Moving With Pets: Tips to Make It Stress Free

 Moving can be so stressful! I’m in the middle of packing for one and I would love to be able to just snap my fingers and be done; I’m pretty sure my cat feels the exact same way. Sometimes in the chaos of packing we forget that it can be incredibly stressful and scary for our pets as well. Once you think about it though, it makes perfect sense; their environment is changing rapidly, they are taken into a new place with unfamiliar smells, and then spend several days with loud noises and things moving around all over again. Moving can be a very stressful experience for pets, but it doesn’t have to be! 

Here are some tips and tricks to help make a move as stress free as possible, at least for your pets.

Moving With Dogs

During the Packing Process:

Cats need consistency in their environment; changes, especially big ones like packing boxes, can be very scary for them. As you are packing up your home, consider designating one room in your home as a safe space for your cat(s). Pack this room last, and in the meantime make it a kitty haven. Make sure there are plenty of hidey holes, climbing spaces, toys, and lots of cushy places to lay. Try using pheromones such as Feliway Optimum to help create a calm comforting environment, and use calming music to cover any noises that may occur as you pack. 

Dogs can also get stressed by the chaos of a move. Seeing their environment slowly “disappearing” and boxes stacking up can be very off-putting for them. Packing out of sight for as long as possible, and continuing your dog's usual routine are some ways to help keep your dog’s stress level reduced for as long as possible.

During the Move:

Constant in and out traffic can be extremely stressful for cats. Boarding them for a few days leading up to the move and a couple days after is ideal, but this is not an option for everyone. A good alternative to boarding can be keeping your cat’s designated space, recommended above, decked out for their comfort until you are ready to transport them to their new home. Once you are ready for transport, having a separate carrier for each cat, and covering their carrier(s) with a towel or blanket will help make the car ride more comfortable. If you are flying with them, always carry them on the plane with you. 

While visitors can be stressful for our feline friends it’s not always the same for our canine friends. Some of our doggos may love seeing new people, but the process of moving boxes in and out may be stress inducing for many of them. In and out traffic also increases the risk of someone accidentally letting Fido outside without anyone noticing. To keep their stress reduced from all of the hustle and bustle, and prevent unwanted adventures, doggy daycare or a playdate with a family friend is always a good idea. 
Utilizing the use of pheromones in your new space for both cats and dogs ensures they are receiving the hormonal message that they are in a safe calm environment from the start can make a difference in how your pet adjusts to their new home.

Moving With Cats

Getting Settled In:

Once you are settled in your new place, set up a new cat haven and confine them to that space again while you unpack and settle in. Don’t forget to spend plenty of quality time with them while they are separated from the rest of the house. Once you are unpacked and there are plenty of familiar scents around it’s time to let fluffy explore and investigate their new surroundings. Pheromones will be helpful in keeping your cat comfortable as they explore and investigate. Make sure there are plenty of appropriate scratching surfaces around the house for Fluffy to mark their territory without harming the furniture.

As for our canine friends getting settled is a bit different. Start your new home introductions with a walk around the neighborhood. This allows them to sniff out and get to know their new territory, and lets them get an idea of who the four legged neighbors are. Once they are settled in the house make sure their usual routine picks up as quickly as possible. Be sure tho have their bed and toys available helps them know they are home as well.

Alternative Options:

For pets that are more easily stressed, or have increased anxieties, talking with your veterinarian about other options to help keep them relaxed is always a great idea. Some pets need a little extra help to relax and your veterinarian can help make the best recommendations for your pet. These can include supplements or pharmaceutical medications.

Moving Day

Moving Is Done: 

Once you are settled and ready for your first veterinary visit in your new city, finding a Fear Free Certified and AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) Accredited clinic is easier than ever. You can visit the Fear Free website to search for a Fear Free Certified Veterinary Clinic near you, the AAHA website will help you to find an AAHA Accredited Clinic with their hospital locator.