Moving takes a toll physically and emotionally on all of us. Not only is the process itself exhausting, but finding yourself in a new environment can force an uncomfortable adjustment period. The same goes for pets, and communicating the change as a positive to them can be difficult.
I got my dog when I was still in college and she has made many moves (including cross country) with me over the years. Now that my boyfriend's dog is also part of the equation it's become an even bigger production. In order to make moving as easy a transition as possible, I try to keep the focus on making it a positive experience and taking little steps to help them acclimate. Here are some ideas to make moving easy on your critter friends:
1. If possible, visit the new home and neighborhood with them prior to moving in, allowing them plenty of time to sniff around and familiarize themselves with it.
2. Try to avoid having them present for the final packing stages and when everything is taken out. I started leaving my pup with a friend on the actual moving day because watching everything being carried out would send her into a near panic.
3. Pack their toys, bowls and bed separately and put them out before you bring the dog in. Being able to quickly identify their things amongst the boxes puts them at ease and signifies that they are at home.
4. Bribe them. Our go-to strategy is to buy a few new toys and something for the dogs to chew on, in order to distract them, get out some nervous energy and create a positive experience. We bring out the new toys almost immediately after walking through the door.
5. Tire them out. Once your dogs have spent a bit of time exploring their new surroundings, take them for a good long walk around the neighborhood to burn off some of their nervous energy and help them relax when they get back to their new home.
What are your best tips for moving with pets? Please share below!
(Image: Kim Lucian/Kim's Before Photos: Work in Progress Bedroom)