We ended 2020 (and kicked off 2021) with a big change…a new house! After years of saving and planning, we were finally able to get our dogs the fenced in back yard they deserve. You may know already that we’ve moved with Roxanne before – when we moved from New England down here to North Carolina in 2018. So we’ve done the whole “pack up a Uhaul and never look back” thing. And boy, was there a transition period for all of us!
There are a number of things that made this most recent move different for us, including:
1. We have two doggos now
2. We moved from a duplex to a house
3. We were only moving about 20 minutes away from where we lived
Despite all this, there are some core things I’ve learned throughout my moves (fun fact: I’ve moved 10 times in 10 years! Sometimes in the same town, sometimes states away) that still ring true. So today, I wanted to share my tips for moving with pets.
Disclaimer: a couple of these are only relevant if you’re moving someplace relatively close by to where you currently live. Take what works for you, and leave what doesn’t!
Be smart about packing the essentials
Pack your pet essentials together, clearly marked. Regardless of how close or far away you’re moving, things can easily get lost in the shuffle — and you’ll need much of these essentials the first day. For example, you’ll want to know where your dog’s food and water bowls are, any of their medication, poopie bags etc. when packing up your old place, Keep all of these essentials (whatever that may be to you) together, clearly marked, and easily accessible. Your pup will thank you for it!
Keep your pet safe on moving day
There will be a lot happening on moving day (or days, if over a period of time like ours was). People coming in and out, doors left open to lift something large through — and the last thing you’d want is your furry friend slipping out! Consider keeping your pet with a family member or friend for the day while you move, or keep them in a secure area of the house. It’ll likely help keep them calm and less stressed anyway, without all the hustle and bustle happening around them.
Keep a routine
Moving to a new place is exciting for us humans, but can be stressful to our furry friends who aren’t sure what is going on. Keep a routine leading up to and after the move, including feeding time, walk time, bed time etc. They are used to structure, and by maintaining this structure it’ll help to lower their anxiety while helping them still feel safe.
Get them acquainted with the new neighborhood
If you live close enough to where you’ll soon be living, make some quick trips to bring your dog for a walk in the neighborhood. Let them explore and get acclimated to all the sights and smells. They’ll start feeling comfortable with the area and when you officially move in, they’ll know this is their stomping ground (or at least recognize it)!
Understand the transition period
It won’t immediately feel like home to them (we joke that Gracie probably thought we took her to a really cool dog park with no other dogs when we moved in). Let them explore — or not — at their own pace. Just like us humans need some time to make a house feel like a home, so do our pets.
There are many more tips that will make your move a smooth one, but I hope my experience helps! And as always, please reach out at at email@example.com or on Instagram if you have questions or just want to chat.