How to help your pets adjust to their new home

Categories: Moving

Moving is stressful. Between the buying, selling, packing, and moving in, your move will be full of action. All of the action will not go passively unnoticed by your pets (unless maybe you have an aspiring backpacker puppy with you!). No matter what kind of pet you have, moving can be even more stressful for them than you, because they have no idea what is going on. Here are some tips to help them with the move.

help rabbit bunny hamster mouse adjust to new home

Caged pets (bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, etc.)

If you have an animal in a cage, take extra care. Be sure that the cage is not packed amongst several of your boxes; this could restrict the animal’s air quality. It is best to carry your pet’s cage with you at all times so that you can make sure that the cage remains steady on the drive over and you can try to soothe the animal. When you arrive at your new home, get your caged pet inside and place the cage in an area with similar lighting to the spot they had in your old home.

help dog puppy adjust to new home


Be sure to bring your dog’s favourite toys and snacks to make them feel as happy and content in their new home as possible. Since dogs spend much of their time outside, be sure to introduce them to their surroundings as soon as possible. If you have a backyard, ensure it is secure, and then let your dog explore! If you had a dog house or somewhere special for the dog such as a piece of favourite patio furniture they like to sit on, put that out for your pup to make them more comfortable outside. Also make sure to take your dog for lots of walks; they will love learning the new routes, but be aware that they do not know their surroundings so don’t let them go off leash as they may spook and run, and won’t know their way back to their new home!

help cat kitten kitty adjust to new home


Your cat is likely not used to taking car rides, so a good idea for cats is to put their favourite blanket in a cat carrier, and place the carrier in a secure place in your vehicle where it will not be prone to being knocked over or shaken up. When you get to your new home, leave the cat carrier in an open place in the new home and open the door. Allow your cat to come out when they are ready and leave the carrier there with the door open for a while so that your cat has a safe place to go back to if they feel overwhelmed in their new home.

All pets:

1. Try to give your pet as much of your attention as possible during and following the move. You may be extremely busy, but being comforted by you will mean a lot to your pet during this time.

2. You can’t go wrong with toys and treats. Ease the transition with toys and treats to keep your pet’s mood up.

3. Old comfort items are key. You may be tempted to purge your pet’s dirty old bed as you prepare to move, but hold off. That item smells like home to the pet and may be just the comfort item he or she needs.

Moving long distance? Check out these tips for moving long distance with your pet.