Moving with Dogs and Cats: How to Take the Stress off You and Them

Moving with dogs and cats adds a whole new layer of stress. Here’s how to do it right:

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you have at least one pet, and the odds are pretty good they’re the furry four-legged kind. Dogs and cats might not be aware that you are moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or what those boxes mean, but they can pick up on your stress, and they definitely notice the changes happening in the household. it’s safe to say that the change in environment can be tough. For today, we’ll focus just on the most common household pets: dogs and cats. Ask any pet owner who’s tried sleeping in past breakfast time, or tried to relax during walk time, and they’ll tell you that dogs and cats are creatures of routine. Add to that the fact that dogs, and perhaps cats, are extremely sensitive to change. They know that boxes don’t belong in the middle of the living room. They can intuitively feel your stress. You can’t do a whole lot about the boxes in the living room, unless of course, you have us pack for you. You can mitigate the stress by hiring a good moving company and having them do as much of the work as possible, but you can’t eliminate it. Your life is changing. No matter how prepared you are, it’s stressful, and your dogs and cats will pick up on your feelings.

Keep their routines

Try to feed your pets and walk your dogs at the same times as usual. It’s also important that you keep their feeding dishes in the same spot and make sure they’re always unobstructed. Don’t forget to check their water bowls more regularly than usual since stress can cause dehydration. Walk your dogs on a regular schedule. It will help keep you sane as well. Take some time every day to play with your cats. As much as possible, act like you aren’t moving, right up until moving day.

Take them to the vet

Take your pets to their vet to update their shots and have a checkup to ensure they’re ready for a potentially long road trip. Ask about medications (or alternatives) if your pet suffers from anxiety. If you don’t know if your pet has car anxiety, take a practice trip or two.

Hire a dog walker or board them

If you have a dog walker that your dog(s) knows, now is not the time to cancel them. A dog walker can help your dog feel as though its routine is unencumbered. It’s very important that your pets are safely out of the way on moving day. If they’re used to crates, that’s one option. They might prefer to spend time with a dog walker and other dogs. Please crate cats to keep them from running out of the house.