Introducing your pets to a new environment can be just as stressful as the unexpected activities that they experience at home. By taking the following steps as you plan your upcoming move, you have the chance to help add some calm to a world that feels chaotic.
How to Keep Your Pets Calm When Moving
1. Create an overnight kit for your pet.
Create a kit that includes your pet’s favorite items so that they know they are part of the changes that are taking place in your home. You will want to keep some food in this overnight kit, any litter or bathroom pads you may need, some toys, and any other items that will help to keep them comfortable while you start the work of unpacking.
2. Update your veterinarian with the new address.
Contact your vet if you will be moving out of the area to ensure that any records you may need can transfer to the next provider. If you anticipate a delay in finding a new place to care for their health, then you may want to have a conversation about obtaining another month of any prescriptions that may be necessary.
3. Give your pet an activity that they can perform.
The best way to prevent unwanted behaviors during the packing process is to give your pet an activity of their own to complete. You will want to keep it in the quietest area possible to reduce their anxiety during this stage of the process. If you do not have a space like this in your current home, it may be better to have them spend a couple of days at a trusted friend’s house or a certified, licensed kennel to support them during this critical period.
4. Take your pets for a ride.
If you can take your pet over to the new place before all of your stuff arrives, then it will give them some needed time to explore. Traveling with a dog or cat often means using a carrier in the backseat to keep them safe. If you need to put the seats down to accommodate a larger pet, offer them a blanket, pillow, or another favorite item to ease their anxiety during this transition.
5. Know the specifics of what your pet requires.
Dogs and cats tend to be more adaptive to the moving process compared to other animals. Fish can be particularly challenging since they respond so negatively to stressful situations. Transport them over short distances using bags filled with the old tank water. Longer trips may require that you offer your family or a friend to the aquarium. Then you can purchase new fish once you arrive at the new place.
Guinea pigs, hamsters, and similar pets require a stable environment during the move. They do not respond well to being jostled around. Birds are very nervous about change, so only take them out of their cage if there is no other option available.
6. Give your pet time to adjust to any crates that you must use.
There are times when you will need to use a crate for transporting your pet because there are no other options available. This situation can help work with your animal to build a positive association with the confined space. You can give them some of their favorite treats, offer a new toy, or offer playtime after responding to the situation without negativity. Try to provide them with plenty of praise for a job well done too.
7. Let your movers know if you have pets in the home.
Pets are often territorial about their space. If you hire professional movers to help you with this process, let them know when you book your services to have an animal on the premises. By communicating this need early, a beneficial plan of action can help everyone enjoy the experience as much as possible. Moving into a new home should be fun!
Moving to a new place can be exciting, but it can also be an experience that causes high anxiety levels for you and your pet. Consider these tips as you plan your upcoming move to ensure that everyone can have the best possible experience.