No matter how exciting your new future home or city is, the process of getting there isn’t exactly the most fun experience. With all the chaos of packing and everything else that comes with moving preparations, it’s important to consider how every family member is coping with the stress of the upcoming move and its inevitable changes—pets included.
Your pets may not know exactly what’s going on, but they can certainly sense that something is up well before moving day. If you’re planning on moving with pets, read on for some of our tips for making the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible for everyone involved.
Before You Go
Whether you’re moving across the country or to a new spot in the same neighborhood, you’ll want to make sure your dream home is pet-friendly.
For example: If you’re a cat owner, look for a place with plenty of vertical space for your cat to climb, whether you want to install cat wall shelves or purchase a cat tree. If you’re a dog owner, consider how conducive the home is to your daily routine. Do you have to climb up and down several flights of stairs every time you let him outside or go for a walk? Does he have space to comfortably walk around?
In the days, weeks, and months leading up to your move, try to keep your routine as normal as possible. Pets are creatures of habit, and the slightest changes can be alarming. Keep mealtimes and walks consistent, offering plenty of attention and quality time in the meantime.
Get your furry friend acclimated to their crate before the actual moving day, too. That way, they’ll have one less big adjustment on the big day, and may actually find solace in the familiarity of their crate.
As you pack, prepare an overnight kit for your pet with food, toys, grooming supplies, cat litter, and any other essentials. That way, you won’t have to rummage through boxes when you set up your pet’s cozy bed or find some favorite toys during those first few days.
On the big day, keep your pet confined in a quiet, already emptied room to keep them away from the chaos and open doors. This will make the experience less stressful for both you and your furry friend. Plus, you don’t want to be gathering a last-minute search party for your pet while you’re supposed to be hitting the road!
That said, it’s still important to try to keep the same routine as boxes and bags are being packed into the moving truck: take your dog for his regular walks, and give your cat her regular litter.
Once you set off on your adventure, be mindful of car safety. Check out our previous blogs for important info: Car Safety Tips for Dogs and Cat Travel Tips for the Holiday Season (or, well, any season).
Ideally, your pet would be one of the last things that you move into your home. If you’re moving to a place nearby and have some overlap, try to set up as much as possible in your new home before bringing your pet. We understand that this isn’t always possible, though, especially if it’s a cross-country move.
Ease the stress of moving with your pet with Pet Honesty’s Premium Hemp Calming Chews. These gentle, non-sedating chews are made from a blend of natural ingredients specifically designed to make stressful situations more enjoyable.
Adjusting to a New Home
New and unfamiliar environments can be overwhelming for pets and owners alike. It may be tempting to let your pet roam free right away to explore the new place, but it’s actually best to have your furball adjust to one room at a time. The people in the house may be the same, but everything else is different; it’s almost like being adopted into a new home all over again.
Designate one room as a temporary “home base” with essentials including food, water, and familiar toys and bedding. As your pet is getting acquainted with the new space, spend some time pet-proofing the home—check that the windows have screens and remove any potential hazards.
Shortly after you move, make sure to update the contact information on your pet’s ID tag and microchip. If you’re moving to a new city, do some research to find a reputable vet in the area.
The adjustment period could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Be patient with your pet; as he adjusts to a new setting, he may act differently than usual until he feels comfortable. Provide plenty of attention, snuggles, and quality time to enjoy the familiarity of each other and reassure him that while his home may have changed, the love you have for him has stayed the same!