|Photo: animals.ekstrax .net|
First, crate training: it's useful for more than narrowing down the sleeping arrangements! A crate provides a constant, familiar space for your pets to retreat to in times of uncertainty. When you move into your new house, put out their crate as early as possible, and try to stay near it to give them reassurance as much as you can. More importantly, don't change anything in the crate in the weeks leading up to and following your move. The relocation will be enough trauma for them already, so try to preserve their bubble of serenity.
After moving in, try to unpack and put (just like for your children) any of your pets toys out as soon as possible for them. It's yet another point of familiarity for them. Dogs will be interested to explore the new place as soon as possible. It can be reassuring for them to explore the new space together, and make a point to show them where all their essentials are; i.e. their crate, their food, the water, any pet doors, the backyard, the place you'd like them to do their stinky business, etc. For cats, they will want to explore at their own pace, but you still need them to know where the litter box, food, and water are. When I move, I make it a point to not leave my pets alone any more than absolutely necessary. If they feel abandoned, they may try to break out and run back to the place they still call home. This is also another reason why crates are beneficial.
As for the surrounding areas, dogs do well on leashes out exploring their new 'hood, but take care with cats. If they're outside too early, they may bolt and you will be consoling children and posting missing flyers around town when they don't turn up back in the new house.
Also, try not to make any changes in their bedding or daily routine during this sensitive adjustment period. It seems like a lot of attention to detail, but our furry family need our tender love and care just as much as our children do.