Moving can be a challenge. The upheaval of packing, preparing our old and new home, the move itself: we can feel stressed and exhausted from the entire task – and so can our pets. 

There are steps we can take before, during and after the move to make our pets feel as comfortable as possible and make the transition from old home to new one easier. Here are some tips.

1. Move your home before your pet: The best tip for moving your pets? Move your belongings and unpack before introducing them to the new home. Our pets become so familiar and comfortable with what they like and don’t like in their environment that having familiar things in the new space will help them adjust. If your new home is full of boxes, they may feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Make the space welcoming by adding some of their favourite furniture or other spots to sleep and have their familiar toys available. 

2. Place familiar objects in familiar places: Placing familiar objects like couches and coffee tables or toy bins and dog beds in similar places to the old home can help them make the connection that this new space is home. The less upheaval there is in the new home, the easier it will be for them to relax. 

3. Pet proof your home: Check the yard or balcony for anything that may harm your pets, including poisonous plants, broken fences, gaps in railings or dangerous objects, and remove them as soon as possible. 

Inside, check that there aren’t any sharp materials on the floor or spaces they may be curious to explore that can trap them or otherwise harm them.

4. Update your pet’s info: Update any tags with the municipality and contact a local veterinarian to see if they can take a new patient (if you’re moving too far away from your current vet). 

5. Patience is key: Although you may not think the move will take a toll on your pets, remember the change is just as disruptive for them as it is for you and your family. It takes our pets time to adjust to a new environment, so you may find them more anxious or clingy. Let them explore their new environment at their own pace, be encouraging and give them lots of attention to help them adjust.