Start Early and Go Slowly
To minimize moving stress on the front end, Bosley recommends starting early and taking your time, letting your pet explore some of the environmental changes on his own.
“Any box you bring in, let them investigate it,” Bosely says. “Let them climb all around and in the box. Let them put their scent on it and leave it for them for a day or so before using it to pack.”
Don’t overwhelm your pet with too many boxes at once. Once you’ve let them explore one or two boxes, use them to pack, and put the packed boxes aside in just one or two rooms where your pet doesn’t usually spend much time.
Keeping boxes out of your pet’s normal living space prevents him from constantly being reminded that something big is about to happen in his world, Bosley says.
You can also consider laying out your pet’s carrier several weeks ahead of the move, says Brooklyn-based veterinarian Katie Grzyb. For cats, use some catnip or treats to make the carrier a friendly place, rather than forcing them into the carrier the day of the move.
In addition, you can talk to your veterinarian about some holistic options to help keep your pet calm.
“Some cat pheromone sprays and plugins, as well as some natural calming treats, can be the difference between high stress and calm during a move,” Grzyb says.