The Commonwealth at York

Stress-Free Moving With Your Pet

May 9, 2019 | News & Events

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Happy puppy sitting on a patio chair in the Commonwealth at York courtyard.

While a move to a new home can be exciting and joyful, it can also be one of the most stressful life experiences you can have. Somewhere, in between packing, planning and executing a move, it’s important to remember that moving is equally as stressful for your pets and to take steps to help to reduce their stress.

Even the most easygoing pet can find the transition to a new home to be difficult and frightening. New smells and sounds, changes to their routine and new neighboring pets can all be alarming to pets, at first. Taking steps to minimize their anxiety from the moment you begin packing can go a long way to help them to ease into change and find their comfort zone.

Here are a few ways to help your pet have a stress-free move!

Before You Move
Pets are highly sensitive to change, and the packing process can be confusing and even frightening for them. As you begin to box up your home, make sure to keep the process inclusive and comfortable for your pet. Let your dog or cat sniff around the boxes and try not to shush them away or put them in crates or carriers, away from you. Keep their favorite toys, blankets and even treats around while you pack, and consider leaving one room entirely without boxes to give them a safe space to relax. Take out your cat carriers a few days before you move, and place toys, treats and their favorite blankets inside to help them get comfortable and relax.

Moving Day
Plan ahead to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety on moving day, and your pet will transition more smoothly and faster. Cat owners may want to consider taking their felines to a friend’s house, or closing them off in a quiet, cozy space while movers are in and out of the house. If you can’t close them off or take them somewhere, consider bringing them to your new apartment first and closing them off in a bathroom with litter box, food and water, treats, toys and bedding, so that they are safe and secure and have everything they need to find comfort during the move. Dogs will need to be walked and fed on a fairly regular schedule, so it may be worth boarding them or making sure to have a friend or neighbor help out with giving them the love and attention they need during the move. No matter what, make sure your pets have on updated collars before you leave the house, in case they become frightened and run away.

Adjusting to a New Apartment
Once your movers have left and it’s time to start unpacking and making your new apartment a home, begin by transitioning your pets into the space by getting them right back on their regular routine. If you’ve closed cats off during the move, give them a day or two to acclimate before letting them run free throughout the apartment. Consider letting them roam one room at a time, as they adjust, and don’t make any sudden changes to the placement of their litter box or food. Take your dog out for extra walks and let them sniff the neighborhood out and explore their new surroundings, and remember that the more exercise they get, the better they will feel. Give extra love and attention to your pets for the first few weeks in your new home, and consider giving them extra treats, a new toy or a fluffy new blanket to help sweeten their new space.