Tips for Moving with Your Four-legged Friend

Moving is hectic enough for people, so just imagine how anxious it can make your pet. Unexpected activity and new environments can easily stress out your animal, so it’s important to keep them comfortable during their adjustment.

dog on couch with stuffed animal

EmBARKing on a New Journey

To help manage your dog’s stress levels during your next move, follow these tips on making their transition as "pawsitive" as possible:

1. Amp up the walks. Exercise keeps their energy down, which means they’ll be less likely to engage in destructive behaviors while your home is being packed up. Afterall, a tired dog is a good dog.

2. Schedule showings during usual walk times. If you are selling your home, it’s important to let your Real Estate Agent know those times are best for your family. This won’t always be possible, so be sure to put your dog in the crate if you aren’t able to get them out of the house with you.

3. Restrict your dog’s access. Consider making certain rooms off-limits to steer them clear of unsafe objects they can get ahold of. While you’re packing everything into boxes, it’s easy for items to get left out, like tape, jewelry, cleaning supplies, etc.

4. Create a familiar place. Arrange the bed, crate and toys as close to their old setup as possible. Try not to clean their blankets either – bringing the smell of the previous house to the new one will help ease some of your dog’s anxiety.

5. Maintain similar routines. It’s likely some things will change in a new home – especially at first – so try to stay as close as possible to your pup’s previous routine. Stick to that 9 a.m. walk or 5 p.m. feeding time, even if you’re in a new time zone.

cat sitting in cardboard box

Make for the Purrr-fect Transition

Cats are territorial animals who tend to develop strong bonds with their environment, which can make changing homes a stressful and frightening experience for them. Below are some suggestions to help soothe your feline friend’s anxiety during a move:

1. Have some fun with moving boxes. Cats love hiding places and have a fascination for cardboard boxes. Take some boxes out early and let your cat explore at their leisure. If they’re still showing anxious behavior, spritz some catnip spray on top.

2. Get them used to being in a carrier. Since your move will likely involve car travel, your cat will endure much less anxiety if they view the crate as a safe place. Start by feeding them near the open carrier and then work your way to putting treats and meals inside.

3. Pick a dedicated “introduction room.” Set up a comfy, cozy space in a room that will likely stay calm and quiet during the first week of your move. Place a few of their favorite things in the room, including their food and water, and slowly introduce them to new rooms as time goes by.

4. Utilize your cat’s scent-detection abilities. Take a soft cloth and rub your cat gently around the cheeks and head to collect the scent from the glands around their face. Rub this cloth against corners, doorways and furniture to help your cat become familiar with their territory.

5. Keep your kitten indoors. If your cat is allowed outside, start by keeping them indoors at least one week before the move and two weeks after the move. With all the packing and commotion, cats can easily get nervous and disappear.

And, the last suggestion: love ‘em up! A bit of extra attention will go a long way while your pet starts to get comfortable in their new home. With these recommendations, your fur-ever friend will be feeling at home in no time.