For the average person, moving is a stressful time. Endless packing, stopping utilities, restarting them elsewhere, loading and unloading, all to unpack and rearrange your stuff. If you think the move is hard for you, imagine what is like for your pets, who don’t quite grasp the change that is happening. New home, new smells and sounds, and completely new surroundings – these things can make it difficult for your pet to make an easy transition into their new place. Like you, they will have to start all over, but without the benefit of knowing what is happening. To reduce the risk of your pet wandering off and getting lost – and to reduce their stress levels over all, here are a few tips to help those moving with pets.
Keep, Donate, Trash
When you are sorting your own belongings prior to packing between what to keep, what to sell/donate, and what to just throw away – automatically put your pet’s things in the keep pile, no matter what condition it is in. To you it may be a smelly eye-sight, but to your pet it is a comfort item and a reminder that where ever it is, home is. This toy, pet bed, or other item is filled with their smell and the smell of their old home. Keep it around as your pet adjust in their new area.
Keep Them Preoccupied During Moving Day
When the day comes to finally load your things on the truck, engage your pet in an activity away from all of the commotion, especially if your hired help or have friends and family over that your pet is not familiar with. This will help to reduce their stress of having all of these new people in their home, touching all of “their” stuff. If you will be too busy moving yourself, have someone your pet likes come over to play with your pet or use a reputable boarding service to keep them preoccupied and out of tripping reach.
Stick to a Schedule
Keep to your (and your pet’s) regular routine as much as you can. This will reduce the anxiety or stress of adjusting to a new routine while adjusting to a new environment as well. Feed your pet around the same time, in a similar location, and with the same bowl. Let your pet outside or go for a walk around the same time you normally do – and for the same length of time. In addition, your regular waking, sleeping, and working routine should also be kept as similar as possible – if at all possible. Knowing they can expect you to return to the new home like you did before can reduce chances of separation anxiety, anxiety chewing, or accidents on the new floors.
Get to Know the Neighborhood
This is mostly beneficial for dog owners but some cat or even horse owners may see benefits of exploring the neighborhood with their pet. Allow them to adjust to the new scenery and the new smells that come with it. Your dog will especially love the chance to mark a new area, so plan for extra time during your walk and don’t rush or pull them along. Should your pet get out, being familiar with their surrounding can help them find their way back to the new permanent home.
Hire a Moving Company
There is a lot to do during a move and when you have a pet, there is also a lot of responsibility for the welfare of your pet. Pets can also be well-tuned into how their owners feel and can act out in response to your stress, fear, or frustration caused by moving. Hiring movers to handle the packing and unpacking or just the loading and unloading can take a large amount of moving stress off of you – which will be noticed by your pets and give you the opportunity to focus on their needs too.
If you are planning a move, you can rely on Bright Moves & Logistics to help you at any stage in the moving process – and we do it for a flat rate! No hidden fees, just honest, upfront costs and the help you need.