Moving can be stressful for every member of the family, including your pets. It would be nice if you could explain to your pets exactly what is going to happen, but unless you find some magical way to speak their language, the best you can do is remain as calm as possible and try to keep your routine consistent. According to many animal behaviorists, these are the best strategies to help your animal cope with moving.
Your Pet Can Detect Your Mood
Animals are intuitive creatures. When they live with you long enough, they can tell if you are happy, sad, stressed or anxious. Many pets take on the mood of their owners, especially during stressful times. As you are planning your move, be sure to give your dog, cat or other pet the same amount of attention that he or she is accustomed to. If you are feeling stressed about the upcoming move, wait until you have had the chance to unwind before approaching your pet. The last thing you need to deal with when you are moving is unexpected behavior issues.
Consistency is Key
When you first get to your new home, allow your animal plenty of time to investigate his or her new surroundings. Both dogs and cats will probably sniff everything in sight. If possible, get your pet's personal belongings set up right away. This includes pet furniture, toys and a litter box for cats. You also need to show your dog how to get outside (if you use a "doggie door").
If you walk your dog at a specific time each day, be sure to stick to the same routine in your new surroundings. You should have the same schedule for feeding and grooming that you had at your previous home. It's important to offer your pet plenty of praise as he or she settles into new surroundings.
Bring Your Pet's Favorite Things to Your New Home
It can be tempting to start over with new pet furniture and toys when you move, but this could backfire on you. Pets can feel distressed when they don't recognize familiar sights and smells. This can lead to problem behavior, such as excess barking by dogs, and cats that refuse to use a litter box. You help to keep their lives consistent when you provide them with their favorite things at your new home. It's too much change at one time if you leave your pet's favorite items behind when you move. You can also reduce your pet's stress level by placing items in the same place they were in your last home.