Moving with Pets: Tips to Minimize Stress

April 11, 2017

moving with pets
Spring is one of the busiest times of year to move. The weather is nice, the kids are almost done with school, and the summer months present a great opportunity to meet new neighbors and friends. As you busy yourself preparing to move your family from one home to the next, you probably aren’t the only one feeling stressed. Our pets are very intuitive, and Fido or Fluffy likely anticipates a big change on the horizon. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, there are a few things you can do to make the transition less stressful for your pet.

Provide a sense of stability

Cats and sensitive dogs aren’t big fans of change, so it’s best to keep their routines as normal as possible. Continue to walk your dog and feed your pets at the same time each day. Help your pets adjust to the moving process by keeping their toys, bedding, and food and water in a quiet, familiar room you plan to pack up last. On moving day, confine your pets to this room to prevent them from getting scared and trying to run off as the movers load the truck.

Get your pets ready for the road

If your pets are like most, they haven’t spent much time in their crate or in the car. In the months leading up to your big move, get your cat or dog acclimated to their crate and take short drives. You can start by leaving the crate open with some CANIDAE® pet food inside, and eventually have them eat their meals in the crate with the door closed. Help your pets develop positive association with their crate and the car by providing CANIDAE® dog treats or CANIDAE® cat treats and plenty of playtime afterwards.

Moving day tips

If you’re moving locally and would rather not leave Fluffy or Fido confined to a room on moving day, consider bringing your pet to a favorite family member or friend’s house. If your dog enjoys doggie daycare, a few hours of playing with his or her canine pals can be a great distraction from the chaos at home. This also gives you peace of mind that your four-legged friend is well cared for as you orchestrate the moving day logistics.

Settling in to your new home

Once you arrive at your new home, it will be tempting to let your dog or cat free to roam around and explore. However, a new space can be overwhelming to your pets. Instead, start out by allowing them to adjust to one room. Similar to the “safe room” in your old house, this new space should contain your pet’s favorite toys, bed, food and water, and litter box for cats. Once your pet seems comfortable, you can start introducing him or her to other rooms of the house. Move your cat’s litter box to a more permanent location slowly over time as to not cause additional stress.

As you adjust to your new surroundings, your pets will, too. Be sure to outfit your pet with a collar and ID tags in the unfortunate event he or she gets spooked and runs off during the move, and update your pet’s microchip information as soon as possible with your new address. For additional tips, read our article on “How to Keep Pets Safe When You Move.”

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