting mover could accidentally let your indoor-only cat out of the house, or your pet could be injured by heavy furniture if he or she gets in the way.
The best way to avoid these issues is to simply board your pet during the move, or let them stay with friends or family. This way, you can simply pick your pet up when everything is moved in and things have settled down a bit. If boarding isn't an option, be sure to at least keep your pet contained in an empty room within your home or inside a kennel.
Introduce Them Gradually
When it comes time to introduce your pet to your new home after the big move , take things slow and understand that the experience can be overwhelming for your pet. Rather than offering your pet free roam of the entire home, consider introducing them to a room or two at a time. As they become more comfortable with each space, you can allow them to roam more freely until they've explored and become familiar with the entire house.
Maintain a Schedule
As much as possible, try to keep your pet on a schedule they're familiar with. For example, if feeding time is at 11AM and 5PM daily, keep it that way after the move. If you typically take your dog for a walk in the evenings, maintain this pattern as well. Keeping up with a familiar schedule will help your pet feel more comfortable as they get settled into a new place.
Pet owners have a responsibility to ensure their pets' safety and well-being throughout the process of moving. By following these tips, you can reduce your pet's stress levels, keep them safe during the move itself, and help them better adjust to life in a new home!