If moving isn’t stressful enough, moving with furbabies can take stress to the next level. Our four-legged friends can sense the impending change, and just like little children, they can show signs of distress. The good news is that just like you have a packing strategy that works [link to our Packing strategy that works blog], you can also have a strategy to minimize pet anxiety.
PET DAYCARE OR BOARDING
Unless your dog or cat has extreme separation anxiety, check them into doggy daycare or board them through the majority of packing and loading. This decreases the chance of injury – to the animal or a person – ensuring pets are not underfoot. It also saves the potential for frustration – which can increase on moving day.
If you are moving away from your trusted vet, schedule one more visit. You want to make sure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on any medications or shots. Change your address on any medication subscriptions like heartworm or flea control. If your dog is not microchipped, this is the perfect time to have that done. Your vet can also recommend medication that will help very anxious dogs on moving day.
KEEP ROUTINE THE MAIN THING
Did we mention pets are like small children? They both run on routine and can become out of sorts when their schedule is thrown off. Try to keep feeding and outdoor fun on the same schedule throughout the packing days. While you travel to your new location, make sure you have familiar items with them, like blankets or toys. This will bring some comfort amidst a lot of change.
Pets that are not used to traveling in a car may benefit from some practice runs. If your pet is not familiar with a crate, get them used to it first. Then, practice taking some car rides. Increase your practice runs until they are calm. Make sure your pet sticks to a standard diet before moving day – you don’t want an upset pet tummy!
Moving is stressful for pet owners – and the more they show it, the more stress increases in their pet. Try to stay as calm as possible throughout the process. Take a moment to breathe, laugh – or play a game of fetch.