Moving to a new home is an exciting time for the whole family. If you’re moving with pets, it can be a little tricky – after all, you can’t sit them down and explain what you are doing! However, with a few key tips to keep in mind and use, you can help your pet(s) get settled into their new home with as little stress for them as possible.
- Stick to your usual routines. Even if their surroundings are different, things are easier for your dog or cat if they know that they can expect the same schedule, and this can help remove stress for them. This is especially important for food and exercise times, which are major positive experiences that pets count on.
- Designate a new space for your pet that will be their special space. This can be a bed or crate or other space that they can go to for some quiet time alone, to sleep or just to feel safe. If you can, use their bed or crate from your old house so that they can recognize it right away as their space. The usual smell and feel that they are used to can help them feel more comfortable in the new home.
- Familiar objects can help your pet settle in more easily. Keep favorite toys handy, use the same food and water bowls and don’t change your pet’s food or treats at this time.
- Make sure to keep an eye on your pet during the move. With doors open to pack up the furniture and such, it’s easy for a dog or cat to slip out and get lost without proper supervision. It’s best to keep Fluffy or Fido in a crate or in a closed room during the loading up and unloading. A visit to the vet can also be a good idea to have a micro-chip implanted, especially since it can be easy for your pet to get lost if you’re moving to a new area.
- Once you’re moved into the new space, take your dog or cat for a tour. This can be around the new house so that they feel comfortable in the space and know where their food, water and bed are. Then a walk around the new area on a leash is helpful, so that they can get the lay of the land and feel comfortable with new sounds and smells.
- Let them take their time to settle in. While it’s important to introduce them to their new home and space, you should then let them have some quiet time some space to adjust without any pressure. They may choose to simply take a break and relax in their space, or may start to quietly explore, but it’s good to give them time to settle in on their own.
- With the stress of a move and different surroundings, you also want to be there and spend extra time with your pet. Giving them space is good for letting them get relaxed, but if they are asking for attention, take the time to play with them, groom them, give a few extra treats and just show affection so that they know that they are not alone and that you care.
Moving with pets can be a bit of an extra transition, but everything should go smoothly. Once you’ve arrived at your home and unpacked, take the time to let both you and your pets settle into a new space. After a few days, you’ll be feeling right at home!