Moving is a stressful event for humans, but it can be even more difficult for pets. Not only do pets have no clue what’s going on when you’re moving, but they can also sense your stress, which can make them more anxious. Moving comes with tons of changes, and most pets are creatures of habit that start to feel anxiety and fear when any type of change happens.
Luckily, there are ways to help reduce your and your beloved pet’s anxiety before, during, and after the move. Here’s how.
- Plan Ahead
Moving with a pet can be more stressful than moving with human children, especially if you don’t have a plan. Your pet will need to be watched carefully throughout the entire move. If possible, plan for a friend or family member to watch your pet while you move so your dog or cat doesn’t have to worry about all of the foot traffic and you don’t feel the need to keep a watchful eye on them. Having someone else babysit your pet will allow you to focus on the move so you can get it done quickly and easily welcome your pet to their new home.
There are tons of pet daycare businesses that will board your dog while you move. This can take the stress of watching your pet during an already hectic day. And you can rest assured knowing your pet is having tons of fun playing with other pups.
- Pay Pet Fees
Part of planning should also be ensuring you pay your pet deposit to ensure your pet can stay in your new home. If you’re moving into a new house that you bought, then you don’t have to worry about paying this fee. However, if you’re moving into a rental that allows pets, you will have to pay a pet deposit before your dog or cat can officially move in. By paying this deposit ahead of time, you can ensure your pet is considered a legal resident by your landlord and won’t have to worry about paying additional fees or potentially violating your lease.
- Maintain the Routine
Pets love routine, which is why your dog wakes you up every morning at the same time, even on weekends, to go potty outside. Dogs, especially, are creatures of habit, and changing things up can make them uneasy. There are going to be a lot of new things happening during your moving journey, but one thing you can do is keep up with your pet’s routine no matter what to help ease their anxiety and give them a sense of normalcy.
Keeping up with your pet’s routine gives them something they know they can rely on, especially when everything else in their lives is changing. You can keep up with their routine before, during, and after the move to help ease some of the potential anxiety.
The time before the move will be the easiest time to keep up with the routine. You can simply put down the boxes you’re packing to feed or walk your pet at his or her regular time. On the day of the move, things can become more difficult. Try to feed, walk, or play with your pet at the same time you normally do. However, if you can’t, you should at least make sure your pet is fed and has the opportunity to go potty before you start packing boxes away.
- Go to the Vet
Plan a time to visit your vet before the move. Your vet can help ease the anxiety you have about moving with your pet and help you find ways to keep your pet calm during an already stressful process. You can choose to visit your vet in person or have a televet appointment where you’ll speak to them via video conference.
Depending on where you move, you might need to get documentation from your vet, including proof of rabies vaccination. If you’re moving somewhere far away from your vet and will be getting a new vet that’s closer to your new home, then you might want to pick up your pet’s prescriptions or special food to tide them over until you find a new vet.
- Pack Pet Stuff Separately
Both dogs and cats have tons of stuff, including toys, treats, food, pet beds, medication, and more. Yes, you can technically pack your pet’s stuff in with yours, but it will be easier for you to find the items your pet needs if you pack all of your pet’s belongings in separate boxes.
You may also want to consider having a travel bag for your pet in case you don’t feel like unpacking everything you own the day of your move. If there are any items, such as food, toys, treats, and medication you know your pet will need the same day of the move or the next morning after the move, put them in a separate bag that you can keep with you at all times.
- Consider Travel Plans
Traveling anywhere with pets can be difficult, but it’s typically easiest to get your dog a seatbelt and take them with you in a car. Depending on how far away you’re moving, you might need to take your pet on a plane, where your pet will likely be transported as cargo. Traveling via plane can be stressful for animals and their humans, so it’s recommended to drive to your new home if possible.
Your car already has your scent, and it’s somewhere your dog or cat has been before, so they’ll feel less anxious. Not only that, but you’ll be able to keep an eye on them the entire time and stop for potty breaks as often as you need.
- Create a Safe Space
After you’ve arrived at your new home, spend the first few minutes creating a safe space for your pet. New homes can be stressful for any animal, but by giving them an area where they can rest, eat, and drink water, they’ll feel more comfortable in the home from the start. If your pet isn’t well-trained and you’re worried they will run out of the home while you’re going back and forth, consider setting them up in an enclosed space or bedroom so they can start getting acquainted with the new home.
If you’re dog suffers from severe anxiety, they may benefit from pet-safe CBD treatments.
- Go for a Walk
If you have a dog, consider taking him or her for a walk around the neighborhood after you’re all moved in. Dogs learn about their environments through their strong sense of smell, so allowing them to sniff around the neighborhood can help them learn about other dogs in the area and start marking their walking paths in a completely new neighborhood.
Going for a walk is also a great way to burn extra energy you and your pet might have from a stressful move so you can wind down and start to enjoy each other’s company in a new home and neighborhood.
Moving with pets can be difficult, especially if your dog or can is prone to anxiety. Remember, your pet doesn’t know what’s going on during a move, so it may take some time for them to feel fully comfortable in your new home after you’ve fully moved in. If your dog seems more anxious than usual and begins acting out after you move, consider leaning on your training and trying to find ways to make them feel more comfortable in their new home.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.