A new home can bring new opportunities for our furry family members, such as a bigger backyard, nearby parks and trails, or a shorter commute for more quality time with their family. However, the process of moving can be confusing and stressful for our pets.
Before the Move
Packing household items can cause a pet to become unsettled, so consider doing so quietly and out of their sight. Species-specific pheromone sprays can also help reduce anxiety by sending “comforting messages” to the pet until they are in their new home and fully adjusted. For very high-stress pets, consider a vet visit to discuss sedative options for moving day.
On Moving Day
Even if your pet has a microchip, they should also wear an identification collar, as many pets escape during the loading-up process. Keep in mind that cats may hide in moving boxes, so as you load up, keep your pet in a safe and quiet place away from all the activity.
Offer comforting objects from home, food and water in a familiar dish, and distance them from unloading and unpacking. Dogs may explore more readily, but cats may do better with a few days in a quiet room first. As your pet explores, give them lots of love (on their own terms) and treats, reminding small children to give them space. Pets pick up on the energies we project, so managing your own stress will also help your furry family member feel at ease.
As you settle in
Update your pet’s ID, give them their own safe spot to retreat to, and always supervise them while outdoors, watching for backyard escape routes and toxic items. Routine and exercise can help your pet expend energy that might otherwise manifest as destructive tendencies. Over-grooming, chewing, scratching, and inappropriate urination can be signs of stress, but may also be indicative of an underlying problem or pain. In those situations, your veterinarian is your best resource to rule out illness and to help manage your pet’s anxiety.
Moving can be one of the most stressful, but rewarding experiences of anyone’s life. Our pets are part of the family, and when the whole family feels at ease, that’s when a new house truly becomes a home!
Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.