Moving with Pets: 7 Tips for Success

Moving is stressful. In between piles of clothes and boxes scattered everywhere, you may not realize how the chaos affects your pets. As furniture is packed away and their living space begins to dramatically change, pets can experience anxiety just like humans. A lot of pets aren’t fans of change. Until you get back to normal, there are steps you can take to minimize stress for your pet (and yourself) during the move. 


Packing your Home

As you begin packing up your home, try to keep your pet in a familiar space — or at least away from all the action. Our furry friends might not be able to talk, but they can sure see their home being dismantled one piece of familiar furniture at a time. 


Overnight Bag

Pack an overnight bag with your pet’s essentials —food, medications, toys, water/food bowls, leash/harness, poop bags, etc. Keep this bag near your personal overnight bag, so you won’t forget it. 


Pet Carrier Prep

Is your pet traveling in a carrier? If so, you’ll want to get him/her used to the carrier prior to move day (in the event they’re not). Prep your carrier with your pet’s favorite blanket and toy. Place a few treats at the back of the carrier to give your pet a boost of encouragement if they’re hesitant to enter. 


Moving Day

If possible, keep your pet at a friend or relative’s house while you load your boxes onto a moving truck. In the midst of movers and unfamiliar people in your home, your pet might make a dash for the front door or pee on your floor, even when they’re potty-trained. Stress manifests in various ways, and your pet might get the wrong impression that you’re about to abandon them.

If having your pet stay at someone else’s house is not an option, try to keep them entertained with a snack to chew on — like a bone or rawhide — or a toy to play with.


Pet Proof Your New Home

Animals are curious, especially in a new place with unfamiliar smells and settings. Pet-proofing your home in the middle of a move isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to avoid even bigger problems. Use child-proof latches for low cabinets; keep the lid on the trash or place the trash in a closed pantry; move wires out of chewing reach; make sure medications and anything edible is properly stored away; and invest in mattress covers to prevent pet accidents in the bed. 


Getting Comfortable

Spend as much time as possible in your new home with your pet before leaving them for long stretches  of time. This is an adjustment period. Avoid leaving your pets outside, even if you have a backyard, as they’re getting familiar with the new space. Dogs have been known to run away or jump fences in an attempt to return to their old home. 


Mealtime & Bedtime

In an effort to maintain some stability, keep mealtime and bedtime consistent as you help your pet establish a new routine. Find a new home for your pet’s food bowls and/or litter box — and keep her there. It’s the small details that make a world of difference as you both adjust to a new home.


Flying with Your Pet

Research your airline’s pet policy in advance and be sure to get an updated copy of your pet’s health records. Change is tough, but it’s easier together. 


When it comes to moving with your pets, a little preparation goes a long way. If you’re moving nearby, try introducing your pet to your new home before move day. Even if you don’t have access inside the home itself, give your pet a chance to sniff (and mark) the outside surroundings. 

Check out our blog for more advice on moving with your pet — not to mention loads of other  moving and home-related stuff.

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