-By Analisa Hurt

Moving is not a quick and easy process. It can be stressful for everyone involved, including pets. With all the packing of boxes, clanging of pots and pans, and shifting around of furniture, your pet can easily become lost in the commotion. We have some helpful tips to keep your furry companion safe during your move. 

Slow and steady is best when it comes to a move.

1. Make an overnight kit to have ready for your pet.

Put together easy access food, treats, toys, and a litter box or poop bags. This way, you have access to all of your pet care supplies while the rest of your things are boxed up.

2. Contact your vet.

If your pet is on medication and you are moving to a new area, make sure you have enough until your next refill with a new vet. If you and your pet will be taking a long road trip or flight, talk to your vet about medications and therapeutic options to reduce your pet’s stress levels during travel.

3. Help reduce stress by keeping your pet away from all the action.

Moving day can be hectic as is, and even more so with a pet running around. It will help both you and your pet if you put her in a quiet room like a bathroom or bedroom. It can also reduce the chance of her running off through the front door while you are coming and going.

4. Prepare your pet for the trip by getting her comfortable with the crate or kennel.

Start by feeding your pet inside the crate with the door open, then after a couple feedings like this, feed her in the crate with the door closed. This way, the crate is a positive area where she gets food, and not as scary.

Cats will benefit from having a “home base” instead of a whole home to explore at first. Gradually allow her to explore further as she becomes comfortable with her new digs.

5. Don’t let your pet out of his kennel until you’re completely inside the new home.

You can prevent the stress and heartbreak of your pet going missing by being extra careful. If you’ve just pulled into the garage of your new home with your dog, wait to let him out of the car until you’ve secured every exit.  Even the most obedient dog can feel overwhelmed by a new home, and run off and get lost.

6. Set up the home as much as possible before bringing your pet there.

Once your pet is there, make it feel like home with familiar items like toys or blankets. If your dog has familiar items around in an unfamiliar area, he will feel a little less overwhelmed.

7. Pet-proof your home.

Make sure to put away any dangerous foods, cleaning items, essential oils or plants that can be toxic to pets. You can find a list of the most common items dangerous to pets on ASPCA.org. Close or cover any nooks and crannies that your pet could get stuck in. Make sure window screens and screen doors are secure. Get to know the layout of your home and prepare an emergency plan for natural disasters. Having a plan when faced with a fire, earthquake, or flood can help you feel prepared.

  • Pro tip: Spray electrical cords with Bitter Apple to deter your pet from chewing them. This works for plants too! You could also use citrus to make inappropriate objects displeasing to your kitty.

8. Update tags and microchips with your new address

Make sure that you change your address with the microchip company by calling or using their website. You can get a new tag through your local animal services. In this area, you can contact Washoe County Animal Services or visit their website.


For more great pet tips and advice, check out our Pet Behavior Help section!

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