Moving With Your Pet

Helping your pet adjust to a new home

Moving With Your Pet

Monday, October 12, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department

Moving is a stressful time for everyone involved, including our pets. Here are some things to help your pet better adjust and enjoy the new home:

  • Try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible before and after the move.
  • Talk to your vet about medications you might need for carsickness or nervousness.
  • On moving day, confine your pet to one room or take him to a place where your pet feels safe. This might be a friend’s or relative’s house. A nervous or anxious pet may sneak out an open door. It’s very hard to watch your pet, pack and move furniture all at the same time.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing tags with your new address and phone number in case of escape.
  • Gather everything your pet will need for the move, such as food, a leash, bedding, medical records, water, and toys. Have these items readily accessible for when you arrive at the new home. It’s a good idea not to wash the bedding, as familiar smells will comfort your pet.
  • Move any small animals, like birds or hamsters, in their cage covered with a piece of fabric. Remove anything that might come loose and harm your pet during transport.
  • If you can, try to unpack and settle in a bit before bringing your pet to the new home. If you’re relaxed when your pets arrive, you’ll have more time to focus on their transition.
  • For dogs: Set up a crate or bed to give them familiar place in the home. Allow your dogs to explore on their own with friendly encouragement. Walking them around the yard and neighborhood on a leash will allow them to get familiar with the new sights and sounds. Moving to a new home can be stressful. The transition may cause a few potty accidents in the house. Help your dogs by providing a housetraining review. Dogs do well with routine so keeping things as normal as possible will ease the transition. 
  • For cats: Have a safe room for your cats to relax in. Provide them with access to food, water and a litter box. Giving your cats a safe room will allow them to adjust to new surroundings. Spend time each day playing with your cats to help them get used to the new environment. When they seem more relaxed, slowly allow them access to more of the house. Sit quietly while they explore.
  • If your cat has previously been let outdoors, this is a great time to make him an indoor-only pet. He will live a longer and healthier life.
  • With a little patience, understanding and love, your pet will adjust in no time.

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