Moving your pets from home to home can be super stressful for them. If you’re getting ready to relocate, there are some things you can do to ease the transition for your furry friend.
Preparing for the Move
Once you’ve decided you're moving, it’s time to collect your pet’s health records and update their address on their microchip and any other records you may have. In the midst of moving, pets can get lose from the house and it’s important that the information on their records is up to date.
Another crucial part of preparation is getting your pet used to the sights and sounds of moving. Bringing boxes around and rewarding them for showing interest means that come moving day, they’ll feel less skittish around them.
Whether you’re a few miles away or on a plane ride to your new home, getting your pet used to their cage prevents outbursts of stress and ensures that they feel safe during their travels. It may be helpful to also practice car rides. Many dogs aren’t great travelers so the stress of moving day may not be the best time to introduce a car ride.
Lastly, pets are creatures of habit. With the stress of moving into a new home, it’s important to keep their routine constant. Whether that is the walks, feeding time, or bedtime. Try to make the transition feel as normal as possible.
During the Move
On moving day, it's best to keep your pet away from the commotion. They will do better in a room away from movers to preserve some element of peace. Laying down away from the noise prevents unnecessary stress.
If your pet hasn’t done well with the car in the past, consider giving them Dramamine or forcing them to skip a meal to avoid getting car sick. Talk to your vet if you’re worried, and they may be able to provide you with medicine or resources to limit your pet’s stress.
Once you’ve moved in, it’s time to get them used to their new space. Let them acclimate to each room in your house, one by one. Designate one room to be a “home base” that they know they feel safe in. Make sure your home is safe for your pet and there’s nothing they can get into. Another way to make them feel more comfortable in their new space is by taking them for walks in the neighborhood. Maintain the routine your pet is used to, and they’ll feel at home in no time.
If your companion isn’t a traditional dog or cat, the circumstances of moving may be a little different. Fish don’t go well under stress and the traveling may be too much for your pet. Depending on the severity of needs of your pet, you may want to consider rehoming your pet if you cannot accommodate their needs amidst relocating. If it’s feasible for you to take your pet to your new home, then be sure to research exactly what you’ll need to keep them safe and stress-free.
Your pets rely on you for their safety. When they can’t understand why their world is changing, they look to you for normalcy. It’s important to know what you can and should be doing to make your pets comfortable as you bring them into the new chapter of your life.