Do you get stressed while you’re moving? There’s so much to do and so much going on that feeling a little frazzled is more than to be expected. But while emotional regulation and relaxation exercises are always an option for you, they’re not so much an option for any pets you might have in the home. Pets don’t know what’s going on, and they might be nervous based on your own reaction as well as all the noises and moving going on around them.
Fortunately, you don’t have to let the process cause a great deal of stress for your pets. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips on how to move when you have pets that will make the process easy for everyone involved.
Stick to Your Pet’s Routine
This is an especially important tip if you’re moving with dogs. When you switch up a pet’s routine and start missing out on things they look forward to, it can create a sense of anxiousness that leaves them wondering what’s going on. Too much change is not good for a pet, so it’s important to stick to their routine as much as possible throughout the moving process. Make sure they get their walks, play their usual games with them, and keep them on a standard feeding schedule. You’ll thank yourself later!
Acclimate Them to Spending Time in a Crate
Regardless of whether you’re moving a short distance or you’re traveling to another state, your pet is going to spend time in a crate. The problem? If they haven’t been put in a crate or a kennel yet, this can cause extra stress once it comes time to relocate them to their new space. Set aside some time each day to get them acclimated to their crate so that they’re comfortable with going inside it and lying down. Then, once you’re finally ready to load them up into the car via the create, they aren’t so anxious or upset with you when you put them in there.
Hire Professional Movers to Free Up Your Time
Hiring a professional moving service will allow you to devote more time to your pet while moving and transitioning to a new living environment. Instead of having to load and unload boxes off the moving truck yourself, you’ll be able to give attention to your furry friend which will help them acclimate to the new environment more easily. In some cases, you may even have taken your pet to the home, such as on a walk or just a random visit, a few times prior to moving there so they have a familiar sense with the new location.
Keep Their Favorite Items With You
With so many changes in your pet’s life during the moving process, keeping their favorite items with you is an easy way to reduce moving anxiety and stress. Favorite items like blankets, toys, beds, and treats mean something to your pet so having them with your pet will be a comfort as you and your pet enter a new living arrangement. You should also keep your pet’s food with you so your pet won’t have to worry about trying a new food on top of all of the stress and anxiety that moving brings.
Give Them Extra Attention and Treats
Your pets don’t know what’s going on, and there’s no way to explain to them what they’re seeing or experiencing. Watching as all their entire home is packed away and moved and having to deal with strangers or guests coming in and out has the potential to upset them greatly. As you deal with the move, make sure to give them plenty of extra love and treats. They need the reassurance that everything is okay and the attention to help them get through this tumultuous time. Don’t forget to do this afterward as well. Remember, the anxiety of moving can still carry over once your pet is in a new, unfamiliar space. With extra stress added to them sometimes it also helps to increase their exercise to help tire them and this could also be done easily with a game of fetch or an extra walk or two.
Make Sure They’re Away From the Busy Areas
There are a lot of areas in your home that are going to be occupied and busy as you move to your next place. For example, each room is likely going to be filled with packing materials as you work to organize everything and figure out what to pack away. There are also going to be high-traffic areas where people are coming in and out to get certain items moved. If your pet is in any one of these areas, it can be easy for them to get into something they shouldn’t be or even get hurt accidentally. Give them their own space away from the high-traffic areas and noise where they can relax and avoid the chaos going on around them.
Get Support If You Need It
You don’t have to navigate your move alone. From pet sitters to family members, let someone else step in to care for your furry friend if you need to focus on moving and are worried about their mental health or can’t properly give them the attention they deserve. This might look like letting your pet stay somewhere else for a few nights while you move or having someone over to distract them momentarily. Don’t worry; they’ll understand.
Moving when you have pets can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible as there are people daily that have to do this action. Use the tips provided above to make sure that your next move isn’t as stressful for your four-legged friends. Just like humans have moving stress and anxiety, pets do too so it’s important for pet parents to be proactive and take the necessary steps to reduce the moving burden on their furry family members.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Allied Van Lines Canada
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