As moving day quickly approaches, you’ll likely be feeling more and more stressed. Between packing and making sure everything on your moving checklist is complete, you may feel like you don’t have a second to relax.
But don’t forget that the adults aren’t the only ones feeling overwhelmed. Kids and pets often feel stressed since they know something strange is happening, but they don’t understand what it is.
Your pets, in particular, may show this stress through bad behavior, such as increased vocalization, aggression, or (for cats) eliminating outside the litter box. This behavior can continue once you’re in the new house as the stress may not subside for a few weeks.
Luckily, moving with pets doesn’t have to be such a nightmare. Keep reading to discover 6 tips to keep your furry friends as stress-free as possible.
1. Talk to Your Vet
Before moving day arrives, it’s important to talk to your vet. You’ll want to stock up on prescription medications and transfer your medical records to a new vet (if you’re moving far away).
This first part mostly reduces the stress on you. If your pet gets hurt during the move, you’ll already have a vet with their medical history to turn to. Plus, you won’t have to worry about picking up prescriptions for a while after your move.
But there is one more important thing to talk to your vet about–motion sickness. Many animals get car sick during long trips. Even if your pet seems fine during that 10-minute ride to the vet, driving several hours away may be too much for their stomachs to handle.
Ask your vet about the signs of motion sickness in pets and what you can do to prevent it. If your pet is on the anxious side or if they’ll be flying to their new home, you may want to ask about short-term anxiety medications.
Making the trip to your new house as easy as possible is the first step in reducing anxiety. Your pet will feel much more stressed if they feel sick on top of everything else that’s going on.
2. Keep Your Pet in a Quiet Area
When moving day rolls around, be sure to keep your pet secluded from all the commotion.
There will be a lot of loud noises, and the door will constantly be opening, giving your pet an easy way to escape if they get scared.
To ensure they remain safe and sound, move all the boxes out of one room. Place your pet in there and close the door. Be sure to tell any professional movers you hire not to open that door.
3. Move them Last
Every room in your old home will look a bit strange to your pets since everything will be boxed up to prepare for the movers. However, they’ll still recognize the wall colors, the carpet, and the smell of your home.
This means your pet will feel more comfortable in your old home than your new home. So make sure your pet is the last thing you move, if possible.
If you’re only moving a few minutes away, have one person stay in the old house with your pet. Give the movers an hour to get a head start on unpacking the moving truck while you comfort your pet. Then, take them over to the new house once the movers have left, and it’s not so loud and hectic.
4. Pack an Overnight Bag
Alright, so you finally moved all your boxes into your new home. Now, where to start?
Well, it’s a good idea to unpack your furry friend’s belongings first. This way, they’ll have something familiar to comfort them. Even seeing their food in that familiar pet food bowl can offer them a feeling of security.
Of course, to make this easier on you, be sure to pack all their necessities together in an overnight bag. Include their food and water bowls, their pet bed, a favorite toy, their leash, and their litterbox.
If you have a several-day drive ahead of you, keep this box on you so your pet can have their own things when staying in a hotel.
5. Give them a Safe Space
However, you don’t want to unpack their belongings just anywhere. Your pet is likely feeling very nervous being in a new environment.
Set up a safe space for your pet. This should be somewhere quiet and rather isolated, like a spare bedroom. If you have small children, tell them not to force their pet out of hiding.
Unpack all their belongings, so they don’t need to explore the entire house to find their food and litter box. Instead, they can start by exploring just one room which will feel safer to them since it’ll full of their familiar stuff.
This is an especially important step for cats as they are more prone to hiding away when faced with a new environment. Keep the door open or cracked so your cat (or dog) can explore more as they get more confident.
When you notice this happening, gradually move their belongings further and further away until they’re at the area you want to keep them. This will encourage your pet to continue exploring the hallway and surrounding rooms without feeling overwhelmed.
6. Don’t Forget Playtime
Moving is exhausting, but so it trying to maneuver around countless boxes. So, it’s no surprise that many people want to start unpacking everything as soon as possible.
But don’t forget to give your pets a little attention.
Go to their safe space and try to play with them by dragging a toy across the floor. If they aren’t ready to come out of hiding, don’t force them.
Instead, sit on the floor where they can see you and spend some time relaxing on your phone or laptop. Remember, you are one familiar thing in an unfamiliar place, so your presence can make them feel safer.
Making Moving with Pets Easier
Let’s face it–moving is stressful for everyone involved. And this includes your precious furbabies.
So, be sure to follow these tips to make moving with pets as easy and stress-free as you can. Fluffy and Fido will thank you!
Hiring movers can take a lot of stress of your shoulders and ensure the day goes quickly and smoothly. Check out our site to get an instant quote today.