6 Things Your Pet Needs to Settle into a New Home

by Jessica Brody

Photo via Rawpixel

Moving can be a stressful experience for humans, and pets are often equally as anxious. But just like their people, dogs and cats can adapt and settle into a new home in a short period. To help ease the transition, here are six things your pet needs.

Local Connections in Your New Place

Your pup may not be heading out on playdates before your move, but knowing what pet-friendly amenities are available in your new neighborhood or city can help you plan, especially if you're moving long distance and still have to concentrate on finding a home and employment. You can connect with the local resources so that you know where to find pet clinics, local programs, and resources for keeping your dog healthy. Plus, if your pet gets lost, you’ll know where to start looking.

You should also find a new veterinarian before moving, experts say. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends finding a new veterinarian by asking other pet parents for recommendations – or seeking a referral from your current clinic.  

A Pet Sitter for Moving Day

Keeping your pet calm, happy, and out of the way can be challenging come moving day. To reduce stressors while you’re packing boxes and directing movers, consider finding a pet sitter. Hire a pet sitter who offers the services you need – whether walking only or in-home kitty sitting – at an affordable price. But also consider their level of experience and the type of pets they’re comfortable and knowledgeable about.

Plenty of Treats

Especially if your pup is a bit territorial, having moving people in and around the house – whether new or old – can be tough. But fearful pets can also become anxious or rambunctious with lots of boxes and things moving around. One way to encourage good behavior is by rewarding your canine with healthy treats. Selecting treats with high-quality ingredients and good reviews is a safe bet – even for picky pups.

Updated Tags

Part of your advance planning should include updating your pet’s ID tags. Fortunately, you can stop by nearly any pet store to get new engraved tags. Ordering online is also an option so you can have your pet’s updated tags ready for moving day. Choosing the right pet tag that won’t annoy your furry friend but will keep them safe is a smart moving prep step. Microchipping is another option that helps add another layer of protection for your pet. Even if their collar breaks or falls off, a microchip with up-to-date information can help them make it back home.

A Comfortable Sleeping Spot

Whether your pet spends the day with a friend or dog sitter, they need a safe and comfortable place to rest. If your pet isn’t already crate trained, start working toward crate comfort before the move. Even older dogs can learn to see their kennels as a safe place. And it’s never too late to begin acclimating them to a properly sized crate.

Pet-Proofing Prep

Even the most well-behaved pets can sometimes snack on something unsafe – or chew on a cord or other household items. Before you introduce your dog or cat to your new home, be sure to remove all hazards. That includes power cords, convenience foods that are unhealthy for animals, and even cleaning products. As the Humane Society of the United States explains, cleaning solutions with alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and phenols can be harmful.

Keeping emergency vet information on hand is also smart, and you can also download the Animal Poison Control Center app for further reference. Then, if your pet ingests anything questionable, you’ll be prepared.

Moving to a new place with your pet can be both exciting and worry-inducing. After all, change can be tough – and so can orchestrating a move with furry friends underfoot. But with the right preparation, you and your pets can enjoy the adventure together.


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