Moving can very often be a stressful time, not only for you but the furry members of your family as well. Whether you’re moving a few blocks away or cross country, there are several things you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible for your pets. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Crate training
No matter how far you’re going, you’ll want to ensure that your dog or cat is comfortable being transported in a pet carrier or crate, especially if they’ve never been in one before. Slowly introduce them by leaving the crate or carrier on the floor with the door open and treats a familiar blanket, or toys inside for them to explore on their own. If they’re not familiar with car travel, you can take them on short rides in the crate, followed by slightly longer ones to help them get used to making the drive to a new home.
2. Plan for moving day
If you suspect that your pet may have difficulty adjusting to the transition, there are stress relief products you can purchase ahead of time such as those produced by Feliway or Comfort Zone. On moving day, one of the most important ways to reduce your pet’s stress level is to pick out a room where they can be safely confined while all the activity is going on. Make sure to place their food bowls, toys, and litter box in the room with them, since they’ll likely be confined for at least a couple hours. If possible, move your things into the new home first before transporting your pets, as this will help them identify with familiar scents in a new environment.
3. After the move
Once the move is over, cats may become especially anxious in a new home, and can often spend the first couple days hiding in a closet or under a bed. You may want to help them adjust by allowing them to become familiar with one room at a time, making sure that their essentials like food, water, and litter are nearby. A dog, however, will best adjust by being taken through the entire house one room at a time, allowing him to become completely familiar with his surroundings. One of the most important ways to help your pet adjust to new living quarters is to re-establish a routine, including regular dog walks, as soon as possible after a move. If your dog or cat seems to be exhibiting especially stressful behavior, it may be a good idea to stay home with them for the first couple days after a move, if feasible.
If you’ve moved cross country, or even to an entirely new neighborhood, be sure to locate a new veterinarian as soon as possible. You’ll want to have a vet resource handy in the event your pet continues to experience difficulties adjusting to the move.