Moving from one state to another is stressful enough for adults and children. Often pets are doubly confused. Your home may be the only world they've known. They don't understand why you're leaving or if you're coming back. Boxes are piling up and moving people, family and friends are everywhere. This may increase your pet's anxiety and find them to act out or run away more than usual.
We've compiled five of the best expert tips for moving cross-country with your pet.
1. Prepare Yourself for the Move
We love this one from the New York Times. Often pets pick up on their own frazzled, sad, or angry emotions. If you're frantically sorting boxes or searching for items, your pet will feel equally frustrated.
If this move is causing you stress, take time to slow down and do something you love. Remember, this is temporary. Whether it's an upgrade or a downsize, you're going to love your new home.
2. Put Them in a Quiet Room
All the boxes, shifting furniture and people are disorienting. On top of that, the front door may be propped open for extended periods. Put your pet in a room as far from the commotion as possible. If they're prone to gnawing or scratching, put them in a crate and play some white noise, pleasant music, or a TV program they'll associate with you to ease the stress.
3. Acclimate Your Pet to Their Carrier
If your pet is afraid of the carrier they'll travel in, leave it out in the room for a few weeks before your move. They can walk in and out of it on their own and know that it's not a trap. Put some treats and a blanket they love in there. Help them make positive associations with that safe traveling crate.
4. Assess the New Surroundings
If you're moving cross country, you may encounter unfamiliar hazards like:
- Poisonous plants
- Feral animals
- Busy streets close to your home
- Rat traps or bug-control pellets
You know your pet best and what may be a risk to them. Inspecting for hazards will help you prepare for their safe arrival.
5. Let Them Adjust Slowly
Don't give your pets a whole new world to explore all at once. Instead, start them in one room like a laundry room or bathroom with food, water, a bed, and a litter box (if applicable). Spend a few hours with them there. Then introduce them to the rest of their new home.
For more tips on moving, buying, and selling your home, follow our blog.