Moving is not only stressful for you, it is also stressful for your furry family members. Whether you are moving across the street or to a completely new city, your pets don’t understand what is going on and you may notice a difference in behavioral and eating patterns. It is all due to stress. So how do you avoid this trauma as much as possible? By understanding your pet and preparing them for the move.

Prior to the big move

In this phase, you will focus on preparing your pet for moving day. Small animals such as cats, rabbits, and small dogs will feel safer in a comfortable pet carrier. If you’ve never introduced a pet carrier before, start getting them used to the idea slowly (before the actual moving day.) They will learn that a carrier is a safe place and when they are in it, they will not be harmed. An easy way to get your pet used to the carrier is to put their favorite toys or treats inside while allowing them to enter it on their own. This will help make the experience a positive one.

For larger animals like big dogs, try familiarizing them with new territory by taking them for long walks, visiting family members’ homes, and taking them to parks. This will familiarize them with new smells and prepare them for the big move.

On moving day

Our best advice is to ask a family member to watch your furry loved ones while you are moving and unpacking all of your belongings. This will keep them out of the chaos and make the circumstances a little more stress-free.

If a close friend or family member is not available to help, make sure your pets have their updated address tags on their collars and slowly ease them into their new environment once most of the chaos has died down. Give them their favorite treats and show them as much love as possible to keep them feeling at home during this time.

After the “moving” stage

Every animal is unique and adjusts to change at their own pace. Allow time for your animals to get familiar with new smells and spaces, as it will take time for them to feel secure again after the big move. If at all possible, try to spend a little extra time with them at home to help with the adjustment before returning back to your daily activities.

Make sure that you have done your part by updating pets microchips and tags with your new address if you have not done so already and do not leave your pets unattended outside during this adjustment period.  Your pets will most likely not be able to find their way back home if they get lost in your new neighborhood. 

Just like humans, your furry loved ones have a unique personality and every one of them will adjust at their own pace. Because you know them better than anyone, stick with your gut when choosing how to help them adjust.

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