Moving can be a stressful process, but did you know that a move can be stressful for your pets too? Here are some helpful tips for making the transition as smooth as possible for your fur babies.
What To Look For In A New Home:
Before you decide on your new home, make sure your pet will love it just as much as you do. Walk around the neighborhood. Does the area seem pet friendly and safe? Do you notice any aggressive or stray dogs in the area?
• Cats can thrive in a smaller space, especially if there is space to build vertically. Consider features like shelving and vertical spaces to put kitty blocks.
• A dog’s need for space can vary on a case by case basis. Do you have a tiny shitzu or a large, playful golden retriever? Is your dog still a puppy who will need to go outdoors often? Do you have an older dog who may have a difficult time with stairs? These are some of the questions to ask yourself when considering your canine’s spacial needs.
Packing Up Your Home:
Cats (and some dogs) can have anxiety related to change. Try slowly bringing in moving boxes and packing things gradually so that the change is less noticeable. When moving day arrives, keep your pets in a quiet room with the door shut, or even at a friend’s house where they are comfortable. Most importantly, during the moving process, try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible. If their morning walk is at 8:00am followed by some play time in the back yard, make sure that routine is not disturbed.
Making Your New Home Safe For Your Pet:
Have you ever heard of baby-proofing? Well if you have four legged friends, It’s a good idea to also pet-proof your new home before you move in. Tuck away electrical cords, plug up nooks where your pet could get stuck, make sure that all windows have secure screens, remove any poisonous houseplants and confirm that no pest-control poison traps have been left anywhere in the house.
Road Trip To Your New Home:
Is your new home far away? If your pet hasn’t spent much time in a car or a crate, you may need to do some preparation.
• Prepare your pets by gradually acclimating them to their crates. First, place their food inside an open crate, and eventually have them eat their meals in the crate with the door shut.
• Once your pet is more comfortable spending time in their crate, try taking short drives then gradually increasing the drive times.
• Help your pets develop a positive association with the crate by providing treats and playtime at the conclusion of crate time.
When you arrive at your new home at the end of your long journey, it will be tempting to set your dog or cat loose in the house to explore. However, a new and unfamiliar space can be overwhelming to your pets.
• Start by allowing them to adjust to only one room at first. This room should include their favorite toys, treats, water and food bowls and litter box for cats.
• When they seem comfortable, gradually introduce them to other rooms in the house, while keeping some doors shut.
• You can relocate your cat’s litter box from the “home base” room to a more permanent location by moving it slowly over time. Try moving the litter box one foot forward each day.
With time and patience, your cat or dog will be just as comfortable in your new home as you are!