Moving to a new home is stressful. From the moment you decide to move to the last unpacked
box, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of unknowns for you and your family. You may not
realize that your pet can feel this stress, too, and moving to a new environment is a tough
adjustment for them.
Moving your furry friend should never be an afterthought. The good news is that you can
prepare your pet and your new home for the move to help keep everyone in your family safe.
1. Choose a Home with Your Pet In Mind
Before you sign a lease or mortgage, ask yourself if your new home is suitable for your pet. The
house doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should be prepared to accommodate your pet’s needs
regardless of the housing situation.
If you’re moving to Florida with a husky from Michigan, you should consider how that will impact
your daily routine. If you love an afternoon walk, the heat and humidity may have you enjoying a
sunrise stroll every morning instead.
Similarly, you may not need a big yard for your pet if you’re open to weekend hikes and an extra
walk each day. You should be realistic about what you’re willing to change in your routine and
what your pet needs to stay happy and healthy.
2. Reinforce Basic Obedience
Moving homes introduces a lot of change to your pet’s routine, and they may react unpredictably
during a move and for the first few weeks after settling in. Well before you pack your truck, work
with your dog to reinforce basic obedience.
A reliable recall will be especially important in a new environment and in case your dog gets out
during the moving chaos. “Sit,” “down”, and “place” will keep them in control during walks and
help them relax at home. Practicing your obedience will also build your bond and encourage
both of you to de-stress.
3. Stick to a Routine
Routine is important to everyone in your family’s comfort. It’s especially beneficial for pets that
you can’t easily communicate the change with. Sticking to your play and feeding schedules
provides security and will help your pet acclimate to their new home.
4. Provide a Safe Space
Start small and give your pet a dedicated space for them to decompress in the new house.
Some pets will warm up right away, while others may take weeks to feel fully comfortable
exploring the house. Follow each of your pet’s individual leads to know what they are and aren’t
If you can, keep items like litter boxes and food bowls in the same room they were in your last
house to reduce the number of changes and keep things familiar.
5. Play With Your Pets
Before, during, and after your move, it’s important to play with your pet regularly. Play builds
your bond and allows your pet to release some energy and de-stress. While you may want
nothing more than to take a nap, a little fun with your pet will benefit you, too.
Of course, moving is physically exhausting. Plan ahead and prepare puzzle toys, frozen treats,
and other mental enrichment games for your pet. This way they can relax with a treat while you
kick back after a busy moving day.
Moving can be hard on everyone, but it’s also an exciting opportunity for your family. Include
your pet in your planning to prioritize their health and safety so your whole family can enjoy your