Moving is always a time of high stress. Not only are sweeping changes coming to your life, but there’s so much to do – often with too little time – and things can go from smooth to disaster in a moment. As bad as it is for people, it’s worse for pets; except for young children, most humans basically understand what’s happening and can look forward to the end of the process relatively soon. Once you’ve chosen the best Omaha movers, you should give some thought to how to safely move your pets with as little stress to them as possible. Here’s 3 tricks to make a move easier on domestic animals.

Be Prepared Before You Move

If you use a crate, make sure they are used to it before using one for stressful situations. Same with riding in the vehicle; in both cases, familiarize them with the method by using it during “happy” moments, like a treat or taking a dog to a park. Once an animal associates something with a stressful event, such as going to the vet, they’ll never be comfortable.

Take short rides in your vehicle with them. Cats have a much harder time with all this than dogs – dogs are more adaptable and will quickly build up positive associations with fun activities. Cats are just conservative by nature and strongly dislike change, but even a small amount of effort should significantly decrease their anxiety. Also consider walking your dog by your new home so they will be familiar with the area and especially the smells around it.

Move the Pets Last

During packing and moving out, keep the pets in a quiet room. Make sure everyone knows not to open the door or put up a sign – this is a bad time for them to get out! Put whatever they need in that room, including any toys or blankets they treasure along with food and water. Check on them often, which will reassure them that you’re still together and is instrumental to keeping pets calm.

They should be the last thing you take out of your old home. When you do, vets recommend keeping them with you; their lives center around you and your presence is the best gift you can give them. Keep them in their crate or safely in the back seat during the move.

After Moving Pets

Use the same approach you used for moving out – let them get used to one room first, stocked with everything of theirs from the last room. Again, mark the door so no one opens it. After a day or two, let them start exploring, and (if possible) stay nearby as they do to let them know the team is still together. However, if your cat hides for a few days, this is normal; just check on them, make sure they have access to water and food, and assure them they aren’t alone.

If their stress levels aren’t going down, consider using a calming pheromone dispenser. Some pets respond very positively to them, but this varies – some don’t seem affected at all. Top Omaha movers find that customers taking these steps have better outcomes for their pets, and that’s one less thing you need to worry about.