Moving is a frequently stressful process for both humans and their pets alike. If you’re moving and want to help make sure your pets adjust to a new home, here are some steps you can take to make the transition a little smoother.
Plan Ahead to Minimize Unpleasant Surprises
Planning for your move should include checking the local laws regarding breed bans or rules for keeping pets in an apartment, finding a new vet ahead of time, getting your dog microchipped, and making sure the dog has proper identification.
Prepare Your Dog
When moving your dog, you may want to consider:
- Crate training so they’re more used to the tight space during their travels.
- Using a soft-sided pop-up crate for simple setup and storage
- Pack up ahead of time so the dog grows accustomed to the process sooner
- Begin training immediately if you’re moving into a smaller space, such as training to stop them from barking
- Prepare the dog by conditioning them to noises they’re likely to hear that might otherwise scare them
- Ask the vet about possible calming medication for the trip
What to Do on Moving Day
Pack for the dog, including food and water and some of their favorite toys, along with bedding and extra towels. Avoid cleaning everything, which can help retain the familiar smell from the old house to the new one to ease the dog’s anxiety.
Keep the dog safe in the car throughout the trip, with sufficient ventilation and security. You should also avoid feeding your pets too much on the move, particularly if they have sensitive stomachs.
Adjusting to the New Home
This process may entail:
- Pet-proofing the new place, such as finding escape routes via broken fences and using gates in and outdoors.
- Keep the dog on a leash until it’s safe for them to roam the house and they’re familiar with where they can and can’t go.
- Create a familiar space by arranging beds, toys and crates in a similar setup to the old home, and stick to previous feeding and walking schedules.
- Make the new home a fun and entertaining space for the dog, by doing things such as hiding food around the house, feeding them from food-dispensing toys, or using brain games to help distract them from the move.
While you can make it easier for your dog to adjust to the new space by following these steps, especially if you used a service that transports pets. Don’t expect the transition to go perfectly. You should remain patient and understand that your dogs may still require days, weeks, or even months to fully adjust to the new home and living space.
The best you can do is to facilitate their needs and help ease the adjustment by giving your them sufficient love and attention. This will help make sure they eventually do adjust to the home and live a happy, stress-free life soon after.