Moving is stressful for everyone in your family, including your pets.
So, how can you help your furry friends handle the stress of a move as painlessly as possible? We have a few tips for you, based on recommendations from one of the most trusted animal welfare organizations in the country, the ASPCA.
Bring moving boxes into the house a few days before moving day
You may have noticed how much your cat hates it when you rearrange the furniture. Bringing a bunch of moving boxes into the house may not seem like a big deal to you, but to your cat or dog it might be the weirdest thing you’ve done in months. By bringing the boxes in a few days early, you give your pet the chance to get used to them. This is a small step that can help reduce stress on your animal when moving day comes.
Confine your cat or dog to another room while you’re packing
Much like small children, pets are a distraction at best when it comes to packing. Packing has the potential to stress out your pet in multiple ways.
- Moving everything around from its usual places can make pets uneasy.
- You’re bound to be more stressed than usual, and if your pet knocks over or messes up the items you’re packing, you may have a hard time staying patient with them.
Avoid this additional stress for you and your pet by giving them their own familiar space to hang out in while you pack. Make sure they have everything they need (food, water, litter, etc.), check on them periodically, and don’t expect them to stay in there too long. Pro tip: Choose the room you intend to pack up last.
Give your pet its own space on moving day
Just like packing, moving is stressful and confusing for your pet. Moving day adds the additional stress of having new people in the house. Additionally, moving day involves many trips into and out of the house, and if your pet is a known escape artist this can add a lot of stress to your day.
If you keep your pet separated in a quiet room, you can make the day much easier for them and for you. Even better, see if a trusted friend or relative can keep your pet for the day.
Keep some of the normal routine
Another way that pets are similar to small children is that they rely on routines to make sense of things. Keeping your animal’s routine as consistent as possible benefits them immensely; not only that, it can add some moments of normalcy for you, as well.
It may seem silly to take the time to walk the dog when you’re busy with a move, but trust us, it will benefit you both.
In your new house, introduce your pet to one room at a time
Once you get to your new home, set up a home base for your animal. Let them get to know that space first, with their familiar water, toys, food, litter box, etc., before introducing them to the rest of the space.
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Moving isn’t easy on you or your animals, but with some thoughtful planning you can make your move less stressful and more calm. Your pets deserve it. After all, when you get to your new place and are all set up, they’ll be the ones making it feel like home.