How to move house with pets

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Moving apartment is a very stressful task for people and pups alike and this particular move was one of the worst for both myself and the pups. Literally everything that could go wrong, went wrong!

Once all the boxes and furniture arrived at the new abode, it looked a lot like “box city” and I had to look after animals in the middle of all the chaos.

Box City

Box City

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MOVE WITHOUT TRAUMATIZING YOUR PETS OR YOURSELF!!!

Be Prepared

Your first task is to make a “safe zone” for the pets. I had given very clear instructions for the movers to not put a single box in bedroom 2 as this was going to be for the animals. We were lucky that we had a second bedroom that could turn into the animal nirvana, but most people will not have that luxury. If that is the case, get a puppy pen, or gate off an area of the house (i.e bathroom or kitchen) that is a chaos/packing box free zone and set up everything needed for your pup.

Before a single human thing was unpacked, I unpacked the box marked “PET ASAP” which I had prepacked with their beds, pee pads, boredom buster toys, favorite treats and pre stuffed kongs. Literally every toy that my dogs loved, or even liked was placed in the room along with approx 10+ flossies, bully sticks, chews, etc. The idea behind this was to create a “fun zone” for the pups so that they enjoyed being in the new environment and were having so much fun with all their toys and food, that they did not notice all the distractions too much.

Prevent Panic

In the “pet room” I also put my phone playing music and used a DAP plug in and collar to try and create a sense of tranquility. Some dogs may need a thunder shirt and composure treats to additionally relax them, but thankfully my two were fine.

You also want to try and exercise your pups as much as possible to keep them in their normal routine and nice and tired. Use this is a great excuse to try out the new local dog park or test new walks.

Not a safe place for animals to be

Not a safe place for animals to be

Post move blues

Moving is stressful, but the more you get out of the house  with your pup the better. Going for walks is a great way to try and relax you both and create excitement about your new life in a new place.  After the initial moving shock, have a glass of wine for yourself and fav treat for your pup to try and both relax in your new environment.  Sit down on the floor and give your pup belly rubs and let them know it is all going to be ok. Dogs feed off of our energy and allowing them to see you relaxed and content will really help your pup unwind some of their moving stress also.

Prepare a Plan B

If it is too much and the stress of moving is getting too overwhelming for either you or your pet,  please send your dog to their favorite pet sitter, daycare facility or “aunty” to allow you the time to organize things safely without adding additional stress to you or your pup.

 



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  1. Cathy Armato

    These are really good tips. We are moving to another state this Summer, but fortunately we already own the house we’re moving in to. It will still be stressful for them with all the boxes and stuff moving, including their stuff! My dogs get stressed out when we pack for vacation, cross country trips, and when things start moving around too much – it makes them nervous.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them

  2. Rachel

    Ack, sorry that things went wrong, even though it sounds like you were very prepared. The Pet ASAP box and having a safe pet zone make perfect sense!

  3. Christine Caplan

    I think this is super important – no one wants to stress their pet out but there needs to be a plan. For example, if your dog is stressed anyway than boxes everywhere are going to be an issue. Perhaps your dog can hang out with a friend for the day? I love your tips – these are crucial and your post should be on Angie’s List!

  4. Amanda Yantos

    Great tips! I’ve moved with my pets a couple of times. Luckily most of them do well with transition and I’ve always had a safe bedroom that they could go into as well. We’re looking to buy a new home and it will be the first time McKenzie Rae and Khloee have moved. I’ll be interested to see how they do, but I’ll be well prepared!

  5. Talent Hounds

    Moving is very stressful for all involved. Great to have tips. We moved a few doors down and Kilo prefers the new house but still tries to attack the new owners and neighbours. Met another friend whose Pug is still traumatised by a recent move

  6. Beth

    These are great tips! We moved around a lot when I was growing up. One of my favorite memories was going from room to room in an empty house with our dogs checking out every corner. Fortunately, we had dogs who took moving in stride and never seemed particularly phased by it.

  7. Miss Molly Says

    Great tips!!! I have moved with my pups before and it was a very stressful event. From them watching all the furniture leave the old house to getting delivered to the new one. One of mine wouldn’t even go into some of the rooms for weeks. It was craziness! Over time, all settled down. hopefully, there are no more moves in the future. I’m not sure who would dread it more – the pups or me LOL!

  8. Robin

    Moving is stressful for everyone involved! I think, as you have mentioned, that preparation is the key to making things go as smoothly as possible. This is a very high anxiety thing for our pets who have no clue what is happening. I have had to move with my kitties twice. My advice is to move the pets last if that is possible. It is best that they have you with them during their first moments in the new home.

  9. Bernard Lima-Chavez

    What a fantastic post about an important topic! City life is different than rural life and, though I’ve lived both, I never really thought about the issue of moving in quite this way. Thanks for opening my eyes!

  10. Lindsay Pevny

    We’re going to be moving in a few months, so this is in great timing! I hadn’t thought of what we’re going to do with our dogs in the process. I really like that you had a safe room for them, I might try the same thing.


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