How to Reduce Pet Moving Stress (for cats, dogs, and humans!)

General, Moving Tips
February 28, 2018
reduce pet moving stress reduce pet moving stress reduce pet moving stress

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Moving homes affects everyone in your family, which includes your pets – cats, dogs, birds, etc. While people, even very young ones, can deal with the stress, pets often have a hard time. In this article, we’ll explore strategies to reduce pet moving stress.

How to reduce pet moving stress is one of the most common questions movers get. Pet health and safety is a very important consideration in any moving project. Reducing pet stress during a move has many benefits and will reduce stress for you too! Here are ways to reduce pet moving stress before, during and after your move in New Jersey.

Reduce pet moving stress before the move

Pets, especially cats and dogs, know when you are getting ready to take a trip. They see the suitcases, the bustle of activity, and know something is happening. The same applies to moving. To keep their stress levels lower, pack slowly and do your best to hide the boxes from pets.

Remember to leave out some of your pet’s favorite toys and furniture so they don’t feel lost in their home in the days before the move.

Next, you want to acclimate your pets to traveling in crates or cars. Practice putting pets in crates and take them on short drives around town. Car travel often frightens cats, but after a few trips, they will usually become more comfortable.

Finally, on the day of the move when the movers arrive, get your pets out of the house. Take them to a pet grooming salon or for an extended trip to the park. Too much activity will cause problems and you want to reduce pet moving stress as much as possible. You also don’t want pets interfering with your movers while they are carrying heavy objects or fragile belongings!

Reduce pet moving stress on the road

Once your house is packed up and you are on the road, you should keep a close eye on your pets. We find it helpful to pack a ‘pet survival kit’ for car trips. This kit has toys, favorite blankets, and treats to help keep your pet calm.

Some pets are pros in the car. Most aren’t. To reduce pet moving stress, keep your pets in their crates while traveling or at least away from windows. This reduces the amount of stimulus they receive…they might even take a nap!

If it’s a cross-country move, plan for stops along the way. Exercise your pets, let them do their business, and give them some food and water if they want it.

Always keep an eye on your pets. Are they hyperventilating? Crying constantly? Give them the attention they need and pull over if you need to. Sometimes the feeling of movement can be especially upsetting to pets.

Note: we don’t recommend sedating your pets. However, some pets do have especially bad anxiety problems and may require some extra help. Consult your veterinarian about this.

Reduce pet moving stress at your new home

When you arrive at your new home, the first thing you want to do is make it comfortable for your pets. Put out some food, water, toys, and bedding that smells like their old home. If they are riled up from the car ride, take them outside for a long walk or otherwise engage them with activities in a closed-off room of the new house.

If they want to explore, let them, but remember that animals in a new place tend to ‘mark it’ so you’ll want to have cleaning supplies on hand to handle any accidents. Letting your pets explore their new living space will help calm them down as they are actively engaged in something they want to be doing.

Remember, moving without professional residential movers NJ can be stressful! Show your whole family (and pets especially) some extra love during the moving process.

This guide applies mostly to cats and dogs, but the same principles apply to other pets. You just need to make a few special considerations. For example, moving with a bird might require sensory-deprivation measures such as a hood or other cage covering. Fish need water and you don’t want water sloshing around, so make sure their transport tanks don’t leak.

Get the whole family involved

You can also keep the kids occupied during a move by assigning them to oversee pets. This ensures that pets have attention (if they need/want it) and your kids have something to do. Delegating this important task can help you focus on other parts of the move. Finally, remember, that happy pets on moving day mean happier people!

Do you have any other tips or suggestions for moving with pets? Let us know in the comments!

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