A dog in a car

Take the Stress Out of Moving with Your Pet

Wherever you go, your furry friends will surely be along for the ride. For many people, their pets are like their children. And just like children, sometimes our lovable companions can be a handful, especially during a stressful event that shakes up their routine such as a move. Moving is difficult enough when you do not have to worry about how your pets will handle it, but when you have their needs to consider, it is worth remembering that as stressful as moving is for us as human beings who understand what is going on, things are even more confusing for our animals. So, what can you do to help your pets feel calm and at ease during the moving experience?  

If you live within a reasonable distance of where you are moving to, and your pet handles car rides well, try packing them up in the car and taking them on a little trip to the new property. Do this a few times so your pet becomes used to the drive, and the scenery becomes familiar to them. Animals are easily stressed out in unfamiliar situations, so creating a sense of familiarity will help ease their nerves. If possible, see if you can even bring them inside the new place so they can form good associations with their new surroundings.  

CBD is all the rage right now. Many companies even make CBD treats specifically for animals. The calming effects of CBD can naturally and harmlessly lull your four-legged friend into a state of calm bliss. Give them the recommended dose on the packaging about an hour before hitting the road, and they will simply curl up in the seat and take a power nap. If you are wary of CBD being new to the market, you can also ask your vet about a calming medication that you can get just for the time of your move. Many people give their pets medication to keep them calm on long car rides, trips to the vet, visits to the groomer, etc., so you can certainly feel confident that anything your vet would prescribe would be safe for your furry friend to consume. As with any medication, be sure to follow your vet’s instructions when giving it to your pet.  

Another technique to help ease your pet’s nerves during the moving experience is to surround them with items that have both their scent and yours. Animals have incredible senses of smell, which plays a huge part in how they relate to their surroundings and recognize familiar places, items, animals, and people. Your pet will feel at ease if they know you are close by, so in addition to their own pet bed, blankets, and toys, put a sweater or blanket that has your scent on it in the area of the vehicle your pet will be riding in. This will help remind them that you are right there with them while you are too focused on driving to actively give them attention. If possible, put some of their items in the new living space before the big move. That way, when they arrive, they will already be welcomed into this new place by familiar sights and smells. When it comes to animals, home is where the smell is.  

If you want a surefire way to calm your pet down before a big move, have a rigorous play session with them before you leave. Playing with your pets until they are tired will increase the likelihood of them laying down in the car and taking a long nap while you drive. Getting out your pet’s excess energy will reduce their nervous jitters during the trip. How much playtime you need to carve out will depend on your pet’s individual personality and energy level, but a good half hour to an hour of playtime will typically be enough to tire them out. Additionally, giving them a toy to keep them mentally preoccupied while in the car will give them an outlet for their anxiety if they do start to get worked up during the moving process. Many animals relieve stress by chewing or licking, so be sure to provide them with their favorite toy to focus on instead of the hustle and bustle of the move.