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10 Tips For Relieving Stress on Pets When Moving to the Beach

Relieving stress on your pets when moving to the beach is important. It can be an exciting time but a huge source of stress for them. From new smells, sounds, and people to adjust to, the journey can take its toll. You may be driving or flying quite a distance which can be hard on you and your fur babies.

Moving from one home to another, no matter how many times you have done it, is a stressful and challenging endeavor. “I love moving and packing,” said no one ever. Even if you’re excited about the move, the process can often be worrisome or overwhelming at some point or another during the moving process.

Imagine how our pets feel during this anxious time! They’re going through the same experience but have no idea what’s happening. They see the things in their home being put into boxes and loaded onto a truck – including THEIR toys and food bowls!

Because you love your pets like family, you want to do everything possible to ease their stress during a move. While you can’t sit them down and explain what’s happening, fortunately, you can take some simple steps to ensure that your pet remains relaxed during the process.

Here are 10 tips for relieving stress on pets when moving to the beach:

1. Familiarize Your Pet with the New Place Before Moving

Familiarizing your pet with your new beach home before moving is the best way to go. Visiting ahead of time is an excellent way for your furry family members to get familiar with the new sights and smells of this unfamiliar environment – especially the beach.

Some pets have never stepped their paws in the sand or visited the ocean. Depending on your pet’s personality, this could be a lot to take in. It could go one of two ways. One, they love it, or two, they shy away and want nothing to do with it.

Regardless of the outcome, this gives your pet enough time to explore and begin acclimating before even considering moving them out of their comfort zone.

If you live out of state and a visit is impossible, put all your conversations with your agent on speakerphone where your pet can hear. That way, your pet can get familiar with their voice. At the very least, there will be a friendly, familiar voice they will recognize when they arrive. It’s better than nothing and does help!

2. During the Packing Process, Maintain Your Pet’s Routine

Keeping your pet’s routine as normal as possible is essential during packing. You will want to keep their daily eating, exercising, playing, and sleeping schedules the same while in the hustle and bustle of moving.

Animals are creatures of habit and don’t like a sudden and drastic change to that routine. Boxes will start to appear, and you might become frantic, throwing items in, slowly reducing the home to emptiness.

There is also a good chance there will be strangers in and out of your home helping you throughout the process. Your pets will know something is up.

The biggest issue, though, is that they will not be able to understand what is happening. That is why one of the best things you can do is to maintain (as much as you can) their regular routine to alleviate the stress they might be feeling.

Doing this can help give them a sense of control, security, and less anxiety during this out-of-control time. Normalcy will help ease them through the transition.

3. Get Your Pet Involved in the Moving Process

a picture of a gray stripped cat inside a moving box full of different color books

Yes, you read that correctly. It may seem strange since your pet can’t tape boxes together or pack the dishes, but they can be integral to the moving process if you let them. Your dog can fetch items you want to put in the box.

This can be playtime to encourage inclusive behavior. Cats love hiding and playing with boxes. You can get as creative as you want here.

Here are a few ideas that can help your pet can be a part of the process:

  • Allow them to explore items that are being moved
  • If there are items you can throw and fetch with, use them
  • Hide treats in totes
  • Reward good behavior when you can
  • Allow them to sit in your lap or next to you while doing a moving task

If you can visit your new beach home before the move, see if there is anything you can take back home with you so they can get used to the smell. Allow them to sleep with it and keep it as their own. 

4. Your Pet’s Belongings Should Be the Last Items to Be Packed

Oh, how our pets love their favorite toys. Not only is it essential to keep your pet’s routine and diet as consistent as possible to reduce their stress, but it also helps to keep those favorite toys, beds, and other comfort items around before the move.

All of it! This will make the transition easier.

As stated, this change will be significant in your pet’s life, so in addition to making their items last on the list to pack, it is recommended that you don’t move their things around the house.

They should stay in the same place until the last minute. If all of a sudden, your pet’s items have been put into one room or scattered throughout your home, the jig is up, and it can begin to cause stress immediately before you even start or finish packing.

a picture of a blue dog bowl with multi colored animal toys around it

Keep the pet’s food bowls, bed, toys, crate, and other daily use items exactly where they are so your pets can find comfort at every turn.

Only pack your pet’s things when you and the whole family are ready to leave and say goodbye to the house.

Reducing your pet’s stress level will help them and you transition more easily from one house to another. Since humans get stressed and anxious, think about what would comfort you when you feel that way. You might come up with something helpful that you didn’t think of before. 

5. Create a Safe Space for Your Pet

Your pet probably already has what they consider a safe place. However, when dealing with a move, we are not only discussing comfort but actual safety. Creating a safe space for your pet during your move is important and may or may not require some planning.

It depends on how much dangerous “stuff” you have around the house that could harm your pet.

Keep the House Clean From Choking Hazards

Many things can accidentally fall on the floor or be left on the floor, which can cause your pet to be curious enough to have it as their mid-morning snack. These items can be a choking hazard or cause severe stomach problems. They can also cut their paws or find other ways to injure themselves.

Moving items that could be hazardous to your fur babies during moving include:

  • Rubberbands
  • Styrofoam
  • Box cutters
  • Bubble wrap
  • Plastic bags
  • Harsh cleaning chemicals
a picture two womens hands pulling bubble wrap, packaging foam, and thread with a pair of plack sissors to the right

Since your entryways will be left open more than usual, make sure your fluffer lover is crated or in a separate closed room during this time to ensure they can’t escape, hurting themselves or others. If you have a secured fenced-in yard, that is an excellent place for them to go if the weather is permissible.

It’s also important to keep dangerous items out of reach, such as cords, wires, medicines, cleaning products, candles, and other objects that could harm them. You would be surprised how much is overlooked when drowning in organizing, packing, and working simultaneously.

6. Use Safe and Natural Stress Relief Remedies

Certain safe and natural remedies exist on the market to help relieve stress for humans and animals. Aromatherapy has been around for ages and can be great for your pet.

Certain aromas have long been used as natural remedies for relaxation in humans – the same goes for animals! Lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood are all known to be calming scents that can help your pet de-stress.

However, not all essential oils are safe for your pet, so check the dos and don’ts before using anything.

You can use Pheromone sprays as well. Many products on the market can help reduce stress levels in pets when moving. These include sprays, calming supplements, and even CBD oil drops, which can help soothe animal anxiety levels. Again check with your vet before introducing something new to your pet’s diet.

7. Music Therapy for Pet Stress

a picture of a small gray kitten on a white blanket laying on it's back with big white music headphones on it's ears

Music Therapy is the clinical & evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals such as wellness and stress relief. Calming music for your pet can significantly reduce stress levels while creating a more relaxed atmosphere.

Soothing songs, such as classical music or nature sounds, have created a relaxing environment for humans and animals alike.

However, if you are moving to the beach, it’s a great idea to use ocean sounds and sounds you would typically hear at the beach. This will make their new home sound more familiar.

8. Schedule Regular Petting, Brushing, and Massage Time

Regular petting, brushing, and massage sessions can help reduce animals’ anxiety by providing them with security and comfort.

Brushing their fur, petting them, and massaging their muscles are all activities that can lead to an increased sense of well-being in animals.
Some pet owners say their pets like it when their nails are trimmed or their ears are cleaned.

If that works for you, great. But if not, let’s avoid those altogether.

Adding extra cuddling time to grooming will release dopamine and keep your pet calm for extended periods. Only mommy and daddy know where their pets love to be rubbed. Some animals respond well to weighted blankets or vests, but you must ensure it is no heavier than 10% of their body weight for safety.

9. New Toys and More Exercise

Your pet likely has enough toys. Maybe too many if you love to spoil them. However, it might be time for new toys while getting ready to move to the beach.

Depending on how long your moving process may last, you should get a new toy for them every week for a long move or twice a week for a short move.

Giving your pet a variety of new toys, both interactive and non-interactive, is an excellent way to reduce anxiety levels, as it provides them with mental stimulation and physical exercise.

picture of a small dog laying on it's back in the green grass surrounding by dog toys

This helps them burn off energy, and having something new will distract them from negative emotions or fear responses.

Depending on what kind of pet you have, if they can be walked or engaged in physical activity, the more, the better during this time of transition. The amount of time that your pet spends exercising before the move should be doubled during the move.

10. Take Your Pet to See Their Vet

Check up with your vet: Before moving to the beach, always check your pet’s health and condition to ensure everything is in order before traveling or relocating. Also, remember to have your travel certificate if necessary for crossing state lines or if you have a service animal.

Making extra copies beforehand will help avoid misplacing these vital documents at the time you need them most.

Following these tips will help keep your pet relaxed, happy, and stress-free during the transition of moving to the beach. Having a pet can make moving more complicated, but if you do your best to keep them safe and comfortable during the moving process, it will be worth it when you are in your new beach home!

If you are interested in moving to Myrtle Beach, don’t miss the opportunity to see the luxury lifestyle Kingston Plantation Resort has to offer.


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Dawn Marie

Real Estate Blogger and Copywriter located in Myrtle Beach, SC

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