Pets and Moving: Helping Them Adjust


Girl and dog playing

When it comes to our pets we Americans consider them to be an important part of our families. According to the American Humane Association over half of the households in the United States include a cat or dog. Since moving is rated in the top five most stressful life events it makes sense that it has an effect on your entire family – including your pets. We found some helpful tips for making the move a little easier on your four legged friends.

 Creatures of Habit

Our pets are most comfortable when they have an established routine. Moving can throw that routine off so it’s important to maintain as many of their regular activities as possible. Try to keep feeding and exercise routines in place up to the day of the move and immediately after. If your dog has a morning walk be sure to take him on the day of the move. If possible make arrangements to board your pets if the move is local. It will keep them out of harms way during the move and give you a chance to focus on them once the move is complete.

Feels Like Home

Just as we humans feel more at home when we see familiar items so too will your pets. Set up their new space with their favorite bedding or blanket, toys and food bowls.And be sure to introduce cats to the new location for their litter box. Take some time to play with them in your new home to give them a positive start. They will pick up on your sense of excitement and calmness. And a little play time can be therapeutic for the whole family.

Make it Official

Make an appointment with your veterinarian before you move. Notify him of your impending move and have your pets’ vaccinations and prescriptions updated. Request a complete record of their health history and don’t forget to ask your veterinarian for a referral to a provider in your new home town. Finally, be sure to update your pet’s ID tags or microchips. It’s easier for a pet to get lost in a new environment so be sure to make this task a priority before your move.

Take Extra Care

Spoiling or pampering your pet a bit more during this time of change is recommended too. Often pets are the last thing on your mind during a stressful move. If your pet begins to feel neglected it can bring about unwanted behavior or a disinterest in eating. And don’t hesitate to call a vet if you notice prolonged behavioral change.

Attention pet parents: what tips do you have to share? Please visit our Facebook page and tell us your pet moving stories. We’d love to hear from you!