No matter how easy the move, moving is stressful for both you and your four-legged family members. While your pets don’t have to pack and plan, they do have to adjust to an entire new home without much understanding of the process along the way.

Even the most well-adjusted pets can find the moving process to be unsettling, and since your pets rely on you to help ease their transitions and give them comfort during times of stress, it’s up to you to help make your pet’s move as calm and comfortable as you can.

One of the most important things you can do to help ease your pet through a big move is to give them extra loving care and attention before, during and after your move. Cats especially can be very resistant to moving homes and new smells, and the more you can do to provide comfort, the better.

If you and your pet are making a long move or if your move comes after living for a long, extended period of time in the same apartment home, you’ll need to put extra time and attention into easing the change for your furry bestie.

Here are a few simple tips to help make your move with your pet a calm and comfortable one. After all, home is where your pet lives!

Prep Your Pets
Before you even begin your move, start preparing your pet for the transition. If you’re a cat owner, you’ll want to get your cat used to being in a cat carrier and taking car rides. You may want to begin by just putting the cat carrier out for the cats to explore and sniff, and practice by taking a few small car rides in the coming weeks. Dogs may sense change during your packing process. It may be helpful to put them in their crates in the room where you’re packing, to give him a sense of comfort, but to keep him close so that he can see what’s happening. You’ll also want to make sure to stock up on any medications your pet needs, as well as toys, blankets or other necessities. Organize and safely pack your pet’s medical paperwork, and take them for a visit to the vet one last time before you move.

Moving Day
On moving day, you’ll want your pet to stay somewhere comfortable where he’s safe, but out of the way. Cats can be put inside a larger bathroom with their food and water, toys and litter box. Make sure to close the door and keep a sign that alerts movers or visitors to keep shut at all times to prevent your cat from escaping. You can keep your cat in a carrier for a period of time, as well, but not too long, and definitely not in your car. Dogs can often be better served staying with a close friend or family member who can tend to their needs during the move. If you have found a place to board your dog for the day, that can be a helpful option for you both, as well.

After the move, the adjusting process begins, and for many pets, this can take a while. Cats may need the help of Feliway, a pheromone diffuser that mimics the smell of their mothers, and can help them to relax and feel at home. You may also want to slowly introduce your cat to your home one room at a time, so it isn’t so much to take in, all at once. If you have a dog, keep their crate close by and use it for times that they need to rest or have comfort. Take extra walks, get outdoors and give your dog lots of exercise to help move any anxiety he or she might be feeling. Consider buying a few new toys or soft blankets to help ease the transition along.

Find a New Vet
Once you’re in and settled, you’ll want to take some time to interview vets nearby. Your pet’s veterinarian is an important part of their care team, and you’ll want to find a local vet who can help to support their transition and health needs as time goes on.

Take your pet out for fun and play with other animals. Our community has a gorgeous Bark Park that is perfect for pup play, and it’s a great place to meet other dog owners and let your pet exercise their need for fun. If you feel like your pet needs additional social time or training, sign up for a local agility course or group dog training classes to help give them the structure and social time they need.