Preparing Your Pet for a Move

Posted August 2, 2022 in Moving

Pet owners typically have to take more steps than those without pets when it comes to planning and executing a move. Regardless of the type of pet you have, moves can be very stressful and can lead to adverse behavior you may not expect from your pet like howling, growling, hissing, hiding under furniture, or having accidents in the house. Of course, you don’t mean to stress your furry friend, but change can be very difficult, and it’s up to you to ease their stress and let them know that while they are in a new environment, they are perfectly safe. That’s why it’s essential to prepare your pet before you move.

Many people don’t know what to do with pets when moving. Luckily, the storage pros at Premium Spaces have a few tips to help ease your pet’s anxiety and avoid problematic behaviors in the process.

How To Minimize Your Pet’s Anxiety During a Move

Owners of cats and dogs understand that any change can be very stressful for their pets. While cats and dogs can share similar behaviors, there are some slightly different steps you’ll need to take to prepare them for a move.

Tips for Moving With a Cat

Cat tilting head while sitting in a box.

Cats are sometimes territorial beings that don’t love change. They like being in a familiar place where they have a consistent daily routine of lounging around and eating their meals at the same time every day. If you have a cat and have to move, you can take steps to minimize the amount of stress it causes them. Tips we recommend trying to help ease your cat’s anxiety about moving include:

  • Let them play with the moving boxes. There is nothing cats love more than a good box. Let them get comfortable with moving boxes by letting them play or sleep in them.
  • Keep a consistent routine. Continue feeding your cat and changing your cat’s litter the same way before, during, and after the move. The consistency will give them a sense of comfort.
  • Stay consistent on anxiety management. If your cat takes medication for anxiety, staying consistent in providing the medicine can help ease the transition into the new place. Without it, their stress could multiply by not having their medication and adapting to the new environment simultaneously.
  • Keep your cat contained during the move. Get a small carrier for your cat to stay in when traveling to a new place. When the movers are there, it is important to keep your cat safe so they don’t run out of the house because they are frightened. Getting your cat comfortable with the carrier days or weeks prior to moving day is best.
  • Introduce your cat to the new litter box area. As soon as you get to your new home, introduce your cat to the litter box.

Tips for Moving With a Dog

Nervous dog peeking out from under the bed.

Many dogs are very easygoing, but when their routine is disrupted, they will likely start exhibiting some unwanted behaviors. To minimize your dog’s anxiety, here are a few tips you can implement before, during, and after the move to help ease the transition for your pup:

  • Keep the same routine. Dogs are very routine-oriented. If you uproot a dog’s living space and routine on the same day, it can cause them to exhibit anxiety symptoms. Try to feed your dog and take them on walks around the same time every day, even while packing, on moving day, or at the new house.
  • Bring your dog to the new neighborhood. If you are moving to a location close by, you can take your dogs on walks around the new community. Allow them to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood and surrounding area. This will help them feel more comfortable once you move in. Allowing them to sniff to their heart’s content—the way our dogs typically like to explore their world—will also help familiarize themselves with the area’s many scents.
  • Set up a safe space for them on moving day. Moving day can cause a lot of anxiety for dogs. With the extra people in the house, loud noises, and people coming in and out of the house, it is essential to find a safe space to help them stay calm during the moving process. This might be their kennel if your dog has been trained to think of their crate as their safe space

How To Help Your Pets Adjust in Your New Home

Planning a move when you have pets requires extra thought and care, but the work continues when you get into your new home, too. Every animal needs time to acclimate to its new home. Once you’ve settled in, you can take steps to help your pets adjust better. These steps include:

  • Keep your routine consistent. Continue to feed your dogs and give them walks at the same time you usually would.
  • Try anxiety management tools such as a compression vest or medication. Some pets aren’t able to adjust without the help of additional tools. These options include a compression vest, CBD oil, or a prescription anti-anxiety medication from your vet. Whichever option you choose, make sure to be consistent and slowly ease away from this tool as your dog gets more comfortable.
  • Minimize clutter around the home. For cats, it may make sense to keep a few moving boxes around for them to play in as they get adjusted. For dogs, not so much. It’s understandable to want to be intentional when you’re moving into a new place—it’s a fresh start after all—removing a box as soon as you’ve emptied it will free up space in your home for your dog to explore and moves you one step closer to integrating your send with the place, which will be crucial for helping your dog adjust.
  • Give your pet time to sniff around the home and property. Cats and dogs both use their sense of smell to tell them many things about the world around them, which is why it’s especially important to let them sniff around and get familiar with the new scents and gather vital information about their new environment. This process is especially beneficial to dogs.

If you follow these tips and your pet is still struggling to adjust to the new home, consider talking to your vet about the issue. They can provide helpful insight into how to help your animal better adjust.

Ease Your Moving Anxiety With Premium Spaces

We’ve talked a lot about easing stress for your pets, but what about your stress? At Premium Spaces, we have the storage and tools you need to make your move easy. From storage units to moving trucks to packing supplies and more, you’ll have no problem getting the materials you need to start packing your items for their new destination, whether it’s your new home or your new storage unit. You have plenty of unit sizes to choose from, but if you ever need a little guidance, our unit size guide can help. If you’re planning a move to Texas, Louisiana, or South Carolina, stop by a Premium Spaces location to begin the storage rental process today!