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Moving With Pets: How to Keep Stress Levels Low

It is commonly understood that moving is stressful for any person as they have to shift their belongings from place to place. Anyone can understand from personal experience and the anecdotes of friends that this stress is a universally understood emotion. But not everyone may know that pets feel the same way. Speaking in broad strokes, most domesticated animals are stressed out by the sweeping change that comes with the moving process. A pet’s intuition allows them to catch wind when things are changing, and these pets typically react erratically once they can tell that a change in the works. In the face of so many stressful facets to consider, keeping a pet calm during a move may seem like a tricky task to handle, but with the right approach it can be done.

Start Gradually

A staggered approach to the packing and moving process can be helpful for managing a pet’s expectations. A household pet is less likely to get stressed out about small changes. Introducing elements of the move like boxes early on also gives pets time to adjust to moving life as normal. The first few things to pack can be non-essential or seasonal items that the pet may not be seeing on a regular basis to begin with. When it comes to keeping our furry friends placated while moving, it’s best to leave packing their areas up until the 11th hour, to allow them to maintain their own status quo.

Moving Day

When the trucks arrive and a set of strangers enter the house, pets freak out. Unfamiliar elements like these in the home combined with the process of emptying out the house or the apartment. The best way to alleviate the heightened anxiety a pet might feel on moving day is to remove them from the situation, or take them as far away from it as possible. The best practice might be to get a pet sitter to keep him or her completely out of sight and mind on the day of the move. If that’s not an option, keeping pets occupied or putting them in an isolated area can make a big difference. A loud barking dog on moving day (or frantic animal of another kind) can cause plenty of distractions, prolonging what should be simple tasks. Moving companies and truck rentals typically charge by the hour on moving day, so time is money. Try not to waste any time attempting to wrangle with a panicking pet, if it can be preemptively avoided.

Traveling With Pets

When moving across the country or even across the state, traveling with a pet can be a tricky situation. Generally it is advised that pet owners travel with their animal companions by car, if they can help it. Car trips with a pet are much more manageable than plane trips, though the latter are possible with certain smaller pets.

Before the car ride, acclimate your pet to his carrying crate. After spending a while inside their crate he should be ready. Make sure to pack a spill proof bowl to allow him to eat and drink during the move. Make sure to pack medications for the pets if needed; if they are the kind to get nervous you can add an anxiety medication as well. And like humans, pets will need breaks to use the bathroom and walk around outside, getting some fresh air.

New Home

Settling down in a new home can be difficult for pets just as it is for people. To get a pet accustomed to new surroundings, their humans can unpack her toys and other favorite items early. If the place designated for your pets is set up early, it allows them to settle in much easier.

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