When you’re moving, it doesn’t take long for the furriest member of your family to know somethings up. Pets see boxes assembled, maybe a tinge of stress in the air, and they know. A move uproots their territory. It’s a den they’ve learned to serve and protect. Moves are a lot harder on pets than we think. Luckily, there are some things we can do to help ease this transition. Here are some tips for making a move easier with pets:

  1. Get them used to the supplies… before you start packing

There’s nothing inherently intimidating about a cardboard box and a roll of duct tape. Does that matter? Not really. The sight of mysterious new artifacts can be alarming to your pet. Letting these items sit and become part of the space for a few days can be a huge help. Your pet will take their time sniffing the items and making sure that they’re safe for their family. Let these supplies sit in the corner of your living room for a day or two… before you actually start packing. Do the same thing with any suitcases you may use. If you’re a frequent traveler, your pets already associate suitcases with “my family is leaving”. Letting these items become part of your regular space proves to your pet that these objects don’t mean something bad is going to happen.  Then they’ll be much less anxious on actual moving day. 

  1. Keep a routine (as much as you can) 

Moving time means go-time. It’s easy to get lost in your to-do list and find yourself awake at 1 in the morning sorting through cabinets. Or skipping meals because you’re really on a roll. That’s totally fine! I’m definitely a proponent of getting things done when you have the motivation. Crossing things off the to-do list can be addicting. But as much as possible, try not to let your change of pace throw off the routine you have with your animal. If you’re accustomed to taking Fido for a walk around lunchtime, don’t skip it just because you’re in a workflow state. Make sure you feed them on their regular schedule… and get a good night’s sleep yourself! Humans may bounce back from a change in routine easier than dogs. But it’s going to be so much easier on yourself if you’re eating and sleeping normally too.  

  1. Find a place for them to go on moving day 

So many people are going to be in and out of your home on moving day. Movers, family, and friends will be lending a hand. Doors will be left open for long periods of time, making it easier for pets to escape. Even the most loyal animal who’s never darted out an open door is a risk here. They may feel so uncomfortable that they’re inclined to bolt for the first time.

Before the bustle really gets started, take them to a family or friend’s house for the day. Ideally, it’ll be a place they’ve spent some time in before and feel comfortable. Boarding them for the day is always a strong option too. If neither of these is an option, set up space in your home away from the chaos. Take their favorite blanket and toys into the laundry room, their kennel, or even the backyard (if it’s secure!). Anywhere that they can have their own defined quiet space is good.

  1. Talk To Your Vet  

If your animal is especially anxiety-prone, talk to your vet about anxiety reduction options. Trazodone is a popular, mild, and safe prescription for dogs. It’s commonly used for animals who have a lot of fear when going for their yearly vet check-up. But it can be beneficial for life events like moving too.

  1. Give them lots of love exercise, love, and attention 

A sleepy dog is a chill dog. Lots of exercise is a great way to keep your pet from becoming hyperactive with the energy of the move. Start giving them a little extra exercise each day, a week before your big day. Their (seemingly endless) energy stores will be much lower once moving day comes around.

Making sure your pet feels your love and affection on moving-day will also help. Don’t let affection be an afterthought. Take time to give them lots of pets, treats, and “good boy” praise

Best Places In Madison To Socialize With Your Pet

Once you’re settled into your new home, you can enjoy your new neighborhood with your best friend. Madison is a very pet-friendly city. If you’re new in town, here are the best places to take your pet.  

Best Dog Parks In Madison 

Sycamore Park Dog Park 

Lots of wide, open space for both you (and your dog!) to get a good workout.

Warner Park Dog Park 

A very popular park with lots of shade and a waterfront. 

Brittingham Park Dog Park 

This lake has beautiful views of Lake Monona. It’s well-lit at night, making it a great option for dog owners who work late.

Walnut Grove Park Dog Park 

A strong community of dog owners gathers at Walnut Grove. They’ve even organized a Facebook page and hold gatherings and events. 

Best Dog-Friendly Patios In Madison

Argus BarGrille

Easygoing, tasty bar bites, pool, live music, and a great patio for taking in Main Street bustle. 

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The Boathouse 

Lakeside patio dining located in the historic Langdon Building. The menu features authentic Wisconsin favorites. 

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Tip Top Tavern 

A warm, welcoming neighborhood community watering hole with a vintage vibe.

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Green Owl Cafe

Vegan/vegetarian cafe with a creative, rotating menu and a rustic feel. 

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Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. 

A go-to spot for the craft beer lover. Home to a patio that’s suitable even for the largest breeds.

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For more tips or local recommendations, feel free to reach out.