7 Mistakes to Avoid While Moving with a Pet

A family who is moving with a pet.

It’s safe to say that moving to a new place is just as nerve-racking as it is fun for most people.

A new home can usually mark a feeling of positivity and excitement, a fresh start somewhere new. However, our pets don’t see it that way.

Moving to a new place is confusing and sometimes even traumatic for your pet, whether it be a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, reptile, etc. This is because most pets need routine and familiarity. Once a familiar environment and way of life is established, it becomes difficult for them to get adjust and become socialized to something new.

Unfortunately, pet owners either forget this fact or completely overlook it, resulting in their pets becoming extremely stressed out without their owners realizing why.

It’s crucial to learn how to effectively prep and guide your pet through the moving process and how to adjust. To get some tips on doing this, keep reading and learn about some of the most common mistakes to avoid while moving with your fluffy, feathery, or scaly friends.

Keeping Them Around During the Moving Process

Moving can be a messy and downright chaotic process. Therefore, it isn’t hard for pet owners to overlook their animal friends. If free to roam around during this process openly, it can be easy for a dog, cat, or smaller pet to get into some trouble, whether that be getting lost in the mess of the room or running the risk of something accidentally falling on them. To prevent these issues from occurring, you have to put your pets somewhere safe.

Dogs should preferably be kept in either sleeping boards or at a trusted friend or family member’s house. Anywhere that isn’t near the hustle and bustle of moving.

Cats and smaller pets, on the other hand, should ideally be kept in a separate, less busy room or part of the house. Rodents, birds, and reptiles should also be kept in their cages or tanks to ensure they stay safe and don’t get overwhelmed.

Washing Their Things Before Moving

The next mistake you could make is washing your pet’s things before moving. Washing off a toy, bed, blanket, litter box, or feeding bowl’s familiar scent can cause your pet a great deal of distress and anxiety when they’re placed into their new setting.

This is because pets thrive off of familiarity. So the smell of something familiar to them, such as their old home on their things, can help adjust them to their new environment.

Don’t wash your pet’s things before a move. Instead, let the scent stay on their things for as long as possible.

It would help if you also wait to pack your pet’s things last so they’ll feel even more comfortable as you’re preparing to move and can have more moments with their things in their old environment before they move to their new place.

Failure to Establish a Safe Room

Another big mistake you can make while moving with a pet is changing your pet’s setup too much. Instead, try to create a safe room for your pet to roam before spreading their things around.

In the case of cats, you’re going to want to put all of their things into a single room before moving them to different areas of the house. This will give them a special room where they can establish a sense of comfortability and become more at ease when exploring other areas of the house.

You should arrange your dog’s setup in areas similar to where they were in their old house. For example, if their crate was in the living room, it should be in the new house’s living room.

Completely Changing Their Routine

Pets of all species thrive off of routine and typically prefer their routines to stay intact. If they’re fed at 7 a.m., this should stay the same. If they’re usually walked at 8 a.m., you should continue to do this.

Switching up a pet’s routine can significantly confuse and distress them, even more so after a big move. When moving with a pet, try to keep their schedules as stagnant as possible to keep them happy and comfortable in their new environment. Also keep an eye on their behavior and know the signs of a stressed lizard or dog.

Failing to Pet-Proof Your New Home

A new home means new potential ways for your pet to get hurt. Therefore, it will be important for you to pet-proof your house as you see fit.

Cats, dogs, rodents, and reptiles should be kept away from anything breakable, medicines, chemicals, cords/wires, trash bins, food cabinets, poisonous plants, open windows/doors, and open washers/dryers.

Cats should also be provided scratching posts and toys to keep them from scratching up any furniture, while dogs should be given plenty of toys to keep them busy from chewing up anything unwanted.

Birds, rodents, and reptiles should be kept in a cage or tank when alone or correctly supervised by you.

Failing to Calm Pets Down Before and After Moving

Whether you know it or not, your pets can typically sense when there’s about to be a big change before it even happens. This is especially true with dogs and cats. They notice when things start to change, both because of the emotions and energy you give off and the very obvious boxes piling up in the corner.

This sense of change can make your pets just as nervous as you are; however, unlike you, they don’t know what this change will entail. Therefore, it will be important for you to check up on and calm your pet during these moments of anxiety they may feel.

Please stop what you’re doing and take some time to sit and talk to them gently. Play with them and make them feel as if everything will be okay. This can help your animal cope in all the right ways, both before and after moving.

Summary

Moving is a life-changing event, not only for you but also for your animal friends.

Remember, it’s important to show your pets a lot of love and understanding during this stressful process. Cater to their needs and observe how they adjust to their new environment. These creatures of familiarity and routine will have their lives completely turned on their heads and will need help getting through this confusing and anxiety-ridden time.  Even though it may seem stressful at first, this big change will become the new normal one day.

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