Moving can cause a lot of stress on a family. Don’t forget to include fur family in your moving plans. Packing boxes appear and furniture starts being moved around. Your pet’s familiar living environment gets literally turned upside down which can cause a lot of anxiety. Familiar places to sleep or lounge may be shifted around or disappear. All of these changes can lead to new unwanted behaviors. While you can usually find soothing words to explain to even a young child what is going on when the household is moving to a new place, it can be difficult to find ways to communicate this to an animal. Instead, there are strategies you can use to reduce the stress on your pet during a time that can feel like chaos and make the move less stressful for them—and you!
Pack a Bag
While you’re packing up your household also pack a special bag of easily accessible food, litter, toys, bedding, and all the items your pet requires. Move the bag to the new location at the same time you move your pet. You don’t want to be searching frantically through boxes to find pet food and other daily necessities when you first arrive at the new location. Your pet will sense your stress and feel stressed also.
Maintain the Routine
Try to keep the same eating and sleeping routines throughout the move. Animals who are used to being fed at certain times recognize a lapse in the meal schedule and might begin to worry about their basic needs. If your pet usually sleeps near your bed or on your bed or in a crate in another room, keep the same sleeping arrangement. However, if your pet is used to being let outside, try to keep them indoors for awhile until they begin to adjust.
Keep Them Out From Under Foot
While packing and unpacking, keep pets out from underfoot. When doors are open for boxes and furniture being moved, keep your pet secure in a carrier or crate or in an enclosed safe room to prevent unwanted escapes. The strange new activity may trigger stress and cause your pet to flee the scene. The last thing you want to be doing during a move is looking for a lost pet, and even worse, having to leave one behind.
Talk To Your Vet
If you’re moving out of the area, collect all records from your vet or have them transferred to the new location. Also don’t forget to update tags and microchips with your new address. Talk to your vet about medication if your pet has a history of anxiety.