Moving? Discover 4 ways to help your pet with the transition

June 22, 2020

Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for everyone in the family, including your pet. When a pet’s routine is disrupted, and their environment suddenly changes, it can cause them to become anxious, sensitive and can even lead to behavioral issues.

Here are some ways to help you make this transition as smoothly as possible:

Choosing your new home

When choosing your new home, think about the surroundings. Are you close to a busy street that could potentially be dangerous if your pet escapes your home? If you’re moving to a new apartment, are there many stairs in your building? This could be a problem for young pups that are house-training. Do you have a yard or a dog park nearby? Not having access to either could become an issue for high-energy dogs.

Preparing for the move

Help your pet get used to moving day by bringing in some moving boxes early. If you can, take your dog for a walk around the new house and neighborhood before the move. For dogs, smell is the most important sense, so introducing your pet to the common smells around the home is a great way to make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. You’ll also need to get your pet used to their crate. You can make it a gradual process by placing their bowl of food in the crate and shutting the door while your pet is eating or making it a positive association by rewarding them with a treat once crate-time is over.

Keep your pet calm and safe during moving day

Seeing strangers coming in and out of your home while taking furniture away that your pet is used to could set them into panic mode. If possible, it’s a good idea to leave your pet at a friend’s or family member’s home while the movers do their work. If it’s not possible, keep your pet in a room in the house with food, water, their favorite toys and a bed. For cat owners, don’t forget the litter box. Make sure the movers know not to go in the room. When in transit, make sure your pet is safely settled in their crate.

Getting used to your new home

Settling into a new environment can be a bit stressful for you. Some pets pick up on their owners’ anxiety and emotions, which is why it’s important you give your pet the love and attention they need.

For cat owners, the first thing on your list should be to cat-proof your new home. Since cats are not big fans of changes, get your kitty used to one room at a time. You can do so by bringing your cat from your car directly into a room while still in their crate. This room will become their “safe place” for the transitioning period. Put a bowl of water and food, a litter box and a bed, and let them get used to this room. As your cat becomes comfortable, give them access to another room while keeping his belongings in the safe room. Once your cat wanders at ease, move his water, food and litter box to their permanent places.

Remember to be consistent with your routine, whatever it may be. The sooner you can get back into your normal groove, the sooner your pet will feel comfortable. Make sure your pet’s favourite toys or items are in your new home so they have a sense of familiarity.

Finally, look for a veterinarian clinic close to your new home. Once you’re all settled in, be patient with your pet and let them deal with their new surrounding at their own pace. You’ll see that your pet will be back to owning his domain soon enough!

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