Whether you’re moving to a different street, different state or different country – your pets will likely travel along with you. Aside from the hassles that come with moving, you’ll need to consider how you move your pet safely and as stress-free as possible. Here are a few handy things you need to know for when it comes time to move with your pets.

  1. The move will be very stressful for them (and especially for cats)

While some pets may find moving to a new location exciting, it is generally a very stressful period of time. Cats especially can find it very difficult to move as they tend to become accustomed and attached to a certain location. Dogs may also appear stressed as they are unsure what is happening and might not like the change in their regular routine.

  1. Pack over a long period instead of the night before

One way you can reduce your pet’s stress levels is to start sorting your belongings over a week, instead of overnight. They will register that the packing is fairly normal and won’t be alarmed about a sudden change in routine or location.

  1. Let them get used to being taken in a carrier

Pets generally don’t like being taken in carriers as it means they will be going somewhere unfamiliar. Try getting them used to the carrier by placing treats, blankets or their favorite toy inside. Do this over the week leading up to the big move day for a less stressful encounter with the carrier. This is an essential for when you’re travelling with a cat, as they tend to dislike cars and carriers more than other animals.

  1. If you have a cat, make sure to constantly talk to them while you travel

If you’ve ever been to the vet with your cat, you’ll know just how much they howl in the car. Their meowing and howling occur because they’re scared, and they also tend to get sick with motion. Therefore, make sure you constantly chat and reassure them to keep them calm.

  1. Keep them in a closed space on the day you move

While you’re moving furniture and all your possessions, it’s important that your pet is kept in a safe, enclosed, and quiet space. Not only to keep them less stressed, but to also prevent them from running away and getting lost. Cats will try to hide in a secret location and be hard to find, so be sure to keep them in a closed room. When you eventually get to your new home, allocate a specific room for your cat to stay in to get used to the new surroundings. It will be a few days before you should let them out of the room to explore the rest of the house.

  1. Keep their routines the same

By maintaining their regular routine, your pets will find the new home environment less strange and should acclimatize easier. For all types of pets, make sure they continue their regular diet.

For dogs, keep the complexity and length of walks the same. For example, if they are used to 1 hour walks every day around the neighborhood, continue this in your new area. A benefit of this is that they will familiarize themselves with the new location and meet some of the local dogs along the way.

  1. Make sure they have plenty of water and are kept in a cool temperature

There are some pets which are more endangered by fluctuating or high temperatures than others. Rabbits, reptiles and birds cannot tolerate heat, so effort should be made to keep them at a consistent temperature. Ensure their cage is well ventilated and that they have easy access to water.

  1. Make sure their favorite toy is easily on hand

For a cat, it may be a toy sprayed in catnip, and for a dog it may be their favorite squeaky toy. Whatever it is, make sure it’s easily accessible to give them if they look nervous or scared.

  1. Talk to your vet

Your vet may be able to recommend special techniques to make the trip a little less stressful for your pet, and for you. In extreme cases, they may recommend some medication to relax them or even put them to sleep completely. Of course, medication is likely a last resort and other methods should be attempted first.

  1. Make sure to find your new vet

If you’re moving to a completely different neighborhood, you will need to find a new vet. This is especially important in the first few weeks, as your pet could become sick or lost in the new area. Your current vet will be able to make recommendations based on your pet, your budget and location.

Moving to a new house can be a very stressful time for you, but be sure to think of your smaller furry, feathery, or scaly friend. Just remember that they don’t have a clue what’s going on, and anything you can do to make it less stressful will be a stress off you too.